Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt can continue to buy players burgers but the League Two leaders have been “reminded of their responsibilities” around bonuses by the English Football League.
Holt said he gives the team £200 to get “McDonald’s or the like” if they win.
The EFL had questioned the deal, which is not part of the standard player contract, to check it met regulations.
“The club’s response confirmed that no contractual provisions exist to support payments in this manner,” the EFL said.
“However, EFL regulations do not prohibit the provision of subsistence and as long as the club adopts a consistent approach for all matches, and arrangements are not linked to success on the pitch, the club can continue to make appropriate provision.
“The club was contacted as a result of a public comment made by Mr Holt in which he discussed providing his squad with a cash amount to spend on food or drink in the event of the team winning or drawing a match.
“Had Mr Holt’s comment specified that the payment was made irrespective of the result, then there would have been no requirement to question the action, as it is acknowledged that subsistence is required for players after matches.
“The EFL has reminded the club of its responsibilities in relation to meeting EFL Regulations. It is a matter for the club to ensure it complies with all appropriate HMRC guidance regarding such matters.”
A burger “bonus” at Accrington would have gone against EFL regulation 61.6, which states that “full details of all payments to or benefits paid in cash or in kind on behalf of players must be included in the standard contract”.
Bonuses “form part of the contract” and are to be included before the start of each season. However, exceptions may be made if the EFL are written to in advance.
In a series of tweets leading up to Easter Monday’s home game against promotion rivals Notts County, Holt defended his “right to buy anyone a burger with my own money” and said it was “only the same as paying for a pre-match meal”.
He added: “You have to wonder what these folk would do with their life if it wasn’t for my errors of judgement”.