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Sheffield Wednesday issues claim against EFL over stadium sale charge

Championship club Sheffield Wednesday has issued a claim against the English Football League (EFL) for allegedly “acting unlawfully” when charging the club in relation to a deal it struck to sell its Hillsborough stadium.

Wednesday said in a statement that it has sought to engage with the EFL to agree a “sensible procedure” to resolve the dispute, stating that the club relied upon representations from the EFL in relation to the sale transaction.

The club was last month charged with misconduct by the EFL following a formal investigation into financial information provided by Wednesday in relation to its 2017-18 P&S submission. Wednesday said at the time that it would “vigorously defend” its position following the charge.

The club’s statement, which was issued yesterday (Wednesday), added: “The club regrets that the EFL has so far refused to agree to the club being permitted to make its claim, and refused to agree to a sensible procedure for dealing with the dispute.

“The club will continue to take such steps as it considers necessary to protect and enforce its rights against the EFL and to protect it from unlawful action by the EFL affecting the club and the performance of its team. The club will not make any further comment at this stage.”

Earlier this year, the EFL launched an investigation into the club’s financial submission for the period ending July 2018, following the completion of the sale of Hillsborough. The EFL has previously said it has reviewed a “large number of documents” obtained from the club as part of this process, concluding that there was sufficient evidence to justify issuing charges of misconduct.

The charges relate to a number of allegations regarding the process of “how and when” the stadium was sold and the inclusion of the profits in the 2017-18 accounts. If the charges are proven, Wednesday could be hit with sanctions raising from a points deduction, a fine, or even expulsion from the EFL.

Image: Sheffield Wednesday