Call for the EFL to be positive
All the clues are that the punishment for infringing the profitability and sustainability rules will be decided in February. This has not been publicly announced and it’s a secret who the disciplinary panel are. However, let’s understand that the outcome of the hearing is likely to be a compromise between a hard line / maximum sanction that the English Football League (EFL) are calling for and no fine or points deduction that we are sure the BCFC board and owners are asking for.
The starting point is that rules have been broken and so our club should be punished. However this simplistic view and the letter below written to EFL by one of our members, David Wade, we think summarizes why the outcome of the hearing should not include a points deduction.
We are grateful to David for his permission to publish his letter. Blues Trust supports this approach and calls on the EFL to:
- be positive and agree an outcome that helps our great club move forward.
- not dish out punishments that hinder long term sustainability and do not recognise the recent and genuine efforts at Birmingham City to work within the rules while others still do not.
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Everything in the letter is true … But how can people from rival Championship clubs not have vested interests in shafting another club be impartial? be it because they will gain at our expense or that they have a dislike for us or maybe just small man syndrome where power makes them think they are really tall? Whatever transpires it is not fit for purpose and is certainly not the same outcome for all clubs. Others are blatant in flouting the rules but are more canny in how they do so.Our owners were not canny which is why we are up shit creek at the mercy of small men.
I hope the ELF hearing take in to account that if they give blues a fine or and a points deduction that every other club that brakes the rules is treated at least the same, you can’t have one rule for one club and another rule for another, the points deduction for Leeds was totally for a separate reason.
The club has been punished enough with the manager not being able to bring any players in & having to operate with such a small squad.
You can’t argue with the sentiment of the letter and i would like to add a couple of points for further consideration.
If any company is going to be measured for its “Profit & Sustainability” you have to look at the value of its assets.
Historically all football clubs have made money or even survived by buying players cheap and selling them for a profit. The EFL chose to limit the number of players BCFC were allowed to trade to 5 for the season.
We have all seen the improvement of Che Adams under Garry Monk, a £2m player from Sheff Utd is now apparently worth a minimum of £12m and possibly £15m by the end of the season. If Garry had been allowed to buy 3 or 4 more players this season other than loan player on limited wages and improved them along the same levels, then who knows we may have earned another £20M or £30m profit.
The EFL by their own actions have made BCFC less profitable, by definition this is a punishment!
The restriction should have been, “sell as many players as you wish but only a percentage of the sale can be used to fund a replacement”.
Taking the assets into account a possible extra £30m or more would surely make BCFC a “sustainable” business. Ironically the EFL’s punishment has made us less profitable by its own actions.
Any additional punishment would only compound the damage already done by the EFL and I for one would like BCFC to challenge any additional punishment as unfair and a restriction of trade through the courts.
I’m afraid the points covered in the letter provide no real mitigation of the basic facts here – our owners’ should have made sure they complied. They didn’t – all else is noise & excuses.
FFP is far from perfect but it’s intent – to stop financial doping and protect clubs from reckless owners spending way beyond a club’s means e.g. signing Serbian strikers on 5 year deals at £65k a week – is laudable.
The situation at Villa is also irrelevant. They have significantly more income than us (not just from the grossly unfair parachute payments) and are almost certainly FFP compliant currently – see @priceoffootball on Twitter. They will, however be in big trouble if they don’t go up. Sorry, when!
So I’m of the view we take the hit. We’re not going up or down and the embargo and EFL business plan have IMO been very positive for us – they have forced us to put our affairs in better order on and off the pitch.
If the EFL let us off with a gentle slap on the wrist than FFP is dead, and that’s to nobody’s long term advantage.