Fans were left puzzled and outraged to know that Wigan and Macclesfield got their points deductions for the 2019/20 season, but it was different for the Owls, who keep their place in the second tier.
Wednesday could have potentially got relegated down to League One this season, with the EFL reportedly pushing for the club to have their 12 point deduction handed to them during the 2019-20 campaign after they went £18m above the Financial Fair Play limit over a three-year period.
If this came into affect, they would have finished in the bottom three and therefore relegated to the third tier for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
However, an independent disciplinary commission in fact suspended the punishment until next season because the EFL pursued the WRONG case first and took too long to bring charges against the club officials for their role in owner Dejphon Chansiri buying the club’s stadium.
The case ended up being dismissed, to which the governing body was rushed to bring the FFP charges against the club, but it was too late for them to deal with it.
The IDC’s report, which is expected to be released on Monday, indicates inconsistencies in the EFL’s punishments. The commission deemed that the punishment was given out so late that it would’ve been unfair for the Owls to be docked points during the season just finished.
Garry Monk’s side will begin the upcoming season with the 12-point deduction, although they can appeal that decision.
The decision not to send the Owls down this season has obviously angered Charlton Athletic, who were dropped down to League One, despite the EFL initially ‘wanted to relegate Sheffield Wednesday’.
The Football League’s statement on the deduction read: “An independent Disciplinary Commission, appointed under EFL Regulations, has ruled that Sheffield Wednesday will receive a 12 point deduction for breaching the League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules for the three season reporting period ending with Season 2017/18.
“The sporting sanction will take effect in season 2020/21.
“The Club was charged in November 2019 and referred to an independent Disciplinary Commission, which conducted a full hearing at the end of June 2020, before finding the Club guilty based on the fact that the Club should not have included profits from the sale of Hillsborough Stadium in the Club’s financial statements for the period ending July 2018.
“The Club was found not guilty of a further charge of breaching its duty of utmost good faith to the EFL by deliberately concealing information from the League in respect of filings made in respect of the Profitability and Sustainability Rules.
Sheffield Wednesday said in a statement via their website: Sheffield Wednesday acknowledges the decision of the independent disciplinary commission announced today.
The club is extremely disappointed that the commission has imposed a 12-point deduction to be applied next season and awaits the written reasons for this decision.
The club welcomes the decision that the commission cleared Sheffield Wednesday of the charge of acting in bad faith in its dealings with the EFL.
Further, the commission decided not to apply a 12-point deduction this season, thereby imposing relegation.
The club will await the written reasons for the sanction and upon receipt will digest and consider the full detail with its legal advisers before making any further comment.
– 12 points applied to 2020/21 season.
– Club found not guilty of an aggraved breach which would’ve seen a deduction of 21 points.
– Club have 14 days to appeal and will await written reasoning.
– Found guilty due to the date of Hillsborough sale.
A huge number of supporters on social media thought that the EFL have ‘bottled it again and allowed a big club to avoid proper punishment’.
Many also felt angry that the points deduction wasn’t applied to the 2019/20 Championship league table.
Had the Owls received it for the campaign just gone, they would have fell from 16th and 56 points down to the bottom of the standings with 44 points, one behind Hull, and Charlton would have got a reprieve.
WIGAN ATHLETIC TIMELINE:
• 4 June: A takeover of Wigan Athletic by Next Leader Fund is completed. The limited partnership is headed by Hong Kong businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay. Au Yeung says he is “excited to join the Wigan Athletic family” and looks forward to supporting the club “in what is going to be an initially challenging period”.
• 1 July: The Latics enter administration, becoming the first English professional club to do so since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the EFL say the club are to be deducted 12 points. The sanction is to be applied to 2019-20’s league table if Wigan finish outside the bottom three after their regulation 46 league games.
7 July: Administrator Gerald Krasner says the club have appealed against their 12-point deduction.
14 July: Wigan beat Hull 8-0, moving 12 points clear of the drop zone in the table, prior to any points deduction, boosting their survival hopes.
18 July: Paul Cook’s side concede a stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw away at relegation rivals Charlton, in the penultimate game of the campaign, damaging their chances of escaping the drop.
• 22 July: The Latics draw 1-1 with Fulham on the final day of the Championship season and the result is not enough to prevent them from dropping in to the relegation zone at full-time when their 12-point penalty is applied. They slip from 13th to 23rd, two points from safety.
• 1 August: Manager Cook resigns from his position “with a heavy heart”.
• 4 August: Wigan’s relegation is confirmed after their appeal against their 12-point deduction is dismissed.
MACCLESFIELD TOWN TIMELINE:
• December 2019: A 10-point deduction is imposed, with four suspended, for non-payment of salaries and failing to fulfil a fixture against Crewe. In March, this was reduced to seven points with three suspended after Macclesfield appealed. It meant the club were deducted four points with immediate effect.
• April 2020: Macclesfield put players and staff on government furlough scheme because of coronavirus.
• May 2020: A seven point deduction follows for failing to play a match against Plymouth and non-payment of wages, with the suspended three points from the first case being applied. That took the total deduction for the season to 11 points. A further two-point deduction was suspended.
• 9 June 2020: Players accuse the EFL of “trying their best to throw Macclesfield out of the league”.
• 19 June 2020: The two-point deduction is activated for a third breach – taking the season’s total deduction to 13 points, plus a further four-point suspended deduction.
• 4 August 2020: Majority shareholder Amar Alkadhi steps down as Macclesfeld chairman and plans to sell his stake in the club.
• 11 August 2020: The suspended four-point penalty is enforced immediately following the EFL’s successful appeal and Macclesfield are relegated.
Fans have reacted after finding out that the EFL ‘wanted to relegate Sheffield Wednesday…
So we should’ve been punished in 18/19 but because a deduction then wouldn’t have relegated us they decided to delay the punishment? That is shocking!? Surely #swfc have grounds to appeal here??— Duchess (@PistolPete1867) August 16, 2020
Definitely something you should be looking into when the times right. More mis-management from the EFL. It’s completely immoral to manipulate a situation for over a year just to prove a point. The protraction has caused damage to other clubs too @JimWhite @Sjopinion10 @talkSPORT
— Glyn Morgan (@GTM992) August 16, 2020
Because they know they’ve fucked up our case too. Mel will have them destroyed.
— Adam (@AdKempy) August 16, 2020
Leeds fans lecturing us on financial irregularities. ???♂️
— Michael Cunningham (@Cunners_) August 16, 2020
Yeah hence the points deduction next season.
— Simoo (@VFR65825176) August 16, 2020
So the EFL have tried to play god and it’s backfired, we all agree Wednesday have done wrong but when they should have got the deduction in 18/19 it wouldn’t have made a difference they hang on then do it too late. What a joke, EFL get what they deserve ?
— alex merrill (@alexmerrill1) August 16, 2020
Another case of @EFL not being fit and proper competition organisers. Do agree though that the deduction should have been given for next season due to its timing. Had they done it properly 18/19 season they wouldn’t have gone down and would have moved on by now funny old game
— Lancsiron (@LancsIron) August 16, 2020
@EFL not fit for purpose. Trying to be vindictive & backfiring. Time for premier league 2 & let EFL rot.
— Marro (@MarrisonMarro) August 16, 2020
— lee (@montyoxymoron) August 16, 2020
Imagine my shock that the EFL screwed this up!
— Monkey Head (@monkeyhead78) August 16, 2020
Crazy to read that EFL ‘wanted to relegate Sheffield Wednesday’ article, can so understand the anger that the Owls got their deducted for next season instead of the one just gone. They make up the rules as they go along!! ??
— Jason Lee ?? (@ForeverAYellow) August 16, 2020