Sheffield Wednesday set to press ahead with counter-claim against the EFL over charge relating to sale of Hillsborough

Sheffield Wednesday are set to press ahead with their counter claim against the English Football League in their ongoing dispute over the sale of Hillsborough to chairman Dejphon Chansiri.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 11:17 am
Updated Friday, 27th December 2019, 3:39 pm

The Championship club have today issued a statement confirming that an arbitration hearing will take place to determine the legality of the EFL's charge.

The governing body charged the Owls, owner Chansiri, finance director John Redgate and former chief executive Katrien Meire with misconduct last month over the deal which saw Hillsborough sold to one of Chansiri's companies, and leased back. Their charges relate to "how and when" the ground was sold and its inclusion in Wednesday's 2017/18 accounts.

The statement read: "The Club is proceeding with its arbitration claim against the EFL that the charges issued by the EFL are unlawful and the process of appointing the arbitrators is currently underway.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri

"No step will be taken in the disciplinary case, if at all, until the arbitration is resolved. The Club can confirm that it is not under embargo. No further comment will be made at this stage."

Should the Owls be successful with their arbitration claim, it could be that the EFL's charge against them is dropped.

But if Wednesday lost their claim, it is understood the matter would then considered at an independent disciplinary commission. If Wednesday are found guilty by the commission, they could face "any sanction" under EFL regulation 92.2, including a possible points deduction or financial penalty.

The EFL insist they had sufficient evidence to charge the Owls, but Wednesday have vowed to fight the allegations, claiming the governing body refused "to agree a sensible procedure" to resolve the row.

The sale of Hillsborough ensured the Owls avoided falling foul of Profitability and Sustainability regulations. P&S rules state clubs are only allowed to record losses of up to £39m over a three-year period.

Wednesday, who have denied all allegations put forward by the EFL, sold Hillsborough for about £60m, helping them record a pre-tax profit of £2.5m in 2017/18.

Without the sale, the Owls would have posted a pre-tax loss of £35.4m and breached P&S rules.