'Championship club could go bust' claims major BBC investigation as Sheffield Wednesday wait on financial charges

Former Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe made the bold claim as part of a major BBC investigation into the league’s finances, which are said to be a ‘bubble waiting to burst’

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 9:59 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 10:10 am
David Sharpe made a gloomy prediction

Former Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe has warned that a Championship club could soon enter administration and drop out of the Football League, as he discussed the financial problems suffered by Sheffield Wednesday and others.

Sharpe was speaking as part of a BBC investigation which described the Championship as a ‘bubble waiting to burst’, with clubs reporting record losses in a desperate scramble to secure Premier League football.

Sheffield Wednesday are waiting to hear whether they will face sanctions related to the sale of Hillsborough, which was allegedly used to meet the strict P&S rules that make life notoriously difficult for second tier sides, most of whom are losing money with every year that they spend outside of the top flight.

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Sharpe said that he is glad to have escaped the league when he left Wigan Athletic in 2018, and is forecasting significant financial problems in the coming months and years.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "The Championship is not financially sustainable, it's a bubble waiting to burst.

"It can't continue if the model is just having enough billionaire owners to keep funding it - that's a strange, crazy model because there are only so many people you can attract.

"There are Championship clubs chasing that Premier League dream and when the gamble doesn't come off somebody has to foot the bill and if they can't afford it, the club could end up in administration.

Sheffield Wednesday are waiting to see if they will be handed sanctions for their stadium sale

"It's a real problem and it's only going to get worse - thank God we are out.

"You can lose £39m over three years in the Championship but it's clearly not stopping clubs - a points deduction is a slap on the wrist.”

Earlier this year Bury entered administration and dropped out of the Football League, and established clubs like Bolton Wanderers have also suffered serious financial problems.