Although he will refuse to talk about it publicly, fearing his words would be printed out and pinned to the home dressing room wall, Saturday's meeting with Queens Park Rangers will set Chris Wilder thinking about one his greatest footballing bugbears
The Sheffield United manager has little time for clubs who ignore Financial Fair Play regulations. His sympathy for those who spend themselves into difficulty is extremely limited. But Loftus Road's recent grapple with the English Football League over the legality of its rules is almost certain to be off-limits during tomorrow's pre-match media conference at the Steelphalt Academy.
The outcome of QPR's attempt to challenge FFP, confirmed in a statement issued by the governing body last month, will re-open the debate about whether breaches should cost teams points rather than pounds.
United's Championship rivals were fined close to £42m after being found guilty of exceeding expenditure limits during the 2013/14 season, when they gained promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs. However, as part of the settlement with the EFL, this figure was reduced to £17m, with £21.97m of outstanding loans converted into equity. QPR, whose parachute payments are scheduled to end at the end of the present campaign, also agreed not to proceed with a challenge claiming FFP is unlawful under competition law and will be prevented from signing players during the January window.
"In agreeing to the settlement," EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said, "The board was conscious that the financial burden placed on the club had to be manageable, so as not to put its future in doubt when considering that after this season the club will no longer benefit from the promotion that was the catalyst for the dispute in the first place."
Fulham and Nottingham Forest have also been subject to an FFP sanctions in the past, together with AFC Bournemouth. Eddie Howe's side were fined £4.75m for failing to comply during their Championship winning season in 2015, with the EFL stating they "did not make any deliberate attempt to infringe the rules or to deceive." Bournemouth received over £111m in merit, television and other associated payments last term.