Soccer clubs in Britain are slashing their spending on player transfers and wages, according to new research, as regulations designed to bolster clubs' finances come into play.
More than 80 percent of soccer clubs are planning to spend the same or less on payroll costs over the coming season, according to research published on Tuesday by accountancy firm BDO, which surveyed 66 teams from the top five leagues in British soccer.
Over one-half of respondents said they would slash payroll costs, amid plans to reduce the size of their first team squad, while one-quarter planned to reduce their transfer budget.
The "financial fair play" (FFP) regulations - which will apply to all English professional divisions for the first time this season – had a significant impact on these budgetary decisions, according to BDO.
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"The initial signs suggest that clubs are taking the new requirements seriously and beginning to adapt their behavior in the way the football [soccer] authorities intended, which is encouraging," said Trevor Birch, from BDO's Professional Sports Group.
The rules are designed to ensure clubs balance their books, and break-even over a three-year period. Clubs will not be allowed to repeatedly spend more cash than the revenue they generate, and their financial accounts will be monitored by UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations).
David Bick, chairman of Square1 Consulting, which specializes in sports finance, agreed the FFP regulations did appear to be having an effect.
"You can already see a net lower amount being spent in the transfer market, which is because clubs know they have to get inside these rules," Bick told CNBC.
"The regulations basically say a club can spend as much as it likes, as long as it generates enough revenue. But a lot of clubs have already maxed out their commercial revenue, so instead, they're cutting back on spending," he said.