EFL to review financial rules after Sheffield Wednesday reportedly sell Hillsborough

Sheffield Wednesday have reportedly joined Derby County in selling their home stadium and leasing it back in order to meet financial fair play restrictions, prompting an EFL review.

By Nancy Frostick
Friday, 17 May, 2019, 11:23

The Times report that the Owls have followed the Rams in selling their ground to the owner, before leasing it back in order to meet profitability and sustainability regulations.

Aston Villa are also rumoured to be considering a similar approach with Villa Park if they are not promoted via the play-off final, set to be played against Derby at Wembley on May 27.

Hillsborough

The EFL will review its financial rules this summer after complaints from owners of fellow Championship clubs, as some feel that clubs are exploiting the system.

Derby sold Pride Park to club owner Mel Morris last year for £80 million, as they recorded a pre-tax profit of £14.6 million in 2017-18.

But other Championship clubs consider this approach to be unethical, as teams try to meet the EFL profitability and sustainability rules that prohibit clubs from recording losses of more than £39 million over three years.

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Punishment for breaching the regulations was set this season at a 12 point deduction with a risk of a further nine points docked for an aggravated breach.

Birmingham City were docked points in the 2018/19 season for breaching a transfer embargo last summer to sign Kristian Pedersen.

The Times report suggests that Derby and Aston Villa are closest to breaching the £39 million loss regulation, but Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United are also at risk.

It is yet to be confirmed that Wednesday have sold Hillsborough to owner Dejphon Chansiri in order to meet the financial constraints, as they have not yet published their accounts for 2017-18.

The Owls were placed under a soft transfer embargo last summer for failing to meet profitability and sustainability requirements.