Championship clubs vote against proposed move for financial transparency

Representatives from Championship clubs have reportedly voted against a motion to increase financial transparency in the second tier of English football.

By Nancy Frostick
Wednesday, 24 April, 2019, 15:53
Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Football chiefs from the Championship met at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on Wednesday to discuss changes after complaints from some quarters about how teams meet financial equality and fair play regulations.

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson reportedly tabled a vote to change EFL rules to allow clubs to look at each other’s accounts, but it is understood that the motion was rejected.

The Boro boss has spoken out against Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and Aston Villa in the past as he believes the three clubs have broken profitability and sustainability rules, which were previously known as Financial Fair Play (FFP).

His proposed changes would have allowed all profitability and sustainability information to be shared with fellow Championship clubs, although a majority vote of 75 per cent (18 out of 24) of the second tier clubs at the meeting is the requirement to make changes.

The fiery meeting lasted over five hours, with Sky Sports News reporting that both Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday lobbied the decision in an effort to keep the current rules in place.

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Birmingham City were the first team to fall foul of a transfer-related points deduction as they were docked nine points for breaching a transfer embargo by signing Kristian Pedersen last summer.

Profitability and sustainability rules dictate that clubs cannot lose more than £39million over three years or they will face punishment in the form of a transfer embargo or points deduction.

Up to March 2018, all Championship clubs were judged to have met the requirements, with Derby County reporting a profit in their most recent accounts after selling their Pride Park Stadium to owner Mel Morris.

Sheffield Wednesday have delayed the release of their accounts for the 2017/18 financial year until next month, but were under a ‘soft embargo’ last summer which was lifted before the loan window deadline as Jos Luhukay added Michael Hector and Josh Onomah to his squad on season-long loan deals.

The majority of clubs are said to be happy with how the EFL regulate club finances despite Gibson's objections, so voted down the motion.