Albion have reluctantly agreed to back a huge rise in losses allowed by Championship clubs as part of changes to Financial Fair Play rules.

The Seagulls voted in favour of permitted losses leaping to as much as £13 million a year over each of the next four seasons.

Chief executive Paul Barber says they agonised over the decision but took it for the “greater good”.

Championship clubs met at Derby’s iPro Stadium yesterday to discuss proposals aimed at bringing FFP rules for the second tier in line with the Premier League and redressing a disparity created by soaring parachute payments for clubs relegated from the top flight.

Eighteen clubs, including Albion – who have been adhering by the letter to FFP – voted in favour of a hike in permitted losses next season from £5 million under the existing rules to £13 million, with six against.

The transitional arrangement is the prelude to allowable losses climbing to a maximum of £39 million between 2016-17 and 2018-19.

Barber, Albion’s representative at the meeting, told The Argus: “We were faced with a difficult dilemma. We’ve spent two-and-a-half years restructuring the whole club to comply with the current regulations.

“We’ve done a very decent job of that and we weren’t at all happy for the current allowances to go up by so much. We accepted there would have to be some movement but both Tony (Bloom, chairman) and I were very unhappy that the proposal on the table was to go up to £13 million a year.

“It’s £6 million for this year. It would have £5 million for next year, so we are looking at more than doubling the current allowances.

“We took a very long time debating it, literally until the early hours (Thursday), and in the end concluded the harmony of the Premier League and Championship is important.

“We believe that, in the longer term, a system that is consistent between the Premier League and Football League is a good thing, not a bad thing, and therefore, for the greater good, we voted in favour. But we did so reluctantly, given the numbers involved.

“We have taken a longer term view that potentially at some stage in the future it could help us.”

Bloom, by agreeing to vote yes, has effectively sanctioned the possibility of further massive investment from his personal fortune, to add to the millions he has already poured into the club, if it becomes necessary in order for Albion to remain competitive.

But Barber emphasised the Seagulls are not about to do a U-turn by embarking on a spending spree.

He said: “What it doesn’t mean is that we are going to change the way we run the club. We’re not suddenly going to be opening cheque books and going crazy.

“Financial Fair Play isn’t abolished, it’s still there, and we believe the long-term sustainability of the club is best served by us managing it as efficiently as we can.”

The FFP rules in place for last season and this season are unchanged, which could leave a third of Albion’s Championship rivals facing punishments in the New Year, including the likes of new leaders Bournemouth, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough and tomorrow’s Amex visitors Blackburn Rovers.

Barber said: “We were very determined to see the sanctions stay in place for the existing rules. We are expecting maybe as many as eight or nine clubs are going to break those rules and therefore, come January, they could find themselves in a transfer embargo which is serious, a massive penalty.”