Scunthorpe United already playing fair when it comes to meeting financial rules, though others finding it a challenge
Scunthorpe United haven't had any problems bringing their budget in line with the Football League's financial fair play rules this summer – because they already adhered to their own salary cap.
From the start of next season, clubs in League One must not spend more than 65 per cent of their annual turnover on players' wages. In 12 months' time, that figure must come down to 60 per cent.
The rule, first implemented by clubs in League Two, was voted in by the chairmen of Football League clubs concerned at the increasing number of sides that have gone into administration in the past few years.
For a club with relatively low attendances, in a summer in which television revenue has dropped by more than a quarter, that could be seen as a challenge.
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But Iron general manager David Beeby – whose club's wage bill topped the £5million mark for the first time ever in the year ending June 30, 2011 – says it is a regulation Scunthorpe have always been keen to see introduced across the board.
"It's not really been a challenging process," he explained.
"As has been reported on numerous occasions, we're due to make substantial losses for the year ending 2011-12.
"We knew we had to reduce the budget anyway, just for sustainability of the football club, so we'd always planned to make cuts.
"The chairman (Steve Wharton) has always run the club very well, so wages have always been between 50-60 per cent of our turnover.
"We knew we needed to get back down there and this rule makes everybody else do what we've always felt we should be doing.
"Coming down from the Championship with 18 players under contract made it much more difficult to apply it immediately, but 12 months on we've lost a number of those players which enables us to bring it down.
"In 12 months' time, all the players we will have had under contract during our time in the Championship will have been out of contract and will have either renegotiated or moved on.
"It's an ongoing process, but one we're well underway with."
For other clubs, particularly the division's so-called bigger sides, the challenge may not have been as simple.
Last season, while the Iron stuck to the voluntary 75 per cent figure in place, at least one of their fellow third tier clubs didn't.
Should that be the case next season, any club breaching the rules will be hit by a transfer embargo until they have trimmed their figures accordingly.
"There was one team last season with a wage to turnover in excess of 100 per cent, but because the 75 per cent figure was voluntary, there were no sanctions," Beeby continued.
"The 65 per cent for next season is compulsory and any club breaching that 65 per cent will be placed under a transfer embargo.
"We have to submit data this month to the league, giving details of our budgets and actual figures from previous years, so they can make sure the information we are submitting is pretty accurate.
"They'll work out the wage percentage and if it's in excess of 65 per cent, an embargo will be placed on you indefinitely until you drop below that figure.
"From the end of June the league is in a position to know where clubs are and if you are over that limit, it affects the number of players you can bring in for the remainder of that transfer window.
"We've already looked at our data and set a budget and providing we stick to that budget, we'll comply with the regulations.
"As a club we wouldn't want to breach 65 per cent, because it's not sustainable. In a few years' time, there wouldn't be a football club.
"It's embarrassing for football as a game when clubs are going into administration and regularly, for the past few years, we've seen it happen to two or three clubs a season.
"If we'd have kept going as we were, across all the divisions, that would have become an even more regular occurrence.
"Of the three divisions, League Two is the most financially sound, because it brought in these regulations some time ago and has followed them for a number of years.
"Now League One and the Championship are following that example."