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Championship at war over spending plans as clubs warn of financial oblivion

Leeds concede against Hull before going on to win 3-1
Leeds United and Hull City are among the clubs lobbying for spending restrictions to change for the 2025-26 season - Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Championship clubs are locked in battle over proposed new spending rules, ahead of a crunch EFL meeting on Friday.

Leeds, Hull City, Stoke, West Brom, Swansea and Cardiff are understood to be leading the charge to ease restrictions on spending amid growing anger over the Premier League’s failure to agree a ‘New Deal’.

A number of Championship clubs are also in danger of breaching profitability and sustainability rules and it is argued that scrapping the current financial controls is the only option to avoid a future crisis.

One of the preferred proposals is to mirror Uefa’s newly introduced 70 per cent squad ratio for the 2025-26 season, though sources claim other alternatives will be discussed.

Senior Championship officials will meet in the Cotswolds on Friday to discuss what is now a very hot issue, with a two-thirds majority required from the 24 clubs to trigger a vote.

Hull City’s vice-chairman Tan Kesler is set to join the Football League’s three-person board, replacing former Millwall chief executive Steve Kavanagh, and is understood to be a prominent figure in the debate.

Sources have claimed that tension is growing between clubs in the league over the future of financial controls, with some arguing that lifting limits on spending could threaten a repeat of Derby’s flirtation with oblivion two years ago.

These latest plans are seen as hugely significant, and allowing clubs to spend 70 per cent of their revenue on wages, transfers and agent fees would follow a recent move by Uefa if it was agreed by the majority.

The Premier League and EFL has so far failed to agree the ‘New Deal’ on funding, despite frequent meetings to thrash out a resolution.

In a statement in March, the EFL said it was “clearly disappointed at their repeated failure to put forward any new funding offer for EFL clubs that would have significant benefits for the entire football pyramid.

“The EFL has repeatedly said that financial redistribution coupled with enhanced cost controls are needed to help achieve its over-riding objective of making EFL clubs financially sustainable and competitive, so that they can continue to serve their supporters and communities long into the future, no matter what level of the pyramid they play in.”

It is understood there could be a vote on bringing in new regulations at the Premier League’s annual general meeting this week, but many Championship clubs are sceptical.

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