Premier League clubs could soon be under much tighter financial control after chairmen met on Thursday to discuss a potential cap on player wages and a break-even rule.
Uefa's financial fair play regulations are due to come into effect next season, but the Premier League is considering directives of its own, including an implementation of a maximum salary percentage increase year on year.
Premier League clubs made cumulative losses of £361m for the 2010-11 campaign, the most recent complete financial results. But with a new TV deal for the three years following the 2013-14 season expected to top £5bn, clubs are keen to avoid any injection of cash falling into players' and agents' pockets, intending instead to cool the market by reining in the amounts splashed on wages.
One option would be that the maximum salary bill increase will not be able to top 5% each year, while another is only allowing a club's wage bill to be a certain percentage of its overall revenue.
Manchester City, the Premier League champions, bankrolled by Sheikh Mansour, had the highest wages-to-turnover ratio for 2010‑11. They spent 114% of their income on salaries, while Aston Villa laid out 90% and Chelsea 86%.
Sunderland's chairman, Ellis Short, has pushed hard for the wage-cap rules to be introduced and both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea are understood to be in favour of some cost-control rule, although the Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan is opposed to such a measure.
Fourteen of the 20 clubs are required to vote in favour for any new rules to come into play. The discussions have been ongoing for 10 months.
It is unknown what penalties would be imposed on clubs who fail to comply with any new rules. Uefa's rules require clubs to record only €45m (£36m) in losses during the three-year period from the start of the 2011-12 campaign to the end of 2013‑14, and teams who fall foul of the regulations could be expelled from European competition.