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Stoke City will be self-sufficient by the start of next season.

Football News 24/7
Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes has revealed to the Stoke Sentinel that the Potteries club will be self-sufficient by the start of next season.

Chairman Peter Coates and his family have pumped more than £60m into the club to help transform Stoke from a mid-table Championship side into one enjoying a fifth successive season in the Premier League.

But Stoke are on course to generate enough of their own funds next season, helped by a new television deal.

Scholes, was speaking after a meeting of 10 Premier League clubs at the Britannia Stadium yesterday to discuss whether to introduce new rules on teams' finances.

He said: "There is a desire among Premier League clubs to ensure that we all operate sustainable businesses.

"We are discussing what, if any, rules should be brought in to ensure all our businesses are sustainable.

"This could mean saying all clubs should at least break even rather than having to rely on owner investment all the time which most clubs in the Premier League still do."

However, Scholes says he wouldn't want to stop businessmen from transforming their clubs as Coates has done with Stoke.

He said: "We are in line to be a self-sustaining operation from next summer.

"But we wouldn't be where we are now without the help and investment from the Coates family.

"You don't want to prevent other people from doing in the future as we have done in the past.

"It requires a lot of thought, but it was a very good debate and we were very pleased to host it at our ground."

The Premier League's northern clubs were at the Britannia for the working group.

A similar meeting has already been held between the league's southern clubs.

Manchester United are keen to introduce financial limitations on clubs in the Premier League.

However, Manchester City could be reluctant to introduce policies which would limit their ability to sign players with the financial backing of their owner Sheikh Mansour.

Any new rules would require the support of 14 of the Premier League's 20 clubs.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan says he would be prepared to vote for a salary cap, as used by some American sports, and in this country in Rugby League and Union.

Stoke chairman Coates has stressed the importance of clubs keeping wages under control when the new television contract comes into force next season.

The Premier League's domestic television rights have been sold for £3.018bn, up £1.254bn from the previous deal.

Just how much each club will receive isn't certain yet because negotiations for the overseas television rights won't be concluded until the end of this year.

However, estimates suggest Stoke, who received £43m after finishing 14th last season, would receive at least £60m for the same performance.

Whatever the windfall, Coates has said clubs have a responsibility to make sure the money isn't simply spent on inflated wage bills.

KJ

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