EXCLUSIVE BY MIKE KEEGAN: Sportsmail can reveal that almost half of the league was subject to a registration ban which has led to claims the integrity of the competition has been undermined.
Tell Boro fans something which is a surprise...because this news isnt!
Some clubs in particular have laughed in the faces of football authorities and fans have thrown brick bats at honest Chairman - like Steve Gibson, for pointing out the unfairness in implementing the rules.
Maybe I missed it, but this amounts to getting on for half the Championship [in one month] - who else is next?
Championship facing 'financial armageddon' after TEN clubs were placed under a transfer embargo last month... with the Covid-19 pandemic set to impact the sales of players to Premier League teams this summer
- Ten Championship clubs have been placed under a transfer embargo
- Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City are three of the teams in question
- Some clubs are believed to be taking the penalty early ahead of the summer
- An unnamed official warned that the pandemic will impact sales of players
Published: 22:31, 5 April 2021 | Updated: 12:23, 6 April 2021
Ten Championship clubs were placed under transfer embargo at the same time — with concerns growing that some second-tier outfits are facing ‘financial Armageddon’.
Sportsmail can reveal that late last month, almost half of the league was subject to a registration ban in a bombshell discovery which has led to claims the integrity of the competition has been seriously undermined.
Clubs have clashed with the English Football League on the grounds of timing, after Government guidelines stipulated that it is now possible for companies, including football clubs, to extend the deadline with which to file company accounts by three months.
It has emerged that the EFL has opted not to mirror this extension period, leaving a host of clubs on a collision course with the football body regarding late submission of their respective accounts.
The clubs in question were Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City, Coventry City, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Luton Town, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City.
Of those, it is understood that Huddersfield have now come off the list, while Stoke are expected soon to follow suit, with both clubs being hit with the penalty thanks to administrative — rather than financial — issues.
However, the shocking size of the group has illustrated the strain clubs are under, thanks in some cases to overspending.
On Tuesday Coventry issued a statement confirming the transfer embargo, while explaining they had take a Government option to file company accounts with a three month delay.
The club outlined that the 'purely administrative embargo' would then be lifted thereafter, and summer plans would not be impacted.
Luton Town, likewise, struck a similar tone with an official statement of their own.
The club said: 'Our first embargo for a decade is simply an anomaly brought about by an unsynchronised timing of financial reports due to the pandemic.
'The club’s 2019/20 accounts, whilst finalised, have yet to be signed off by our auditors which will be done well before the statutory deadline.
Given the exceptionally difficult operating environment caused by the pandemic the requirement to continue to play “behind closed doors”, financial forecasts have rightly been scrutinised much more thoroughly and Companies House provided an extension of the statutory filing deadline to June to create sufficient time to complete this additional work accurately.
'Indeed the club will publish unqualified accounts before the end of April.
'However, EFL rules couldn't be adjusted to meet the Companies House extension and require that signed accounts still needed to be submitted in March, which the club was unable to achieve.
'The matter will be resolved as our auditors conclude the report in the next couple of weeks.'
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has removed matchday revenue, has also had a grave impact and there are fears that many in the group will be unable to strengthen their squads for next season.
The EFL declined to comment. A spokesperson said: ‘The league does not confirm the names of clubs placed under registration embargo.’
However, one unnamed official, at a club not on the list, said: ‘This shows you what we are up against.
‘When you have almost half the league under embargo it questions the integrity of the whole competition.
'This isn’t just one or two. Covid has had an impact but you have a lot of clubs spending money they simply don’t have. Financial Armageddon is coming.’
The transfer window does not reopen until the summer. Some believe clubs are taking the penalty now hoping that they will be in a position to trade their way out of embargo when it reopens.
But the official warned that the impact of the pandemic means that selling players to the top flight will be difficult, saying: ‘The Premier League have gone on record to say that Covid will cost £2 billion this season.
‘In the January window, with a couple of exceptions, it was mainly loans. While top players may move, Championship clubs will do well to get decent money for the players they’re already looking at selling.’
Clubs can be forbidden from signing players for a wide range of financial offences.
All of those clubs on the list were approached for comment. No responses were forthcoming.