LONDON: Premier League clubs have taken a step towards implementing a spending cap, voting to undertake the economic and legal analysis needed for such a model.

The model will be presented to clubs before a final vote at the league’s Annual General Meeting in June at the earlies. It would replace the current Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) from 2025-26.

The cap would limit how much clubs can spend in a bid to prevent the super-rich teams from dominating the league amid concerns over a growing gulf between the haves and have-nots.

Some clubs oppose the idea of a spending cap because they feel it threatens to penalise clubs with large revenues, which – they argue – have been built by sporting achievement and commercial innovation.

Others say that levelling out competition in the Premier League threatens to undermine the global standing of the league itself, as it could put English top-flight clubs at a disadvantage against their European counterparts.

The cap, discussed at a Premier League shareholders’ meeting on Monday, would be based on how much money the lowest-earning club in the English top flight makes from television rights and could come into effect as early as the 2025-26 season.

“We will obviously wait to see further details of these specific proposals but we have always been clear that we would oppose any measure that would place a ‘hard’ cap on player wages,” the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said.

“There is an established process in place to ensure that proposals like this, which would directly impact our members, have to be properly consulted on,” the statement added.

Media reports said 16 clubs voted in favour of the league pursuing a salary cap, with Chelsea abstaining and Manchester City, Manchester United and Aston Villa dissenting.

Manchester City face more than 100 charges of allegedly breaching the league’s financial rules. The club have denied wrongdoing.

Everton were deducted 10 points in November, reduced to six on appeal, before they received a second deduction to take their points loss to eight for breaching PSR. Nottingham Forest, were deducted four points, and have also appealed.

Premier League clubs had agreed in principle to introduce new financial rules next season, voting in April for squad cost ratio rules to replace PSR, which allows clubs to lose 105 million pounds ($131.93 million) in a three-season period.

Clubs will likely be limited to spending 85% of their revenue on transfers, wages and agents’ fees if the new rules are adopted at the AGM in June.

PSR will still be in place next season with a transition period in 2024-25, as will points deductions, which will also remain part of the new rules once adopted.