Not much new in EFL statement after reports Sheffield Wednesday would avoid relegation

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The EFL have released a statement reiterating that they have no control over the timescale of Sheffield Wednesday’s misconduct charge and that the matter is in the hands of an independent disciplinary commission.

Frustrations have grown throughout at the league at the amount of time it has taken to reach a decision on the charge after the hearing ended earlier this month.

Wednesday, whose charge centres on the circumstances surrounding the sale of their Hillsborough stadium, could see themselves thrown into relegation strife in the event of guilty finding and a points deduction. The Owls sit eight points clear of the drop zone with just one match remaining.

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Several clubs across the division are affected by both Wednesday’s case and that of Wigan Athletic, who were effectively deducted 12 points when they went into administration at the turn of the month. As suspected, the statement clarifies that the Latics’ deduction will be enacted after their final game against Fulham but that it is subject to appeal.

Sheffield Wednesday await the verdict of their disciplinary hearing.Sheffield Wednesday await the verdict of their disciplinary hearing.
Sheffield Wednesday await the verdict of their disciplinary hearing.

It arrives on an evening that saw reports in the national media suggest the both the Owls and Wigan would avoid relegation this season due to the length of any subsequent appeal process.

The EFL statement confirms as previously known that the clubs who finish in the bottom three positions should consider themselves relegated, but that those relegation places are subject to change in lieu of any disciplinary findings.

It reads: “We recognise the desire amongst stakeholders, not least from our own members, but also their respective supporters and representatives of the media, for clarity on the current position.

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“At the point a Club is charged with misconduct, it is referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission and from that point onwards, the format and timing of the proceedings are controlled by that of the Independent Commission. Our stated position and the policy agreed with our Clubs is that we do not pass any comment on these individual matters, other than to confirm the charges at the outset and the subsequent outcomes.

“The EFL is committed to announcing any final outcome promptly following notification of the decision by the relevant Independent Disciplinary Commission, giving consideration to the issues raised above and in accordance with its regulations.

“Independent Disciplinary Commissions are well aware of the challenges for any Club that is subject to proceedings, and the need for clarity for financial and operational planning purposes, particularly ahead of the summer transfer window opening later this month. In addition, there is also the consequential impact to consider on how any decisions may affect other Clubs within a division who require the same courtesy to plan with as much certainty as is practically possible.”

The statement goes on to stress the ‘operational pressures’ on the EFL and says “the primary objective of any Independent Disciplinary Commission is to deal with cases expeditiously and fairly.”


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