Move to cap Premier League spending opposed as Nottingham Forest await FFP fate

Nottingham Forest in a huddle before their clash with Everton
Players union the PFA could yet halt plans to reform top-flight spending rules that have seen Nottingham Forest hit by a points penalty. -Credit:Getty

The Professional Footballers’ Association says it will oppose any measure which places a hard cap on player wages in the Premier League.

Top-flight clubs, including Nottingham Forest, are understood to have voted to progress to the final stages of a legal and economic analysis of "anchoring" – a move which will potentially limit expenditure such as player wages, plus agents’ fees and transfer amortisation costs to a multiple of the central Premier League revenues going to the bottom club.

The intention of anchoring is to keep the league competitive by preventing the richest clubs dominating, and the drafting of rules around the principle will now take place with a view to a further vote at the league’s annual meeting in June.

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The Times reports that 16 of the 20 clubs voted in favour at the meeting in London, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Aston Villa voting against and Chelsea abstaining.

The legal analysis is likely to involve discussions with the PFA as an established Premier League stakeholder, but a spokesperson for the players' union made clear on Monday that they would also oppose the plans.

They said: “We will obviously wait to see further details of these specific proposals, but we have always been clear that we would oppose any measure that would place a ‘hard’ cap on player wages. There is an established process in place to ensure that proposals like this, which would directly impact our members, must be properly consulted on.”

The latest machinations around limits on player spending comes as Forest await the outcome of their appeal against a four-point sanction for breaching Premier League spending rules under the current Profitability and Sustainability regulations, also know as Financial Fair Play.

Everton too have been hit by similar points penalties, while Leicester City could yet be punished for past alleged misdemeanours when they return to the top-flight next season after winning promotion from the Championship.

Forest appealed against the sanction and had their hearing in front of an independent commission last Wednesday.

Everton have also challenged their two-point deduction for a second PSR breach, having had a 10-point deduction reduced to six on appeal earlier in the season.

The Times adds: "The Premier League has already agreed to replace its Profitability and Sustainability Rules from the 2025-26 season with a squad cost control, which will limit clubs to spending 85 per cent of their total revenue on wages, transfer payments and agents’ fees.

"Anchoring would fix a ceiling on that spending and is generally being supported by those clubs who fear the growing power of the richest elite and in particular the spending power of state-owned clubs."

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