10 Championship clubs have been placed under a transfer embargo at the same time last month, with statements being issued following reports.
The Daily Mail claims almost half of the league was subject to a registration ban in what the newspaper describes as a “bombshell discovery”.
This has led to claims the integrity of the competition has been seriously undermined and there are now big fears that some second-tier clubs are facing ‘financial Armageddon’. Coventry were the first EFL club on Tuesday morning to confirm the news.
The Government, due to the Coronavirus crisis, allowed companies to extend the deadline to file company accounts by three months and Coventry City chose to take up this option.
Unfortunately the EFL has decided not to replicate this extension within their own rules, which surprises us as they have amended a number of other rules due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Coventry City Chief Executive Dave Boddy said: “It’s disappointing that the EFL have chosen to do this.
“The Government has allowed companies to extend the deadline to file accounts and we chose to do this, extending from the end of February to the end of May.
“It’s ridiculous that the EFL’s regulations on this do not replicate this approach that the Government has taken, especially when they have amended other rules of their during the pandemic.
”The EFL’s imposition of this does not have any effect on us, but it is disappointing nonetheless that they have taken this approach to take action against Clubs who are simply doing what the Government is allowing us to do.”
Sportsmail says other clubs in question were Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Luton Town, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City.
LUTON TOWN STATEMENT:
In response to an article published by a newspaper this morning, Luton Town Football Club has issued the following response:
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.
We would like to reassure all of our supporters that this situation will not affect any of the Club’s plans for the summer transfer window, which does not open until the end of the current season, and makes no difference to the day-to-day running of the Club currently.
There is certainly no ‘financial Armageddon’, as the article’s headline sensationally claims, at Kenilworth Road.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
The report says that it is understood that Huddersfield have now been removed from the list, while Stoke are expected to follow soon, with both clubs being hit with the penalty thanks to administrative – rather than financial – issues.
However, the shocking number of clubs has illustrated the strain they’re under, due in some cases to overspending, says the report, and now fans are making their feelings known, slamming the incompetence of the EFL.
We’ve seen the Covid pandemic removing matchday revenue, but also have a grave impact and there are concern 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.”
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, and now the reports claims some clubs are taking the penalty in the hope that they will be in a position to trade their way out of embargo when it reopens.
The official also 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.
Fans reacted as 10 Championship clubs are placed under a transfer embargo…
Government: You don’t need to file your accounts, we will give all businesses an extension to the legal deadline. We understand the pandemic and the impact it’s had.
— Woody (@PedroGomez9) April 6, 2021
— Nathan Watts (@nwatts_87) April 6, 2021
@AllanSmith80: It had been at least a week since the EFL did something stupid, good to see they’re back on top of their game
@ChristoffBaker: Even more incompetence from the @EFL this is a bit embarrassing isnt it. 10 clubs youve let down! Who havnt done anything except use the support the government has offered.
@glenw1411: Another example of the EFL not being fit for purpose.
@sensescoventry: EFL doing EFL things. Let’s not let this detract from a great win. Account will be filed and we’ll be grand! #pusb
@ryan_watts_97: Oh fuck.
@jamiepwns: EFL doing EFL things and screwing clubs whenever they get the chance
@NewportHatter: So the government legally extends the deadline for Tax Returns, but the EFL goes “screw that, have a transfer embargo”. How are these clowns allowed to run football.
@dilksymatey: So 10 Championship clubs have been put under a transfer embargo. It’s after the Government extended the filing deadline for club accounts by 3 months. BUT… the EFL didn’t get that memo, so clubs which haven’t filed yet have got an embargo. You don’t help yourselves @EFL 🤦♂️
@JordanBohemia: Could only dream of our club being this transparent with its fans. Fairplay to Cov. We have some serious BTEC administration in charge at #bcfc. Life’s biggest mystery will be how these passed the fit and proper checks to own a football club. Unbelievable.
@connor_mh: The EFL are really stupid aren’t they 😂
@SideSammy: Seems a fair explanation, still leaves some key questions:
1) Were we aware the rules wouldn’t be changed?
2) Why hasn’t this been an issue of the majority of other clubs?
3) What’s stopping us filing them right away?
4) How will this affect our summer business?
@sjdhatters: This is embarrassing. National League dishing out fines last week. @EFL this week. Not fit for purpose
@SteveLTFC17: The EFL up to their usual tricks again then. Assume this is the reason we’re on the embargo list. Pathetic from the EFL
Reaction continued to the report that 10 Championship clubs were placed under a transfer embargo…
@JamieGolby: I know @EFL let’s put half the league under embargo,just to cheer everyone up a bit! 😆
@neilb222: Absolute joke @EFL
@ltfckieren: So if this is what’s happened to us, we’ve been let down again by shitty management from the @EFL??? Imagine my shock
@smn171006: EFL shambles strikes again. Buffoons. Not fit for purpose
@fckin_ranga: The EFL are fucking useless
@MaximTrickett: Swear I could run the EFL by myself and it wouldn’t be chaotic and stupid enough to rival how it is right now. Bad enough that FFP only seems to affect teams in the bottom half of the championship and that wage caps are only for the weakest clubs in LG 1 or below. Absolute joke.
@jamie_castle96: Another mess at the @EFL. A Co. House extension being widely used by a lot of Ltd Cos in any sector, but resulting in an embargo for those football clubs who simply need more time. Bit of a joke really.
@MegsAreBetter: So the government – currently dealing with a global pandemic – probably took about 4 seconds to understand the necessity in delaying submission of football club accounts. The @EFL, whilst thinking about the colour of sock tape, couldn’t be arsed to help their clubs. #shock
Government: You don’t need to file your accounts, we will give all businesses an extension to the legal deadline. We understand the pandemic and the impact it’s had.#bcfc
— iamjbohemia (@JordanBohemia) April 6, 2021