United chief issues warning to rebels over financial fair play

MANCHESTER United chief executive David Gill has warned Premier League clubs that they will have to accept European-style financial fair play (FFP) rules if they want to introduce a cap on wage increases.

England’s top 20 sides are close to deciding on historic moves to curb spending, but fissures have emerged among chairmen over exactly which measures should be passed at a meeting next month.

United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are pushing for a strict enforcement of the FFP rules drawn up by European governing body Uefa, which limit allowable losses with a view to clubs breaking even.

Others, such as Sunderland, favour the more short-term measure of capping year-on-year wage bill increases at 10 per cent, while Manchester City, Fulham and West Brom are against any form of financial regulation.

But with 14 votes needed to pass any rule change, Gill yesterday suggested United and others would block a wage cap unless their opponents relented over FFP.

“On wage cost protocol it’s a quid pro quo,” he said. “It depends what direction you come from. If they get that, we will want the other. In my opinion it’s a joint program, and the two things are linked.”

Clubs are expected to vote on the rules, which are likely to be introduced in time for next season, on 7 February.