Garry Monk: Birmingham boss focused on wins, not if Blues may get docked points

Garry Monk's Blues have won 16 and drawn 15 of his 45 matches since taking charge 11 months ago
Garry Monk's Blues have won 16 and drawn 15 of his 45 matches since taking charge 11 months ago

Birmingham City manager Garry Monk says he is only concerned about winning games, not whether the Championship club may suffer a points penalty.

Speculation has persisted in the media for some months that Blues are to be punished for breaching the EFL's profitability and sustainability rules.

But Monk told BBC Sport: "It's not even a focus for me. Football is my focus.

"You can see the determination to put points on the board. Everything else is out of my control."

Despite Tuesday's shock home defeat by struggling Bolton Wanderers, a possible reaction to the strain of almost losing a 4-0 lead at QPR on Saturday, Blues are eighth in the table.

They are still within striking distance of the play-offs, as they have been ever since an 11-game unbeaten run lifted Monk's side up there in early autumn.

And before Saturday's home game with Tony Mowbray's Blackburn Rovers, he is also proud of the fact that only once this season have they suffered back-to-back league defeats, when they lost at Norwich following a home defeat by Middlesbrough.

"There's only been one time this season when we've suffered a defeat and haven't shown a good response straightaway," he said. "That's testament to the character of the group.

"I'm sure Bolton will be delighted to have taken six points off us this season. I don't think that's very deserved, but we can't complain about that an excuse.

"We don't take losing lightly. It's for me now to work with these players. There's plenty of football to be played. Plenty of points to go for."

Where do Blues stand with the EFL?

Birmingham remain under English Football League scrutiny because of their increased wage bill in the 2017-18 season.

Over a three-year period, losses in excess of £13m per year are not accepted.

The Chinese-owned club revealed on 4 January a £37.5m loss to the end of June 2018, largely a result of their wage bill rising from £22m to almost £38m.

And there have been reports they are at least £7m over the EFL's accepted three-year limit.

But although it has been reported that Blues' situation will be dealt with this month, the EFL is yet to announce any date for any hearing.

Having been written off as contenders when they were put under a transfer embargo and allowed to make just one pre-season summer signing, defender Kristian Pedersen, Blues have continued to work closely with the EFL.

The embargo was lifted before Championship clubs were warned at a meeting in September of potential penalties - as high as 21 points - for breaches of spending regulations.

Blues had, by then, been given permission to sign five more loan players in August - but were allowed only one signing in January, Swedish forward Kerim Mrabti.