Blades and Wednesday hit by salary cap

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sheffield United , Sheffield Wednesday and Chesterfield will be subject to a wage cap next season after League One clubs agreed to introduce the scheme at the Football League’s annual meeting in Cyprus.

The system, called the Salary Cost Management Protocol , means clubs can spend only a fixed proportion of their total turnover on player wages.

It has been operating in League Two at a 60% threshold.

But will be reduced to 55% next season in Leagues One and Two.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke hailed the vote by the 72 clubs to adopt UEFA’s financial fair play system, as a decision that could change the landscape of football finances in England

Clubs who transgress the rules are likely to be handed a transfer ban as a first sanction with possible points deductions for major offenders.

Clarke said: “This could be a seminal event that reshapes football finances in England.

“The clubs are aware of the ground-breaking decision they have taken and we will work hard now to make it happen.”

Increasing levels of debt and a drop in television income saw the 72 Football League clubs agree to the system “in principle” at the League’s agm following a presentation by Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s head of club licensing and financial fair play.

The Football League’s move reflects concern over income - their new £195 million domestic TV deal is a 26% drop on the previous one.

Debt in Football League clubs now totals £700m and a report this week by analysts Deloitte found that more than one third of clubs are paying out more in wages than they received in revenue.

Clarke added: “It will help our clubs exert greater control over their finances.”