Sheffield Wednesday: Mammadov’s French club has promotion ‘suspended’

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RC Lens - the French club owned by pending Sheffield Wednesday buyer Hafiz Mammadov - has had its promotion to Ligue Un suspended due to discrepancies in its budget for next season.

Lens have been informed by the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG)- the financial regulation body of French football - that they will not be permitted to enter the top flight due to ‘insufficient financial guarantees.’

The problem appears to revolve around a figure of ten million euros (around £7.99m) which has not been transferred into the club’s accounts from major shareholder Mammadov in Arzerbaijan.

Club president Gervais Martel immediately announced an appeal against the decision and insists he is confident the suspension will be lifted.

Martel insists the issue has arisen due to a public holiday in Azerbaijan which caused a delay in the cash transfer and ensured it arrived after the DNCG made their judgement.

He said: “I went to spend a few days in Baku to set this up.

“What I can say today is that it is unfortunate that this decision is made in a matter of a day, on a payment date.

“But one simple reason: yesterday, June 26, it was the feast of the Armed Azerbaijan.

“It was a holiday and sending the funds was tabled on the 25th was not effective on the 26th for this reason, and it has not arrived.

“DNCG applied it’s regulations.

“I have absolutely no worries.

“We will appeal to the DNCG and we will provide all documents at the appropriate time.

“This is unfortunate but it is not very serious.”

The club have appealed both to the French Football Federation (FFF) and the DNCG over the decision. The appeal is expected to be heard on July 3 or July 9.

Mammadov’s potential takeover of the Owls is currently undergoing the ratification process with the Football League.