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Mr Popodopolous

The Championship FFP Thread (Merged)

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31 minutes ago, Coppello said:

I'd agree that the Premier League is significantly higher and their governance team is quite strong. The only slight caveat is that each club has a lot of FFP headroom in the Premier League so there hasn't been any breaches. I'd be interested to see what happens if there was a breach but I would imagine the Premier League would conduct their duties appropriately. 

Thanks.

Had a funny feeling their Governance would be quite a bit better- think we all had it, but yeah £35m x 3 (unsure if that £35m includes the allowable costs as with others or if it's £35m + allowables), but either way it strikes me as very difficult to fail when we factor in the limit, the TV money, the Revenue Streams- fact that PL to PL transfers seem quite high when there are sales between PL sides.

I think, though I'm no expert, that the only club at risk of breach in the PL might be Aston Villa in terms of a carry over from Championship, aligned...I wonder if e.g. the EFL were not happy with the ground sale and requested a soft embargo this January say, as a precursor to an investigation, whether the PL might enforce. Morally they should I think, but that's merely a personal view.

I also think that had the EFL had a similar standard of Governance to the PL, an agreement to enforce between the two divisions might be watertight and binding...properly harmonised, contractually speaking. I'm assuming it isn't as watertight as it could be and I largely blame Shaun Harvey but I hope I'm wrong!

On an FFP note at this level,Birmingham's accounts are at CH...says available in 5 days so will be interesting to see.

I do note however given I'm looking through it now, that they have Profitability and Sustainability and seemingly the Projected Accounts- T, T-1 and T-2...and the fair value thing for RPTs.

The fact that the Aston Villa issue has not yet quietly gone away and keeps reappearing in the media via reasonably reliable sources- Matt Lawton, Matt Hughes and John Percy- does make me wonder...because between them they are 3 of the foremost journalists for FFP related news, or have been in recent times.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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On 02/01/2020 at 11:53, Mr Popodopolous said:

Not City or even Championship related but I see that Chelsea- Chelsea- one of the top clubs in England and CL regulars- lost nearly £100m last season, according to Reports!!

😱

Well according to one report I read, Tammy wants them to up his wages to match Hudson-Odoi’s 128k a week! That’s 19 year old Callum Hudson-Odoi! If true it’s obscene...

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Aston Villa fans some of them on Villatalk seem to believe that it resets on promotion.

I am quite sure that this is NOT the case. They should read E.60.

Quote

E.60. The sum set out in Rule E.59 shall be reduced by £22m for each Season covered by T-1
and T-2 in which the Club was in membership of The Football League.

Looks like potentially harmonised regs to me...shame a soft embargo cannot be enforced this January as part of a holding pattern, to stabilise and prevent further breaches...or can it?

I still can't help but feel that Shaun Harvey wouldn't have cut the best deal on it.

One thing I will say, is that the PL HandBook seems to set it out in a more user friendly and is less lengthy and wordy, possibly unnecessarily wordy, than the EFL site in this area! About FFP (or to give it the most updated name, P&S).

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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21 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Aston Villa fans some of them on Villatalk seem to believe that it resets on promotion.

I am quite sure that this is NOT the case. They should read E.60.

Looks like potentially harmonised regs to me...shame a soft embargo cannot be enforced this January as part of a holding pattern, to stabilise and prevent further breaches...or can it?

I still can't help but feel that Shaun Harvey wouldn't have cut the best deal on it.

One thing I will say, is that the PL HandBook seems to set it out in a more user friendly and is less lengthy and wordy, possibly unnecessarily wordy, than the EFL site in this area! About FFP (or to give it the most updated name, P&S).

Yes, it’s £35m for a Prem season, £13m for a Champ season.  So if they come straight back down it will be £61m (35+13+13) plus the further issue that they only get 2 years PPs. 

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2 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Yes, it’s £35m for a Prem season, £13m for a Champ season.  So if they come straight back down it will be £61m (35+13+13) plus the further issue that they only get 2 years PPs. 

I was thinking more of a points deduction this season for failing in the 3 years to May 2020...wouldn't that be great if Projected Accounts submitted in March, prior 2, problem with the ground valuation and then 10-20 points off- bang- down they do!

That Impairment of 2016 of nearly 50% on relegation- and we all know it's an accounting trick- but in terms of actual justification, set against standards, tests etc, well it's never been properly explained or justified IMO...

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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1 minute ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I was thinking more of a points deduction this season for failing in the 3 years to May 2020...wouldn't that be great if Projected Accounts submitted in March, prior 2, problem with the ground valuation and then 10-20 points off- bang- down they do!

(Kevin Keegan voice) - I’d love it

Seriously though, they may have spent £100m, but it will be over several years amortisation, so I think the issues will be next season and beyond, not this one....unfortunately 

Edited by Davefevs
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Their tv income will make it difficult to make a big enough loss....unless as you say the ground valuation is significantly out.

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I read on Off The Pitch when I had a free trial that they were forecast to lose money this year...somewhere between £15-20m I believe.

Well, a mix of the TV money and the higher loss limit- if it was £13m x 3 and allowables for newly promoted clubs then it would get very interesting, with or without the ground valuation.

Or if they spend big in January without adequate sales, maybe that would tip them over the edge, regardless of the ground...not the 10-15, maybe 20 pts we all hope for but a deduction that could be the difference in a tight relegation battle with a big influx of new players in the summer and some more in January. 

:fingerscrossed:🤞

My other interesting question- and I really hope the PL and EFL are all over this- is given that it was sold to a company that was already within the Group to begin with unlike some of the others, is that could it cancel out at the Group level meaning a net benefit of zero? Howebve

The only caveat is that the owners took direct control of NSWE Stadium Ltd but it was already within the group from 2017- unlike the "companies" that purchased Hillsborough or Pride Park, but I'd argue that can be a debating point between Aston Villa and the PL/EFL at least- in terms of whether it should even count at all.

One of those areas in which even if it's aok accounting wise, might be a serious piss-take out of FFP and therefore something to be pulled up on.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I read on Off The Pitch when I had a free trial that they were forecast to lose money this year...somewhere between £15-20m I believe.

Well, a mix of the TV money and the higher loss limit- if it was £13m x 3 and allowables for newly promoted clubs then it would get very interesting, with or without the ground valuation.

Or if they spend big in January without adequate sales, maybe that would tip them over the edge, regardless of the ground...not the 10-15, maybe 20 pts we all hope for but a deduction that could be the difference in a tight relegation battle with a big influx of new players in the summer and some more in January. 

:fingerscrossed:🤞

My other interesting question- and I really hope the PL and EFL are all over this- is given that it was sold to a company that was already within the Group to begin with unlike some of the others, is that could it cancel out at the Group level meaning a net benefit of zero? Howebve

The only caveat is that the owners took direct control of NSWE Stadium Ltd but it was already within the group from 2017- unlike the "companies" that purchased Hillsborough or Pride Park, but I'd argue that can be a debating point between Aston Villa and the PL/EFL at least- in terms of whether it should even count at all.

One of those areas in which even if it's aok accounting wise, might be a serious piss-take out of FFP and therefore something to be pulled up on.

I read something last week, that their plans to buy themselves out of trouble this window have been met with a realisation that if it fails they are severely shafted, and that plan has been curtailed.

Looks like a re-plan judging by £4m Randolph rumoured today.

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4 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

I read something last week, that their plans to buy themselves out of trouble this window have been met with a realisation that if it fails they are severely shafted, and that plan has been curtailed.

Looks like a re-plan judging by £4m Randolph rumoured today.

Ooh, sounds promising!

I read that they weren't necessarily planning to buy in January...that the summers work was due to be for that. I remember reading that Fulham's buying in summer 2018 was meant over 3 seasons, steadily build and gel no doubt after Season 1, maybe some similarities here?

Randolph to West Ham apparently? Or perhaps it's between the two...

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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:o

Wow. 

1 hour ago, Davefevs said:

I remember Dave, first calling the possibility back in early October that they might have failed again. Might and it's still might surely.

Because I refused to ultimately countenance the idea that they would blunder into the same mess in successive seasons..yet the HK results were less than promising!

Loss of £30m+ but was unclear whether it included Adams sale or any sale and leaseback of St Andrews to take it back down to just about level. 

Percy is one of those aforementioned reliable sources...will be interesting to see what their UK accounts say when they appear at CH which should be by end of this week at latest.

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14 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I was thinking more of a points deduction this season for failing in the 3 years to May 2020...wouldn't that be great if Projected Accounts submitted in March, prior 2, problem with the ground valuation and then 10-20 points off- bang- down they do!

That Impairment of 2016 of nearly 50% on relegation- and we all know it's an accounting trick- but in terms of actual justification, set against standards, tests etc, well it's never been properly explained or justified IMO...

What would the points deduction actually be for ?

May 2020's books wont be published until March 2021.

You want us relegated but when ? This season or next ?

20 points is a little harsh.

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Will have a proper look later but looks like Birmingham sold the ground for somewhere between £20-25m.

Profit of £17m or so in any case...Now funnily enough, ironically for a badly run club as these appear to be, that actually sounds about right to me IMO. Don't know what others think...but £20-25m for St Andrews, which is 3 miles from the centre of the 2nd city doesn't sound crazy or inflated.

They're due to be paying rent on it too, all listed in the accounts unlike some clubs *cough* Sheffield Wednesday *cough*.About £1.25m per season and some of that might be Coventry City paying rent so it may be around £1m per year x 25...so pretty much spot on in terms of rental yield to years lease etc.

The only question is, why does nothing appear on the Land Registry about it- at least last time I checked there wasn't.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

 

The only question is, why does nothing appear on the Land Registry about it- at least last time I checked there wasn't.

Because they are bloody slow.

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13 minutes ago, Drew Peacock said:

Because they are bloody slow.

All the other main stadium sale deals appeared within a month or two between sale date and appearance there...pretty sure it was less than 6 months though!

This is at least half a year- yet nothing! Sounds about right though...

Hope the EFL commission an independent valuation and if necessary, adjust accordingly. No free passes!

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2 hours ago, AnAstonVillafan said:

What would the points deduction actually be for ?

May 2020's books wont be published until March 2021.

You want us relegated but when ? This season or next ?

20 points is a little harsh.

Am only going by the letter of the rules etc- basing it purely on overspend vs mitigating vs aggravating. 

IF rumoured overspend is true then that's 12?

Increasing losses was an aggravating factor in the Birmingham case that's 3.

Knock off one for complying with soft embargo?

Okay maybe 14 or 15 then.

I'm sure there were other factors pro and anti though...this is off the top of my head though.

There were rumours though that EFL wanted to enforce a points penalty back in May, or maybe the clubs so it's all deeply unclear right now.

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55 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Am only going by the letter of the rules etc- basing it purely on overspend vs mitigating vs aggravating. 

IF rumoured overspend is true then that's 12?

Increasing losses was an aggravating factor in the Birmingham case that's 3.

Knock off one for complying with soft embargo?

Okay maybe 14 or 15 then.

I'm sure there were other factors pro and anti though...this is off the top of my head though.

There were rumours though that EFL wanted to enforce a points penalty back in May, or maybe the clubs so it's all deeply unclear right now.

All based on rumours. Rumoured overspend. Rumours of what the EFL wanted to do ?

If you want us so severely punished, you would need evidence. Not hearsay.

Everytime Aston Villa buy a player there seems to be opposition to it. 

(And I am a fan who feels we did overspend in 2015/16 and were extremely fortunate to win promotion last season to seemingly escape some of the consequences)

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That's for later though, onto Birmingham- and will look at various comparisons later.

This is another good scoop for Matt Hughes though- he called something like this back in February last year, after the closure of the January 2019 window!

I'm also interested to see if St Andrews was fair value or not- I think it actually might have been, ironically.

Worth a reminder of what Hughes wrote last Feb!

Quote

Birmingham City could face new charge over Che Adams

matt hughes, sports news correspondent

methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fbab
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Birmingham City’s decision to reject several bids for the striker Che Adams this week could lead to a second charge of committing an “aggravated breach” of the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules, which would trigger a second points deduction in as many seasons.

The Sky Bet Championship club are already facing being docked up to 15 points this season as a sanction for missing the EFL’s spending limits by £7 million over the three seasons from 2015 to 2018, with an independent disciplinary commission due to rule on the case this month. This has led to fears that the team, who are 12th in the table, 16 points off the bottom three, could be dragged into a relegation battle. Ironically, such concerns influenced their reasoning in rejecting offers from Burnley and Southampton for Adams, who has scored 15 league goals this season.

This may have been a serious miscalculation, however, as the club club need to raise considerable funds and/or make significant savings by the end of the season in order to comply with the EFL’s rules, with a failure to do so raising the prospect of a double punishment.

If it is proved that they rejected formal bids for Adams during the relevant accounting period — there have been reports of four offers of up to £12 million for the 22-year-old — the EFL may deem it to be an aggravated breach for deliberately ignoring the profit and sustainability rules, which could trigger an additional nine-point deduction, which would be applied next season.

Birmingham are contesting an aggravated breach charge for their signing last summer of the former Denmark Under-21 international Kristian Pedersen despite being under a transfer embargo.

 

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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The reminder.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/birmingham-city-could-face-new-charge-over-che-adams-xtd0dbnd8

Some quick key word searches also threw up the following from a week or 2 later:

Quote

Adams’ £22m price tag
Birmingham City were initially quoting an asking price of £22 million for the striker Che Adams in talks with several Premier League clubs last month. The highest of four offers they received for the 22-year-old former England Under-20 player was a £12 million bid from Burnley that Birmingham rejected, which could prove to have been a miscalculation.

As Notebook reported last week, the EFL could interpret the club’s decision to reject such a significant cash injection as deliberately flouting its profit and sustainability rules if they again fail to comply with the competition’s spending limits, which would constitute an “aggravated breach” and trigger a points deduction next season.

Birmingham will discover at an independent disciplinary commission this month whether they will be docked points this season for breaching the EFL’s spending limits, the fear of which, ironically, was behind their decision to keep hold of Adams.

This was something I vaguely recall from the time. 

Birmingham wanted £22m for Adams, Burnley bid £12m and they rejected. Birmingham therefore waited until the summer when they got £15m, but that doesn't appear until this seasons accounts as there seems to be no sign of it.

Think their "plan" was to sell the ground this summer or by June 30th 2019 and maybe one or two other useful players, Adams then in 2019/20 season.

EFL need to check if that was at fair value too- though it seems like it could well be!

It makes sense in a way albeit for a smaller deduction as it's a breach of something less specific than the big ticket loss limit- by keeping him they gained a sporting advantage despite still at that time being over the limits. OTOH a club has the right to try and get the best right for a player...it's a hard one but those goals/assists would have gained points for Birmingham- albeit unlikely they go down anyway but if they sell at that price they may fail FFP again!

This could set a very interesting precedent moving forward, these secondary charges for not selling in January windows!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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On 23/10/2019 at 11:23, Mr Popodopolous said:

It's not new material as such but I'd love to know how the following teams are in compliance and their current FFP positions- accounts for varied big European clubs are out by now, why does it take 9 months in the UK?? Look how quickly Birmingham's were out at the HKSE- 3 months after the accounting period until 30th June 2019 and 3 months sharp.

Oh yeah, Birmingham. Their situation is clear as mud.

  • Will their UK Accounts differ to their Hong Kong ones?
  • Will there be e.g. a stadium sale and leaseback that was mooted in the former which didn't appear in the latter?
  • Is it now 3 years of £13m which get judged next season to eliminate the 2018/19- or is it a separate one year period of £13m for last and this season? Because if it's the former they lost £31m in 2018/19 but tbh that seems not to include the Adams sale, oddly- at least according to HKSE results.

Well then, let's have a look!

  • Seems they do a bit, on early checks.
  • YES! £15,723,000 or so profit PLUS £1,466,000 which represented the Release of a Deferred Capital Grant...total profit is £17,189,000...Gross Sale Price therefore was £22,760,000 and as it hadn't been valued in years a revaluation was probably overdue, net Book Value was £7,037,000 at time of sale and £22,760,000 sounds sensible enough IMO.
  • Still unclear how! We're none the wiser, but what does seem clear is that Birmingham have fallen foul whether its of the rules as a whole or a specific aspect of the rules, ie the EFL Business Plan perhaps.

What confuses me on early glance, ground sale aside is why does the the Turnover differ for the 12 months to June 30th 2019 between here and HK...12 months is 12 months, isn't it? Given that the Revenue was earned in the UK...

Birmingham City PLC- to June 30th 2019- Key figures!

Revenue- £23,325,000

Birmingham Sports Holdings segmented into Birmingham City PLC- to June 30th 2019- Key Figures!

Revenue (using Exchange Rate of HK$ to £ on 30th June 2019)- £21,207,840.86

Disaggregation of said Revenue:

Birmingham City PLC:

  • Match Receipts- £5,180,000
  • Broadcasting- £7,989,000
  • Commercial Income- £10,178,000. 

The last one raises eyebrows because it rose by £3.69m in a season- in a season where Birmingham did okay and yes they improved and were in the playoff race for a while- but nothing incredible. 🤔

Birmingham Sports Holdings segmented into what I assume to be Birmingham City PLC

  • Match Receipts (Total figure)- £5,278,996.80. Meh, Exchange Rates fluctuate- fairly sensible margin of error and maybe I didn't pick the right margin of Exchange Rate. No big deal.
  • Broadcasting- £8,170,142.40. Meh as above- No big swing and these can balance up and down if there are Exchange Rates and fluctuations, margins for error etc.
  • Commercial Income- £7,294,492.80

This last bit needs explaining IMO. The Exchange Rates fluctuate but not to that %, that extent in a few months! Why do those two figures, for what is ostensibly the same period, differ by nearly £3m! The Exchange Rate certainly doesn't give a nice neat explanation for this one so far as I can see, unlike say the Match Receipts or the Broadcasting Income. I put those two down to Exchange Rate Variations but this last one is a bit curious. So long as it's not an RPT or a shell company or similar all well and good, but I'm struggling to see how it's booked in that period given it's 30th June 2019 in both cases.

Let's see how much the Commercial Revenue in particular rose by on 2018 though, as that's the big area to look at:

Birmingham City PLC:

Commercial Income- £10,178,000 (UP £3,696,000)- UP 57.02%!!

Birmingham Sports Holdings segmented into what I assume to be Birmingham City PLC:

Commercial Income- £7,294,492.80 (UP £311,986.21)- UP 4.47%!!

Now it's entirely possible that Exchange Rate Fluctuations over a year could explain it but I am struggling to see the reasons at this stage for the notable difference in Commercial Income that they reported to CH for last season and that they reported to HKSE.

Deferred Revenue perhaps, deals made then that happened now...I wonder? Currency fluctuations- mix of the 2?

All seems a bit curious though.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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Well Kieran Maguire cleared that one up- basically linked to RPTs not counting so much under HK, cancelling out etc- same reason ground transaction doesn't appear on that one.

As for their neighbours, had they stayed down it really would've been interesting to see what would have happened!!

Tammy gone.

In terms of other important loans, El Ghazi, Mings, Tuanzebe and Hause loans up...permanent signings a no, might have been able to get Hause, Tuanezebe or both back on loan though?

A MAJOR FFP question, which even if staved off with the Villa Park sale and the £28m profit or whatever it was to May 2019, would have to be dealt with further for May 2020. If Projected Accounts system enforced as it had been, then they may have even been docked points along with the others during the run-in last March/April which IMO would have been fair as I suspect it was before the ground sale idea was even devised.

Would Grealish have stayed I wonder? McGinn too.

Now Smith is used to working on a budget- see Brentford- but I really wish that they had lost in the semis at minimum- torn between them and Derby as lesser of two evils. I think Derby probably due to sales in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

I know a lot of players were out of contract, wage savings etc but it was the third and final Year of Parachute Payments- at best these two likely cancel out.

The amortisation would've been pushed up by the January signings too...might have been a tough spell!

To say nothing of the EFL investigations into ground sales and value, related to FFP etc. That would have been fascinating to see had the playoff final been lost or better yet, the playoff semi final.

Or better yet- EFL clarity of punishments (ie points tariffs), combined with EPL standards of Governance...big trouble!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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Here's how I'd have it work. Let's simplify it- they have the right idea but are not implementing it as well as it could be, possibly a bit over complicated too?

Club as we know submits Projected Accounts for the existing season (T) in March of the existing season, EFL have real Projected and Real Actual Accounts T-1 and T-2 for the two seasons that preceded it.

Club has claims in T that though they are in breach, it'll be alright. NOT quite good enough and already possibly covered by the regulations.

Going to sell the ground? Proof of Independent valuation, proof of Valuation method and EFL hire valuation, and their hired valuer takes precedence- this should be clear at the outset! Paper trail.

Profits from Transfers going to see you alright? I then have two counterpoints- 1) Why not in January? 2) Is a deal setup, arranged- paper trails Pre the end of your Reporting Period.

If you can provide verifiable proof in either of the above or for any similar yet legitimate transactions you have passed albeit your figures will likely still be close so you will remain under some form of monitoring for the foreseeable if so.

If NO Proof or Paper Trail, that Projected Accounts- ie T along with T-1 and T-2- will be treated as their FFP figure and the club treated as in breach and referred to a Disciplinary Commission.

Reasonably simple and already basically allowed for within the regs I'd have thought.

One more Birmingham note...amazing how Accounting seems to let you bank a profit on a transaction when there's nothing about it the Cashflow for that year! Creative or what! 🙈 It comes up under "Cash flows from Operating Activities" the profit but the actual cash doesn't come up under "Cash flows from Investing Activities". Books a Profit in the first but shows nothing in terms of Proceeds for the 2nd.

Seems legal though. Nothing on the Land Registry.

Sheffield Wednesday's shows even less than that in that section...think £7.5m of £60m was under Other Debtors or something! As well as no lease arrangement. Appears on the Land Registry.

In Derby's and Reading's case by contrast, it shows up both in the Cash Flows from Operating Activities in terms of the Profit and the Cash Flows from Investing Activities in terms of the gross price paid.

Derby's appears on the Land Registry though...Reading's doesn't!

A right old mix there.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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10 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Here's how I'd have it work. Let's simplify it- they have the right idea but are not implementing it as well as it could be, possibly a bit over complicated too?

Club as we know submits Projected Accounts for the existing season (T) in March of the existing season, EFL have real Projected and Real Actual Accounts T-1 and T-2 for the two seasons that preceded it.

Club has claims in T that though they are in breach, it'll be alright. NOT quite good enough and already possibly covered by the regulations.

Going to sell the ground? Proof of Independent valuation, proof of Valuation method and EFL hire valuation, and their hired valuer takes precedence- this should be clear at the outset! Paper trail.

Profits from Transfers going to see you alright? I then have two counterpoints- 1) Why not in January? 2) Is a deal setup, arranged- paper trails Pre the end of your Reporting Period.

If you can provide verifiable proof in either of the above or for any similar yet legitimate transactions you have passed albeit your figures will likely still be close so you will remain under some form of monitoring for the foreseeable if so.

If NO Proof or Paper Trail, that Projected Accounts- ie T along with T-1 and T-2- will be treated as their FFP figure and the club treated as in breach and referred to a Disciplinary Commission.

Reasonably simple and already basically allowed for within the regs I'd have thought.

One more Birmingham note...amazing how Accounting seems to let you bank a profit on a transaction when there's nothing about it the Cashflow for that year! Creative or what! 🙈

Seems legal though.

The annoying thing is that we are a year down the road from when the new ffp rules came into affect.

That should have been the re-boot that gave the EFL the ability to tell clubs that they meant business as far as financial controls and bringing clubs to task, with swinging penalties avaialable, if they didn't tow the line.

In hindsight all the things you mention you would have thought would have been incorporated into the new rules to avoid any "misunderstandings" and to remove any wriggle room for the clever clubs that will always be looking for a way to circumvent the rules if it gives them an advantage. Why can ordinary fans posting on a  club website think of and see these issues, but the presumably highly paid administrators at the EFL patently failed to do so? The shambles of the sale of stadia demonstrates that the EFL was naive and amateur in it's re-writing the rules and that they still don't appear to have properly addressed dealing with clubs who broke the spirit of the rules in so doing.

Club's that addressed their business models , and made changes ( as we did) to their financial operations in order to comply, even if it diminished there competitiveness on the pitch  must feel like someone has pinned donkey ears and tails to them when seeing the clubs that have driven a coach and horses through the same financial rules.

 

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, downendcity said:

The annoying thing is that we are a year down the road from when the new ffp rules came into affect.

That should have been the re-boot that gave the EFL the ability to tell clubs that they meant business as far as financial controls and bringing clubs to task, with swinging penalties avaialable, if they didn't tow the line.

In hindsight all the things you mention you would have thought would have been incorporated into the new rules to avoid any "misunderstandings" and to remove any wriggle room for the clever clubs that will always be looking for a way to circumvent the rules if it gives them an advantage. Why can ordinary fans posting on a  club website think of and see these issues, but the presumably highly paid administrators at the EFL patently failed to do so? The shambles of the sale of stadia demonstrates that the EFL was naive and amateur in it's re-writing the rules and that they still don't appear to have properly addressed dealing with clubs who broke the spirit of the rules in so doing.

Club's that addressed their business models , and made changes ( as we did) to their financial operations in order to comply, even if it diminished there competitiveness on the pitch  must feel like someone has pinned donkey ears and tails to them when seeing the clubs that have driven a coach and horses through the same financial rules.

 

 

 

 

This hits the nail on the head, well and truly.

We can debate it on a forum and come to the sensible conclusions that we have- I still wonder if the controversy over the TV deal in November 2018 could have affected this...they certainly seemed to be mean business with what on paper are strong regulations, as voted for by the clubs.

By which I mean, I still cannot help but feel that the TV deal Controversy meant that Shaun Harvey lost his nerve or maybe gave a free pass to try and appease- it's all speculation so no real point but I wonder if he saw a threat of a breakaway and may have lost his nerve.

Think they are in the new rules, if applied correctly- some at least. Shaun Harvey oversaw it all though and his track record in football speaks for itself...how he got the job I've not a clue! How he kept the job, I've not a clue! Highly paid though he certainly was...made £1m or thereabouts last year, about half of that was severance etc though- well worth it to get rid!

Just look what he said about Ken Anderson- back in February! Still think he'd have let Bury try and start the season if left in charge, just a gut feeling...

Well quite. I read in September that the EFL were trying to close the loophole...suppose they have to get 3/4 of clubs to agree it though! Again, Rule 2.3 may well cover the spirit thing, though I'd have to check the precise number.

This last bit is really important...in particular I'd like to see swinging punishments to right the wrongs and vindicate clubs such as us for Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday.

Reading too, but their valuation looks alright.

So does Birmingham plus they have been punished...but if they refused a business plan- £12m bid for Adams they turned down last January apparently and sold him for £15m in the summer, then their conduct surely open to question.

PLUS just read an interesting point on Birmingham forum. If the owners company owns the ground, how can Birmingham therefore receive commercial revenue for naming rights etc?

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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One aspect I didn't necessarily note before or whether it's badly drafted rules etc- if anything it could even tighten margins for quite a few- or possibly the reverse:

Quote

 

1.1.4 Cash Losses means aggregate Adjusted Earnings Before Tax after:

(a) write back of:

(i) amortisation and/or impairment of Players’ registrations; and

(ii) profit or loss on the transfer of Players’ registrations; and

(b) inclusion of net cash flow in respect of transfers of Players’ registrations.

 

Hi @Coppello is this the case or is it yet again an example of badly written/badly implemented EFL regs- or maybe both?

Like I say, looked at a few clubs and if you added it back on, many would surely be in breach! Many.

Would certainly surely make the losses and problems of those under the spotlight worse.

Example:

Quote

Birmingham Net Cash Flow in respect of Transfers of Players' Registrations:

                Acquisition vs Proceeds   Net

2015/16 £1,609,000       £2,313,000     £704,000

2016/17 £5,348,000      £1,696,000     -£3,652,000

2017/18 £12,141,000   £2,926,000     -£9,215,000

2018/19 £13,956,000   £7,151,000     -£6,805,000

Total Net Cash Flow for Player Registrations between 2016 and 2018...MINUS £12,163,000

Total Net Cash Flow for Player Registrations between 2017 and 2019, adjusted for Rolling Basis...well I dread to think but MINUS £19,672,000

Sure Birmingham certainly are not the worst candidates but come on!! If you add that back to the FFP loss...?

Or am I being a bit daft and double counting?

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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WIll add a little more too, on Birmingham.

We only know so much, what was, is in the public domain etc.

However I do note that they received the notification from the EFL in connection with failure to comply with the business plan on 14th May 2019...which was before if Companies House anything to go by, the Birmingham City Stadium Limited appeared at CH. Unsure when that company was first devised but CH suggest it was 20th May 2019...

Also it mentions something about 17th May 2019- date Received maybe in the document. Point is that both of these appear to be after the notification of the charges- perhaps the EFL dropped the charges after this arose, or maybe Birmingham didn't get this done in time to avoid the EFL notificaiton?

All very interesting.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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6 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Think Blues Trust are being careful with the wording.  They are digging, and I suspect for good reason!!!

Oh I think so, certainly! Seems careful wording agreed.

I do recall a friend once looked it up, out of idle interest in November and it seemed not to indicate any changes in ownership or such at that point...but like we all know, things can take time.

IF it was got over the line in time, surely we're talking very tight timeframes.

My gut feeling tells me they haven't messed it, as Birmingham City Stadium Ltd was already in place by a bit after mid May and somewhere between £20-25m feels right, £1.25m rent per season on a 25 year lease...yet they seem terribly incompetent as owners so it's anyone's guess!!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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Good news, if this piece in Middlesbrough local paper anything to go by. Looked up FFP stories, that kinda thing .

Quote

 

Mark Smith: Are Boro the only club sticking to FFP rules?

No, I don’t think so. Although Boro are certainly in a minority when it comes to the public political drive to actually enforce it.

It is Boro who have gone over the parapet and taken legal steps to force the EFL to apply their own rules and sanctions and against Derby, challenging the way they structured their stadium sale. It is Steve Gibson leading that fight. That much is obvious.

But our understanding is that a majority of clubs in the division are broadly sympathetic to the Boro position - they are battling to keep control of their own finances - and only a small but powerful group of owners of bigger clubs who want the rules scrapped or relaxed so they can take a gamble on a Premier League push whatever the consequences a few years down the line.

 

Most clubs comply. Some - like Ipswich and Millwall - have taken drastic action to comply. Most clubs have driven down wages and fees since FFP was introduced and have learned to work within the new framework but there will always be clubs and owners ready to roll the dice now who don’t worry too much what will happen to a club a few years down the line.

 
0_Middlesbrough-vs-Ipswich.jpg

Boro chairman Steve Gibson (Image: Evening Gazette)

The first thing to be said is that the Championship is a financial basketcase. There are a clutch of teams risking everything on the prospect of hitting the jackpot, a clutch of recently relegated teams struggling with the toxic shock of a massive drop in income and a clutch of teams struggling to compete because they can’t meet the bar on fees and wages set by the bigger clubs. There are all kinds of financial tensions.

As it stands now, Villa, Derby, Sheff Wed, Reading and Birmingham are being probed over stadium sales the EFL believes have been managed in order to balance the books although as yet only the Owls have been charged.

A string of other clubs are sailing very close to the wind on FFP or have broken the ceiling already and are desperately trying to cut costs before the end of the year. There are suggestions several clubs are on the verge of being hit by points deductions. Next season the table could be peppered with asterisks.

Something needs to be done to ensure the league remains healthy and competitive. Most clubs know that. Although most are happy to let Steve Gibson do the running.

 

@Coppello @chinapig @Davefevs and @downendcity you will be heartened to hear this...I certainly am!

Have bolded and underlined key bits...a lot of it we already know but it further vindicates our strategy if this has some truth to it...and makes punishment of any who breach the limits or if possible, any loophole exploiting rule pushers all the more important!!

A few more clubs who feel this way should speak up...I hope they are offering support in other ways, ie chairmen who want the EFL to push this helping to finance the enquiries into these clubs, helping give advice and access to the EFL to good corporate lawyers, to good sports lawyers...pointing the EFL in the direction of good quality commercial valuers etc.

They rightly want the rules upheld, but they should be helping the EFL with this IMO. Hopefully they are in some capacity.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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4 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Good news, if this piece in Middlesbrough local paper anything to go by. Looked up FFP stories etc.

@Coppello @chinapig @Davefevs and @downendcity you will be heartened to hear this...I certainly am!

Have bolded and underlined key bits...a lot of it we already know but it further vindicates our strategy if this has some truth to it...and makes punishment of any who breach the limits or if possible, any loophole exploiting rule pushers all the more important!!

A few more clubs who feel this way should speak up...I hope they are offering support in other ways, ie chairmen who want the EFL to push this helping to finance the enquiries into these clubs, helping give advice and access to the EFL to good corporate lawyers, to good sports lawyers...pointing the EFL in the direction of good quality commercial valuers etc.

They rightly want the rules upheld, but they should be helping the EFL with this IMO.

Thanks for the heads up.I always suspected the rules were relaxed to allow the sale of fixed assets at the behest of certain big clubs.

But if it is true that the majority of clubs support Gibson, why did they not oppose the change?

Never mind the rogue owners, nobody is asking tough questions of the compliant owners as to why they did not, and still do not, support Gibson in public statements.

MA now has a formal role with the EFL does he not? Will he use it to fight the good fight or to further his own career?

If the EFL does not get to grips under new leadership in the coming year we can regard FFP as effectively dead in the water imo.

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22 minutes ago, chinapig said:

Thanks for the heads up.I always suspected the rules were relaxed to allow the sale of fixed assets at the behest of certain big clubs.

But if it is true that the majority of clubs support Gibson, why did they not oppose the change?

Never mind the rogue owners, nobody is asking tough questions of the compliant owners as to why they did not, and still do not, support Gibson in public statements.

MA now has a formal role with the EFL does he not? Will he use it to fight the good fight or to further his own career?

If the EFL does not get to grips under new leadership in the coming year we can regard FFP as effectively dead in the water imo.

I do wonder about that...just who changed it, why and if it went to a formal vote? I believe the FFP in the Premier League was aligned with the Championship though and the PL one seems to allow it, but has the principle of adjustment- which is a large divergence from UEFA ones which do not! I mean nothing to stop you doing it under UEFA ones, just it won't be included in FFP calculations so there's no point!

Maybe it was genuinely an oversight that wasn't spotted at the time, but was by accountants. Piece by Matt Lawton last year, and he seems to know about Championship, possibly on the Derby thing intimated that EFL insiders never intended for this loophole to be taken advantage of! Damage limitation of course a possibility.

Agreed. I think Radrizzani has spoken out, I know us and Nottingham Forest are quite keen- worried to put their head above the parapet perhaps- I'm sure that many will support it though, we can see how many clubs are making cutbacks, making efforts to comply, big efforts to comply etc.

Hopefully he'll continue to push this...I'm sure SL would expect nothing less!

Time will tell. I did read- albeit back in September- that the EFL were trying to close this loophole! I suppose 3/4 of clubs would have to agree so that won't be easy...if they can find something to largely punish in particular Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday- Birmingham and Reading Market Value for grounds both seem realistic tbh, and one of those has already taken a punishment, been under EFL restrictions and sold players so they're a little down the list for me, but those big 3 first and foremost then it will be a major watershed moment. Might be able to a) Deter other clubs and b) Close the loophole then.

The next step is working out how best to implement Projected Accounts and punishments in season. Don't think the EFL have done their job correctly here either, or on valuations in terms of getting them commissioned as soon as news breaks of things like this.

The worst bit though in the Sheffield Wednesday case is a claim that they had discussions with the EFL after first floating the idea and after a number of weeks, they agreed £60m! If that's at all true, that is very, very 'interesting'...😱😱😱

Snippet from The Athletic that I saw elsewhere online last year.

Quote

The Athletic has been told that the club warned the former EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey about their profit and sustainability problems and told the league that they intended to fix them by selling the stadium. Several weeks of talks about Hillsborough’s valuation followed but the figure of £60 million was eventually said to have been approved by the league.

The agreement came after deadline for the financial year but the club will argue that this is something they did following consultation with the EFL in the summer of 2018.

Now this is only Sheffield Wednesday's version of events I think- but I'm sure that doesn't sound right for commercial transactions that are meant to be at fair value and at an arms length...or does it?

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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13 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I do wonder about that...just who changed it, why and if it went to a formal vote? I believe the FFP in the Premier League was aligned with the Championship though and the PL one seems to allow it, but has the principle of adjustment- which is a large divergence from UEFA ones which do not! I mean nothing to stop you doing it under UEFA ones, just it won't be included in FFP calculations so there's no point!

Maybe it was genuinely an oversight that wasn't spotted at the time, but was by accountants. Piece by Matt Lawton last year, and he seems to know about Championship, possibly on the Derby thing intimated that EFL insiders never intended for this loophole to be taken advantage of! Damage limitation of course a possibility.

Agreed. I think Radrizzani has spoken out, I know us and Nottingham Forest are quite keen- worried to put their head above the parapet perhaps- I'm sure that many will support it though, we can see how many clubs are making cutbacks, making efforts to comply, big efforts to comply etc.

Hopefully he'll continue to push this...I'm sure SL would expect nothing less!

Time will tell. I did read- albeit back in September- that the EFL were trying to close this loophole! I suppose 3/4 of clubs would have to agree so that won't be easy...if they can find something to largely punish in particular Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday- Birmingham and Reading Market Value for grounds both seem realistic tbh, and one of those has already taken a punishment, been under EFL restrictions and sold players so they're a little down the list for me, but those big 3 first and foremost then it will be a major watershed moment. Might be able to a) Deter other clubs and b) Close the loophole then.

The next step is working out how best to implement Projected Accounts and punishments in season. Don't think the EFL have done their job correctly here either, or on valuations in terms of getting them commissioned as soon as news breaks of things like this.

The worst bit though in the Sheffield Wednesday case is a claim that they had discussions with the EFL after first floating the idea and after a number of weeks, they agreed £60m! If that's at all true, that is very, very 'interesting'...😱😱😱

Snippet from The Athletic that I saw elsewhere online last year.

Now this is only Sheffield Wednesday's version of events I think- but I'm sure that doesn't sound right for commercial transactions that are meant to be at fair value and at an arms length...or does it?

Sounds like exactly the kind of thing Harvey would do so I am inclined to believe Wednesday on balance.

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” John Stuart Mill.

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7 minutes ago, chinapig said:

Sounds like exactly the kind of thing Harvey would do so I am inclined to believe Wednesday on balance.

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” John Stuart Mill.

I've always thought his role last summer should be properly scrutinised, long held suspicion...EFL authorisation aside, there's still a lot to question them on- ie the Land Registry, whether a binding contract in place in time, I read elsewhere that there is only a 2 month window, why the Accounts delay- plus of course the value of Hillsborough itself!

Arranging a price though...is that even legit- legal? Wonder if Harvey was acting with proper authority from the EFL board or as an organisation?

I think that there could yet be grounds for a guilty verdict here, possibly.

Oh yeah, more questions:

  • The fact the accounts were dated and signed after their due date for 2019.
  • The fact that the Cashflow statement shows nothing. Seems to appear under other debtors or something as 1/8 of the price. Possibly paying 1/8 at a time.
  • The fact that the company who purchased didn't appear at CH until June 2019.
  • The fact the company who owned Sheffield 3 at time of purchase- ie Sheffield 4- were dissolved voluntarily and Sheffield 5 put in charge not long after the transaction.

Worth a look at Sheffield 3, Sheffield 4 and Sheffield 5 Limited on CH- at least their incorporation and in one case their winding up.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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Hey @Mr Popodopolous. Looking at the recent results, it's not only Aston Villa that might fall back into the clutches of the EFL, but also Bournemouth. How do you think the latters finances will stand up to scrutiny?

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Hi @Port Said Red

Bournemouth could be interesting.

I'd have to check their most recent accounts but may well have to do a bit of a firesale? Then again, higher loss limit in the PL of £35m...they've got some good young, saleable assets, Ake and Brooks to name 2 should help ease it off for a year or maybe longer...for each PL season they would be judged on £35m loss limit and I doubt they've exceeded that...lack of clartity as to whether clubs are judsged in-season as they should be for Year 3 or the same prior 3 seasons could also make a difference- £22m of a difference in fact!

I doubt they could be punished for the 2015 overspend- there was a settlement in 2018 after all, don't see how that could be reopened- a part 2 to the fine/larger fine or equity transfer possibly?

Under Harvey no issues surely or indeed for most, but this regime seems a lot more rigorous, possibly pushed into it too by Gibson and his threat of legal action?

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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2 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Hi @Port Said Red

Bournemouth could be interesting.

I'd have to check their most recent accounts but may well have to do a bit of a firesale? Then again, higher loss limit in the PL of £35m...they've got some good young, saleable assets, Ake and Brooks to name 2 would help ease it off for a year or maybe longer...

I doubt they could be punished for the 2015 overspend- there was a settlement in 2018 after all, don't see how that could be reopened- a part 2 to the fine/larger fine or equity transfer possibly?

Under Harvey no issues surely or indeed for most, but this regime seems a lot more rigorous, possibly pushed into it too by Gibson and his threat of legal action?

I guess the parachute payments will help, but with their current stadium, the loss of tv money will hit their revenue more than many of the relegated clubs. I think they will need to hope for a quick return.

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2 minutes ago, Port Said Red said:

I guess the parachute payments will help, but with their current stadium, the loss of tv money will hit their revenue more than many of the relegated clubs. I think they will need to hope for a quick return.

I know the parachute payments are 3 years if you're in the PL for more than one season, but as you say their crowds, stadium...even with saleable assets, 2 years tops?

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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51 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

I know the parachute payments are 3 years if you're in the PL for more than one season, but as you say their crowds, stadium...even with saleable assets, 2 years tops?

Especially if certain players proviso on signing contracts with them are that they have no relegation clause.

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I find it interesting that Sheffield Wednesday seem to be conducting this transfer window in a normal fashion, it seems to suggest they don't fear any reprisals this season at least.

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https://www.efl.com/news/2020/january/efl-statement-derby-county-charged-with-excess-losses

"Following a review of Derby County’s Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) submissions, the EFL has charged the Club for recording losses in excess of the permitted amounts provided for in EFL Regulations for the three-year period ending 30 June 2018.

The Club will now be referred to an independent Disciplinary Commission, which will hear representations from both the EFL and Derby County.

As these matters are now subject to proceedings, the EFL will be making no further comment at this time."

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Sky news reporting that Derby have been charged with exceeding permitted losses?       Beat me to it SB😐

Edited by NOTBLUE

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2 minutes ago, Bristol Rob said:

Surely Derby must either have known they were failing, or have only failed the test by a small amount?

I thought the stadium deal had been approved.

Yes but their losses were borderline anyway. I remember Morris making a comment in playoff final regarding it. Either way, why the **** sign Rooney who must be on silly wages.....

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26 minutes ago, Bristol Rob said:

Surely Derby must either have known they were failing, or have only failed the test by a small amount?

I thought the stadium deal had been approved.

Not only approved, but did not break the rules as the EFL cocked up that bit when formulating the new ffp rules.

HOWEVER, where they MAY have failed is over the stadium valuation at £81m. Even though they could sell the stadium , as they have done, EUFA rules say that sale of any such asset has to be at fair value and I think most of us on this thread were more than sceptical as to Derby's valuation. 

Unless there is another issue we don't yet know about, my guess is that the EFL have had their own valuation carried out on Pride Park. If it is substantially lower than that which Derby applied, then I would then assume they have re-worked the ffp calculation based on the profit ( or otherwise!) based on the lower valuation. If this resulted in losses over the 3 years in excess of the £35m(?) allowed under ffp this would trigger the action now being reported.

P.S. Has the EFL copied and pasted this thread to use as evidence in the case against WR'sDCFC?

Edited by downendcity
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Great news!! 

Well done to the EFL. I didn't think that their losses to June 2018 took them...perhaps I double counted on some infrastructure spending? Or wrongly classified DCFC Accounts as opposed to Sevco 5112 ones as the right ones for FFP ones?

53 minutes ago, downendcity said:

Not only approved, but did not break the rules as the EFL cocked up that bit when formulating the new ffp rules.

HOWEVER, where they MAY have failed is over the stadium valuation at £81m. Even though they could sell the stadium , as they have done, EUFA rules say that sale of any such asset has to be at fair value and I think most of us on this thread were more than sceptical as to Derby's valuation. 

Unless there is another issue we don't yet know about, my guess is that the EFL have had their own valuation carried out on Pride Park. If it is substantially lower than that which Derby applied, then I would then assume they have re-worked the ffp calculation based on the profit ( or otherwise!) based on the lower valuation. If this resulted in losses over the 3 years in excess of the £35m(?) allowed under ffp this would trigger the action now being reported.

P.S. Has the EFL copied and pasted this thread to use as evidence in the case against WR'sDCFC?

£39m + allowables over 3 seasons. 

That sounds spot on though, about EFL valuation being set against the £81.1m one and the difference being removed from the FFP calculations to cause a recalculation. 

Hopefully the EFL are still weighing up whether Hillsborough worth £60m. I don't think it is, so even if it can be put into accounts, the same should apply...£60m- just for arguments sake say £30m is deemed about par.

You then lop off £27m even from the profit..double adjustment if you like.- just because you get punishment with one aspect, doesn't mean a free pass on the other.

Aston Villa next please...

Shows how inadequate Shaun Harvey was however. Anyone- and I mean pretty well anyone- would have been an improvement on him!

I do wonder if anyone from the EFL has ever read this thread, just out of idle interest on their part.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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