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Bloom backs push for fair play
Albion chairman Tony Bloom has backed plans to ensure Championship clubs keep clear of financial trouble.
The Seagulls were one of 21 second-tier clubs to vote in favour of financial fair play regulations, which will come into effect in the division next season.
Bloom has ploughed huge sums into establishing Albion at The Amex with the prospect of a new training ground to come.
They boosted their earning power at the stadium yesterday by securing planning permission for 8,250 new seats.
By coincidence, that permission was secured on the day plans to hit overspending Championship clubs with fines or transfer embargoes were announced.
Bloom said: “We are firmly in favour of the financial fair play regulations and are delighted that our fellow Championship clubs have also voted strongly in favour of adopting these rules.
“The Football League has never been stronger in terms of revenue generation and overall the high crowds that the league attracts shows how popular it is.
“However, clubs are still spending beyond their means and it is important that all clubs are addressing this issue together.
“These measures will ensure we bring more sustainability to our football clubs, and in the long-term provide a more stable financial structure to the Football League.”
Debt in the Football League is predicted to hit the £2billion mark in five years’ time if no action is taken.
Football League chairman Greg Clarke said: “The Championship is spending more and more and more money on players chasing the dream.
“We do not want to kill the dream. What we want to do is make sure it affordable and make sure that the price of the dream is not the destruction of football clubs.
“The problem is getting worse and we were going to be facing an extinction event of actually losing potentially three or four clubs - not to administration, but to liquidation.''
The regulations will be brought in next season, but fines and transfer embargoes for non-compliance will not be introduced until the 2014-2015 season.
Under the new rules, Championship club owners such as Bloom will be limited in what they can invest in their team every season.
Next season, their total investment can be no higher than £6million. The following year they will be limited to investing £5million in the club and in the 2014-2015 season they will only be allowed to invest £3million per year.
The new regulations also stipulate that annual losses can total no more than £4million next season, £3million per season in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 campaigns, and £2million from the following year onwards.
QPR, who were promoted to the Premier League last summer, recorded a loss of more than £25million last season.
Such a financial return would result in a huge fine under the new regulations, which declare that any non-compliant club will be hit with a fair play tax if promoted.
The scale of the fine varies on how much the club has gone over the allowed threshold, but the worst case scenario could see clubs fined over £10million.
If the club is deemed to have breached the regulations and does not achieve promotion, the league will place a transfer embargo until they are compliant with the fair play rules.