FFP Punishment Plan

According to The Times newspaper today, the EFL have rolled out their Financial Fair Play (FFP) punishment plan to Championship clubs in a meeting earlier today.

With Aston Villa still trying to navigate the choppy the waters of FFP, the news that future rule-breakers could face a maximum 21-point fine, will no doubt give them further food for thought.

It was reported earlier in the season that eight Championship clubs were currently in danger of breaching FFP.

With the uncertainty that FFP throws up in terms of potential punishments, the EFL have sought to offer up some new sanctioning guidelines to Championship clubs.

They are seeking to put in place a formula for dealing with rule breakers, with a tariff of 12 points that can be increased by a further nine points if it is deemed to be a ‘aggravated breach’.

Since they have taken over the club, Villa’s new majority owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have sought council with the EFL to smooth the waters, obviously acting as new owners who want to stir their club out of the predicament they inherited.

The Times writes of the new guidelines:

Under its new guidelines the EFL will demand that clubs who breach the profit and sustainability rules limiting losses to £39 million over a three-year period will be docked 12 points, but with reductions in the punishment available depending on the extent of the breach. If the breach is less than £2 million the 12-point tariff would be reduced to three, for example, with the punishment increasing on a sliding scale to the point where no deduction is applied if the breach is greater than £15 million.

After several breaches in recent years and the increasing gambles of club owners (mentioning no names) seeking the TV rights money of the Premier League, the EFL decided they needed both clarity and a more defined deterrent.

Previously teams have been ordered to pay cash settlements, with Queens Park Rangers agreeing to a £42 million punishment and an embargo for next January’s transfer window as a result of overspending in the 2013-14 season. Bournemouth and Leicester have also previously settled smaller cash fines for breaching spending regulations.

The first team that look likely to fall foul of the new rules, are likely to be Birmingham City who have been summoned to appear before an independent disciplinary commission for recording a loss of approximately £46 million in the period from 2015-16 to 2017-18, an aggregate breach of £7 million, which under the new formula would lead to them losing six points this season.

It could get worse for the Blues though as they could potentially be found of triggering an “aggravated breach” as last month despite being under a transfer embargo, they still signed Kristian Pedersen. An action that the EFL publicly voiced its displeasure about in a statement.

If found guilty, Garry Monk’s side, who have failed to win so far this season, could potentially face a 15 point deduction and a further fine (as always, no matter how bad it gets at the Villa, the Blues always find a way to trump us in the misery stakes).

While it seems Villa themselves would be safe from any “aggravated breach”, it’s recommended that Bruce starts turning draws into wins pronto, just in case we need a points buffer to sacrifice to the FFP gods and still get promoted.

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