Sheffield Wednesday: Expert warns of ‘red flag’ as wait for Owls’ accounts continues

A financial expert has warned that Sheffield Wednesday’s failure to disclose their accounts for 2017/18 sends out a “red flag” about financial issues at the club.

By Nancy Frostick
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 09:34

The Owls are yet to publish their finances after delaying the original deadline of 27 February by a further two months.

And football finance expert Kieran Maguire has warned that the club lay themselves open to having “clandestine reasons” for not publishing the accounts.

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield, Maguire said: "By choosing to not (disclose their accounts) I think Sheffield Wednesday lay themselves open to having clandestine reasons for non-disclosure, and that’s not very good when there have been so many stories in respect of Financial Fair Play issues over the past season.

"If you’re in a select few with just Bolton Wanderers for company, given the troubles at that club, I think that is concerning.

"If you take a further look into the lower leagues, we’re then going into the likes of Bury and so on, again clubs which have had significant financial problems. So it sends out a red flag that there are financial issues.

"Now it might prove not to be the case, but I don’t think it’s a very professional approach to have been taken by the club."

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Bolton, who have recently been placed into administration, Bury and Notts County are the only other clubs yet to publish their accounts from the same year.

Despite the fact that the Wednesday accounts not yet in the public domain, University of Liverpool lecturer Maguire believes that they will have been submitted to the EFL.

"Under the P&S rules all clubs had to submit their accounts to EFL by 1 December. Therefore, the EFL will have had them for six months and they will have been scrutinised," he said.

"It could be that they’ve got some concerns about the figures, we don’t know that. The EFL are being very cloak-and-dagger about communication with the media and with fanbases as a while and we’ll have to wait and see.

"But there’s no excuse from Sheffield Wednesday’s point of view."

The Owls’ failure to submit their details to the authorities on time leaves them open to sanctions by HMRC and Companies House.