Birmingham City could face points deduction after EFL charge

Birmingham City
Birmingham are currently 18th in the Championship, six points clear of the relegation zone

Birmingham City could be facing a second points deduction in two seasons after being charged with breaching financial rules by the EFL.

The Championship side said the charge relates to a breach of a business plan imposed by the league last season.

Blues were deducted nine points in March 2019 for breaking profitability and sustainability rules.

"The club denies the charge and we await the outcome of ongoing disciplinary proceedings," City said.

Blues, who have lost five out of their last seven games under Pep Clotet, are currently 18th in the Championship.

They finished 17th last season, 12 points clear of the relegation zone, having only survived relegation on the final day in the previous two seasons.

They sold last season's top scorer Che Adams to Southampton for a reported £15m on 1 July, but then bought Croatia midfielder Ivan Sunjic for an estimated £6.3m - one of eight summer window signings.

Analysis

BBC WM 95.6's Birmingham City commentator Richard Wilford

"This new charge appears to stem from the club's reluctance to sell off key assets during the transfer window in January 2019. As part of the ongoing EFL business plan, the league wanted City to accept offers for top scorer Che Adams, among others.

"The club held firm, believing that they would receive more substantial bids for the striker in the summer. This proved to be the case as Adams ultimately moved to Southampton for a significantly higher fee.

"It is also worth recalling that Birmingham were, at the time, operating under a restriction on making new signings. So had Adams or his fellow striker Isaac Vassell been sold mid-season, there would have been no scope whatsoever for bringing in replacements. And it was not until March that the club had the nine-point penalty handed down for their admitted breach of Profit and Sustainability regulations.

"As a result the club is contesting the new charge."