League digs in on super creditors

The statement comes after the League’s agm in which the contentious issue was discussed with clubs following weeks of criticism from insolvency practitioners who say the rule is hindering their restructuring of clubs.

One of the propositions, from League advisers Kroll Buchler Phillips, was to suspend the rules for six months to allow ailing clubs to cut expensive players which are at the root of their financial difficulties.

But a Football League spokesman told Accountancy Age: ‘There are no plans to alter football insolvency procedures. Changing the rules sets a precedent.’

He said the rule was in place ‘to protect the integrity of the football profession’ and stop clubs from lowering players’ wages or trading them mid-season. Many clubs took ‘the age-old gamble’ of hiring expensive high-profile players to try to get into the Premiership. But the spokesman added ‘at the end of the day it’s down to financial prudence.’

But the problem of pay has not been completely ignored by the League, which has been reviewing the structure of club finances since January. He said: ‘The problem is the standard of contract in the English game.’ He said there was nothing to stop clubs from putting clauses in their contracts to limit wages.

The spokesman said: ‘Clubs are looking at ways and means of changing wage revenue.’ One proposal, he said was tying up wage bills to income so clubs will have to limit their wages to the range of their revenue. But he said for changes to be effective they would have to be done across the board.

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