League chief reveals funding crisis

26 April 2012 07:17

Football League chairman Greg Clarke claims "tens" of clubs in the bottom three tiers of English football are struggling to find money to stay alive.

The Championship have voted to introduce a new set of financial fair play regulations in an attempt to stop the kind of crisis which has engulfed Portsmouth, who, according to Clarke, face the "distinct possibility" of going into liquidation this summer.

"I spend a lot of my time in discussions with chairmen and they say it's getting harder and harder to run a club," Clarke told a press conference in London.

"They say they need money to stay afloat, whether it's £3million, or £300,000 and they are running out of places to find that money and here we are trying to give them an alternative to selling the club to just anyone who has money.

"They are that desperate. There are more and more people like that. This is happening to tens of clubs.

"They are struggling to fund themselves."

The regulations will be introduced next season but punishments for non-compliance, which take the form of a fine or transfer embargo, will be introduced in the 2014-15 season. Clarke insists the measures are necessary to prevent crises like Portsmouth's becoming commonplace.

Under the new rules, Championship club owners will be limited in what they can invest in their team every season. Next season, their total investment can be no higher than £6million. The following year they will be limited to investing £5million in the club and in the 2014-2015 season they will only be allowed to invest £3million per year.

The Football League want extravagant spending to become a thing of the past and the new regulations therefore stipulate that annual losses can total no more than £4million next season, £3million per season in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 campaigns, and £2million from the following year onwards.

If clubs break the rules but do not get promoted they will be placed under a transfer embargo, but if they achieve promotion they will be hit with fines that could total millions.

Source: PA