Sheffield Wednesday: Points deduction for breaking spending rules reduced from 12 to six

Sheffield Wednesday have struggled for form this term - taking just 11 points from a possible 30 in the league
Sheffield Wednesday have struggled for form this term - taking just 11 points from a possible 30 in the league

Sheffield Wednesday's 12-point deduction for breaching spending rules has been reduced to six points.

The club were said to have included the sale of their Hillsborough stadium in their 2017-18 accounts despite the ground being sold a year later.

The decision means that the Owls rise to 23rd in the Championship and now have five points instead of minus one.

The club's argument to remove the penalty entirely was rejected, the English Football League said.

"The independent panel has today rejected the club's appeal related to matters surrounding the stadium sale and on consideration of the sanction; they did not agree with the club's assertion that a points deduction should not have been imposed," an EFL statement stated.

"However, they did opt to reduce the sporting punishment from 12 points to six, which will be effective immediately."

Despite July's punishment, the club were cleared at the time of "breaching its duty of utmost good faith to the EFL by deliberately concealing information".

There had been controversy surrounding the punishment at the time, as news of the 12-point penalty came nine days after the extended 2019-20 regular season finished, and eight months and 17 days after initially being charged with misconduct.

The sanction was applied this season and not during the 2019-20 campaign when a 12-point deduction would have relegated Garry Monk's side by ensuring they finished bottom.

Wednesday have achieved mixed results since the start of the current season and, prior to the points deduction being halved, had yet to reach parity having taken just 11 points from their first 10 league games of the season.

The club sold its Hillsborough home to owner Dejphon Chansiri for £60m and by including it in the accounts for the 2017-18 financial year, they posted a £2.5m pre-tax profit.

Without doing so, they would have reported a pre-tax loss of £35.4m, following on from deficits of £9.8m and £20.8m in the previous two seasons.

Under the English Football League's profitability and sustainability rules - which were previously known as Financial Fair Play - Championship clubs are only allowed to lose £39m over a three-year period.

Wednesday were the first club to be punished for including the sale of their ground in their accounts, but Derby County, Aston Villa and Reading have also been scrutinised for similar transactions in the past.

The Owls' charge, however, related specifically to "how and when" the sale of Hillsborough took place rather than the sale of the stadium itself.

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