How much cutting back Sheffield Wednesday would have to do to fit in with the Championship's mooted salary cap

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The ongoing coronavirus crisis has prompted some soul-searching when it comes to the finances involved in Championship football, with some clubs now reportedly backing radical changes to spending rules.

One of the more extreme changes mooted is a £6,000 per week player wage cap that would see the landscape of the division changed beyond recognition, but it is understood that is hugely unlikely to come to pass – the average weekly wage in the division is currently £16,553.

These considerations come as the unforeseen halt in matchday revenue hits Championship clubs harder than in some other divisions, with outlay on wage budgets at 13 of the 24 clubs higher than the revenue brought in. On average clubs were spending 120 per cent of their total revenue in player wages.

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Sheffield Wednesday are among the clubs in that bracket. The Owls are one of four second-tier clubs yet to have submitted their accounts for the 2018/19 season, with a Government accounts deadline having been extended from the end of this month to the end of July because of the coronavirus disruption.

The last available accounts, therefore, show that Wednesday spend somewhere in the region of £42m per year on player wages, over double the £20m cap reportedly being considered by Championship clubs.

And those accounts show that Wednesday are more reliant on matchday revenue than other clubs, with some 37 per cent of income arriving via matchdays.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire last month told The Star he believes FFP could be ‘written off’ this season as clubs come to rely on wealthy backers to restore any shortfalls.

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Wednesday are among the clubs yet to agree to a deal on the deferral of player wages, with Championship rivals including Brentford, Leeds and Preston having already done so.

Sheffield Wednesday are one of four clubs yet to submit their accounts for 2019.Sheffield Wednesday are one of four clubs yet to submit their accounts for 2019.
Sheffield Wednesday are one of four clubs yet to submit their accounts for 2019. | Getty Images

Negotiations are believed to be with the PFA and will continue, an EFL statement said, ‘on a local level’.

Reports in Sportsmail this weekend quoted an anonymous source as saying: “There is a feeling that the players will manage to kick the idea into the long grass for this month.

“But they cannot do that again next month because, in many cases, the money to pay them will simply not be there.”