Birmingham City: EFL wins appeal but Blues avoid further points penalty

Birmingham City
Birmingham City are 16th in the Championship table

The English Football League has won its appeal against an independent disciplinary commission's decision to clear Birmingham City of a misconduct charge, reports BBC Radio WM.

However, the Championship club will not be deducted any points.

Blues were originally cleared on 6 March and a new commission was appointed to hear the EFL's appeal.

The charge was brought against the club in relation to an alleged breach of an agreed business plan.

That was implemented after Blues were deducted nine points last season for breaching the EFL's profitability and sustainability rules.

Blues' nine-point penalty in March 2019 came after incurring losses of nearly £48.8m between 2015 and 2018 - almost £10m more than the accepted adjusted losses of £39m over a three-year period under EFL rules.

After initially being cleared of the second charge in March, Birmingham said they had been working "closely and amicably" with the EFL on the matter since May last year.

Birmingham will resume league action on 20 June against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns lying 16th in the Championship table - eight points above the relegation zone with nine games remaining.

Analysis

Richard Wilford, BBC Radio WM

Birmingham City will hope that this latest ruling finally draws a line under a difficult period for the club.

The St Andrew's board had strongly contested the charge of breaching the business plan imposed by the EFL.

It is worth recalling that the club pleaded guilty to last year's charges, taking a nine-point penalty. They were then restricted to five signings for the season, all of whom had to be free transfers or loans, with limited salaries.

Needing to raise further revenue to satisfy the EFL's business plan, they were understandably reluctant to sell key assets such as strikers Che Adams and Isaac Vassell for bargain prices in the January 2019 transfer window, especially with no scope to recruit replacements. Both commanded higher fees when sold in the summer window.

Birmingham have paid the penalty for overspending that was largely concentrated on the summer of 2017. After taking on board the lessons from that period of time, they will now have to show that they can continue to live and compete within their means.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC