EFL Legal Battle With Sheffield Wednesday Reaches Court

Championship side Sheffield Wednesday’s legal battle with the English Football League (EFL) has reached court after the case was brought forward to correspond with the end of the current season.

Last year the club was charged with misconduct by the EFL for the circumstances around the sale of their Hillsborough ground for £60 million to a separate company set up by current chairman Dejphon Chansiri.

The sale meant that the club was able to stay within the rules of the league’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules, a form of financial fair play regulations, which generally allows a Championship club to make losses of no more than £39 million in a three-year period.

Without the sale, the club would have fallen well below the required threshold. The EFL argue that Sheffield Wednesday’s valuation of the stadium was not accurate and that they would not have received the price they did from an alternative buyer.

Sheffield Wednesday has argued throughout the battle that they have proof that the EFL were informed and deny all charges.

Misconduct charges also were brought against Chairman Dejphon Chansiri, the club’s former finance director John Redgate and former CEO Katrien Meire. However, these were all dropped after Wednesday took the cases to an arbitration hearing in March.

It is believed the case was brought forward after second-bottom side Barnsley threatened to take legal action against the EFL should punishment against Wednesday, Derby or Birmingham City be handed out next season rather than this season.

If found guilty, the punishments could range from a points deductions, or in the worst-case scenario expulsion from the league. The punishment will be decided by the independent commission at a later date.

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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell.Solicitors
Mohit is a solicitor and Head of Sports Law at Mackrell.Solicitors, advising and representing clients within the sports sector by providing specialist advice on a wide range of commercial, corporate and intellectual property matters. His clients include clubs, commercial sponsors, sports agents, and individual sporting professionals.