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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 12:11 GMT
Football 'needs wage cap'
A parliamentary report is urging the Premier League to consider introducing a wage cap.

The report also asks the Premier League to double the broadcasting income it passes on to the rest of football.

The chairman of the All Party Football Group (APFG), Alan Keen, said it was vital the sport addressed the financial imbalance between the clubs.

"The financial divide between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' must be tackled urgently," he said.

"However, it is not good enough just to throw money at lower league clubs without reforms to ensure they are run better in future."

The MPs' report also calls for all transfer fees and payments to agents to be made public and for the powers of the watchdog group the Independent Football Commission (IFC) to be beefed up.

In the 2001/2002 season, the Premier League had an income of 1.13bn, yet in 2002 11 of the 72 clubs in the lower three divisions went into administration.

Supporters Direct, a government-backed initiative which has provided help to supporters' trusts, welcomed the recommendation to have fan representation on the board of clubs

"We are delighted the group supports our call for a rule-change within football to allow clubs to be mutual, democratic, community based organisations," said managing director Dave Boyle.

Wednesday's report followed one from the IFC on Tuesdaywhich urged soccer authorities to adopt tough financial controls and ensure directors were fit and proper people to run clubs.

Selected recommendations:

  • Premier League to double to 10% the broadcasting revenue it re-distributes to the rest of football
  • More re-distribution of TV rights money within the Premier League
  • Detailed research into the financial impact of the transfer window
  • Consultation between football authorities and all clubs on the re-introduction of gate-sharing
  • Strong support for severe points deduction for clubs going into administration.
  • Wage-capping to be considered by Premier League if experiment in Football League/Conference proves successful
  • Immediate introduction of the `Fit & Proper Person' test for club directors
  • Supporters' views represented at board level and FA to be more representative of modern Britain
  • All professional clubs to have budgets approved two seasons in advance
  • Introduction of an agents' levy to be re-distributed to grass-roots game
  • Future Premier League contracts to include limited number of games to be broadcast by free-to-air channels
  • Decisive England qualifying matches to become Listed Events
  • The norm for a majority of a club's home league fixtures to kick off at 3pm on a Saturday

    Premiership rejects MPs' calls
    11 Feb 04  |  Football
    How to become an agent
    10 Feb 04  |  Football
    Football director test proposed
    10 Feb 04  |  UK News

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