Sheffield United's points deduction explained as alleged overdue transfer amounts revealed

Sheffield United hit with sanction over non-payment of transfer monies
Blades star tipped for the very top (Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images)Blades star tipped for the very top (Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Blades star tipped for the very top (Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

Sheffield United's EFL points deduction is not connected to any danger of them falling foul of profit and sustainability rules, The Star understands. The Blades will start their next season in the Championship on minus two points after being sanctioned over non-payment of transfer funds last season.

The Blades were placed under a transfer embargo as they battled for promotion to the Premier League, which was lifted in April. United could have sold one of their key players Sander Berge or Iliman Ndiaye to make the payments but instead kept both to give themselves the best chance of promotion from the Championship and instead renegotiated some of the deals in question to future payment dates.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That did not stop the EFL's clock ticking, hence the alarming 550-day figure mentioned in their statement confirming the sanction, while United are also understood to have used in mitigation that they themselves were owed transfer monies which further affected their financial position, and that some payments were only days late rather than months. 

One of the deals in question is understood to be Rhian Brewster’s move from Liverpool back in 2020 while Sander Berge and Anel Ahmedhodzic also arrived at United in recent years, from Genk and Malmo respectively, for fees. The EFL’s written reasons for the decision alleged that United owed payments of £1m, £750,000 and £3.75m for one player, €2m for another and €900,000 for a third.

Overdue fees of £143,546.28 and £62,500 for two loans were also alleged against United before the EFL amended their case to deal with only permanent transfers, although the two other amounts were used as mitigation in the case. The award is final and binding and not subject to any appeal process, while United were represented by Nick De Marco KC, one of the leading sports barristers in the country, and Celia Rooney.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The failed takeover by Dozy Mmobuosi, since charged by the SEC with fraud, also had an effect, with the Nigerian businessman missing a number of scheduled payments as part of his bid for control of Bramall Lane. United are not in breach of any profit and sustainability rules, which were fallen foul of by their Premier League rivals Everton and Nottingham Forest this season, and all the relevant payments and creditors have been settled at the time of writing.

United could have taken the matter further with the independent commission but elected to work with the EFL to reach an agreement, rather than risk a bigger points deduction, more costly litigation or even the prospect of future transfer embargoes. With United on course for a return to the Championship next season it would hardly be the ideal start to their push for a return to the Premier League - but United's last two promotions to the top-flight saw them finish 11 and six points clear of the third-placed side, so it is also not a guaranteed detriment to their promotion hopes either.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.