City's Championship rivals hit with nine-point deduction
PUBLISHED: 16:05 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:55 22 March 2019
Norwich City's Championship rivals Birmingham City have been deducted nine league points with immediate effect for breaching league rules on profitability and sustainability.
The Football League announced their punishment on Friday afternoon, following a review of the club’s financial status between 2015 and 2018 by an independent disciplinary commission which saw the Blues record losses in excess of £9.7m above the £39m threshold set by the EFL.
Birmingham’s points deduction sees Garry Monk’s squad drop to within five points of the relegation zone, although Birmingham now have 14 days to appeal the decision.
The Blues were sitting in 13th, on 50 points, but will now drop to 18th, pending any possible appeal.
An EFL spokesperson said: “The profitability and sustainability rules, aligned with those in the Premier League, became effective in 2015/16. Season 2017/18 was the end of the first full reporting period with Birmingham City the only club found to have breached those requirements, when it incurred adjusted losses of £48.787 million, £9.787 million in excess of the permitted losses.
“The disciplinary commission had the opportunity to consider all relevant factors in reaching its determination, including the club’s mitigation.”
The club was originally charge with a breach of the rules on August 14, 2018 before pleading guilty at a hearing on March 18, 2019.
Norwich claimed four league points from their two meetings with Birmingham earlier this season, including a 3-1 home win in January. Birmingham play West Brom the other side of the international break, before back-to-back league games against the Canaries’ title rivals, Leeds and Sheffield United.
Former Blues’ boss, Gary Rowett, insisted his old club is now firmly in a relegation scrap.
“My initial reaction was that at least it wasn’t 12 points. That nine points, at the very, very least, gives them a little bit of a buffer from that bottom three,” he told Sky Sports. “They are now, like the last two seasons, in danger of a relegation battle.
“Since we were there the playing budget trebled in a year which is incredible. Money doesn’t buy you a miles better player in the Championship if you don’t get your recruitment right.
“Everybody is so desperate. These are owners coming into a new club wanting desperately to get in the Premier League.”