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  1. Source: Nancy Frostick and Matt Slater, The Athletic Sheffield Wednesday will require “additional funding” if it is “to continue in operational existence”. Those are the words that cause the most concern from the latest set of the club’s accounts. The accounts, which were filed over seven months late of the original July 31 deadline, are for the 2018-19 season and showed that in line with previous seasons, further significant investment will be required from owner Dejphon Chansiri if the club is to continue operating. For a team that is staring relegation to the third tier in the face, these are worrying times. It also revealed that the much-discussed sale of Hillsborough to Chansiri-owned company Sheffield 3 Ltd has been moved to the most recent accounts from the 2017-18 set, as expected following the club’s battle with the EFL, which led to a six-point deduction. What are the standout details in the accounts? Most noticeable is the fact that the sale of Hillsborough has been added to this accounting year after Wednesday lost their battle with the EFL to have it included in the 2017-18 financial year as they tried to meet the league’s profitability and sustainability rules. This means that the club have been forced to reissue their accounts for that year to show the change, turning an overall profit of £2.5 million in 2018 into a £35.5 million loss. Moving the sale to the latest accounts means that, overall in the 2018-19 set of accounts, the club posted a profit of £19.1 million and they have received their first payment for the stadium, which is £7.5 million. The club should continue to receive £7.5 million a year over eight years while paying rent to Sheffield 3 to continue using the stadium. That figure looks to be around £2.7 million a year over a 30-year lease, but Wednesday will not start paying that until 2019-20, which will be in the next set of accounts that are due to be published in July. Another line that stands out from the auditors says: “We draw attention to note 1.3 in the financial statements, which indicates additional funding will be required to enable the company to continue in operational existence.” That is essentially their way of saying that owner Chansiri will need to continue injecting cash if the club is to stay afloat. This is not unusual. Most Championship teams struggle to make an operating profit and it is not a departure from the norm for Wednesday — the same concern has been raised in the last three sets of accounts. As long as Chansiri is committed, which a note in the accounts emphasises that he is, then fans have nothing to worry about. His commitment to fund the club for the next 12 months is, however, not legally binding. What else did we learn? Well, despite the profit of £19.1 million seemingly showing a healthy picture, the club made an operating loss of £17 million in the year up to July 2019, which equates to roughly £1.5 million per month. Their wage-to-turnover ratio for the year really jumps out from the day-to-day costs of running the club: 160 per cent. Strictly speaking, the wage bill fell from £42.4 million to £36.4 million but the earlier figure was for 14 months, so the club’s monthly wage bill was unchanged at just over £3 million. Income was down from the 2018 accounts but it is worth noting that the accounting period was 14 months for the 2017-18 season as the club tried to include the Hillsborough sale on that set of finances. It is not a huge surprise that figures such as match-day income are down from £18.1 million to £16.6 million between 2018 and 2019, given the shorter accounting period and the tail-off in results. Commercial income fell in that period from £7.1 million to £6.1 million but in the same period, owner Chansiri injected £21 million by creating new shares to allow him to invest. Chansiri remains the only listed director as it was in this period that Katrien Meire left the club, with the accounts showing that the highest-paid director in this received £137,000 — a cut of 30 per cent from the year before. Is there any good news? An amount of £6.5 million was recouped in a confidential settlement payment. We do not know what that fee is for despite speculation that some or all of that figure is linked to the compensation that was agreed with Newcastle United when manager Steve Bruce made the move from Hillsborough to St James’ Park. They will also save themselves another £2.1 million but that was a figure they would have been happy to pay. It would have been due to lenders and the bank of the club’s previous holding company, Sheffield Wednesday PLC, if they had been promoted to the Premier League before May 31, 2021. Sadly, fans know all too well that relegation to League One is looking increasingly likely. What does it mean for the future? If Wednesday file their accounts on time this year, we will get a clearer financial picture for the 2019-20 season in July. Ultimately, the latest accounts show that Wednesday is not a profit-making business through their day-to-day operations and they are entirely reliant on the support of Chansiri to survive. That is true of many football clubs. By selling Hillsborough, they have managed to find an injection of funds. But that can only be done once, and selling the training ground at Middlewood Road is out of the question given that the land is owned by Sheffield City Council. Moving the sale of the stadium does mean that Wednesday should be able to avoid issues with profitability and sustainability rules for the three-year rolling period up to July 2019. The losses of just over £20 million in 2016-17 added to the pre-tax loss of around £35 million in 2017-18 and the £19.1 million profit in these latest accounts means that Wednesday are around £3 million inside the allowed figure of £39 million losses in a three-year period. That is not to say that they will not face problems in meeting financial restrictions in the future. For example, if they posted losses in excess of £23 million in the accounts due this summer, then they could face sanctions again. Any charges or sanctions would be at the discretion of the EFL and an independent disciplinary panel as they were last year.
  2. stabbo


    If anyone has just got Wednesday player faces they can send to me that would be amazing! Sortitoutsi is saying the download of just part 1 will take 5 hours and no idea if that part covers Wednesday. I really just want our player faces. Some other sites have facepacks that are 13GB big. I don't need all that!
  3. I'm sitting here thinking £10m is madness for a player who has only played regular League One and League Two football. But knowing Brentford, he'll probably score 10-15 goals next couple of seasons and they'll sell him for £25m to Villa or Everton. Despite Brentford absolutely choking at the end of last season, I can't understand how anyone with half a brain who looks at that club and doesn't think 'that is the way to run a modern football club'.
  4. The relegation to League One after the Palace 2-2. That season and the League One season after. They were worse.
  5. https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/12019453/efl-chief-rick-parry-filmed-wigan-administration-bet-relegated/
  6. I usually bet against Wednesday and the draw. If we're going to lose, I might as well be compensated. I will always want us to win though.
  7. Hi gang, Quite incredibly, we've just started the 9th series of the Monkey Tennis podcast and up to 85 episodes now! We've got a couple of feedback episodes before we get cracking on covering Knowing Me Knowing You Radio episode by episode. Available wherever you get your pods. www.podfollow.com/monkeytennis
  8. EFL ‘frustrated’ by Wednesday’s stalling but want to deduct points this season Fears are growing at the English Football League that its dispute with Sheffield Wednesday over the sale of their stadium will spill over into the close-season, raising the possibility of legal action from clubs relegated from the Championship in May. The South Yorkshire club are facing severe punishment after being charged with an aggravated breach of the league’s financial fair play rules in December, with owner Dejphon Chansiri and two former directors also in danger of receiving bans. Several Championship clubs have told The Athleticthey believe Wednesday should receive the full 21-point deduction available to the EFL under its “profitability and sustainability” (P&S) regulations, and it is understood that some senior EFL figures are minded to agree. Wednesday are 15th in the table on 48 points, nine above Charlton Athletic in 22nd on 39 points, 13 ahead of Luton Town and 14 better off than Barnsley at the foot of the table. If the sanction was to come now, anything greater than nine points would put Garry Monk’s side in the relegation zone with nine games to go, a dire predicament for a team that was third at Christmas but have won only one of their last 10 league fixtures. It is understood the EFL’s new leadership is desperate to resolve the case well before the end of this season so any punishment is applied in this campaign and not held over until 2020-21. The rationale is that a points deduction in August is not as punitive as one in March or, to put it another way, justice delayed is justice denied. But the actual P&S case, which will be heard by an independent panel, has not even started yet as the club’s lawyers — led by Nick De Marco QC, the barrister who fought the EFL for four years over Queens Park Rangers’ breach of the league’s spending rules in 2014 — have vigorously contested the basis of the charge, forcing the EFL to defend its stance in two arbitration hearings. Sources have told The Athletic the EFL is “frustrated” by Wednesday’s stalling tactics but is pressing on with a “revised timetable” that could still see the matter concluded before the last round of Championship fixtures on Saturday, May 2. A source close to Wednesday’s camp has said the case’s timing “is more sensitive and controversial than any other detail”. That sensitivity cannot be understated as the other clubs fighting relegation are watching closely. Among those threatened with the drop are Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Middlesbrough and Stoke City, four teams with recent Premier League experience and owners who have robust views on the EFL’s spending regulations, while the sides currently in the relegation places, Charlton, Luton and Barnsley, have all operated with relatively small budgets in order to comply with the rules. Wednesday’s alleged misconduct is related to how and when the club sold their Hillsborough home to Chansiri, as well as the valuation of that transaction, with the league suggesting the Thai businessman, former chief executive Katrien Meire and finance director John Redgate misled them. The club’s finances have been under the microscope since last summer when they pushed their usual year-end back from May 31 to July 31, delaying the publication of their accounts for the 2017-18 season. That was the season Chansiri had hoped his team would return to the Premier League for the first time since 2000 but a 15th-place finish was a disappointing return on the huge investment he made in coaches and players. But it also meant Wednesday were set to overshoot the league’s spending limits. Under the P&S regulations introduced in 2016, losses at Championship clubs are capped at £39 million over a rolling three-year period. Wednesday lost nearly £10 million in 2015-16 (when they lost 1-0 in the Championship play-off final to Hull), just over £20 million in 2016-17 (when they again made the play-offs) and were heading for a pre-tax loss of around £35 million in 2017-18 until they — like Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Derby County and Reading — took advantage of a loophole that allows owners to sell their stadiums or training grounds to themselves to bank a one-off profit. Wednesday did this by selling their ground to Chansiri for £60 million, with an official profit on the transaction of £38 million. According to their accounts, which were signed off by the owner on June 20 last year and filed a day later, this turned an operating loss into a pre-tax profit of £2.6 million. Once deductions were made for infrastructure improvements and money spent on the academy, their three-year P&S loss was £19 million — £20 million inside the limit. The actual sale of Hillsborough was mentioned on the penultimate page of the accounts, where it is suggested the £60 million will be paid in eight annual instalments of £7.5 million. There are no clues, though, as to how much rent the club will pay Chansiri’s stadium ownership vehicle Sheffield 3 Ltd — a key consideration in the ground’s valuation. But the real issues relate to the timing of the sale. According to documents at Companies House and the Land Registry, Sheffield 3 was incorporated on June 21, the same day the accounts were filed, and the stadium sale went through a week later. This, though, is a year after Wednesday have accounted for the sale, which suggests it should be too late to count against their operating losses for 2017-18. Without the sale, Wednesday would have lost more than £57 million between 2016 and 2018 — £18 million over the limit. Birmingham got a nine-point penalty last season for incurring losses of nearly £49 million over three seasons — £10 million over the limit. Since then, however, the EFL has told its clubs that points will be deducted on a sliding scale, from three points for a breach of less than £2 million to 12 points if it is more than £15 million. A further nine points can be taken away if the panel agrees the breach involved deception or the club failed to cooperate. Derby were the first club to spot the stadium-sale loophole in 2017 and transformed a huge annual loss into a £40 million profit when owner Mel Morris bought Pride Park for £80 million. Since then, Villa’s owners have bought Villa Park for nearly £57 million, Reading’s owners have purchased the Madejski Stadium for just under £27 million and St Andrew’s was sold to a company linked to Birmingham’s owners for £23 million. Wednesday have said they will “vigorously defend” themselves when the matter goes before a panel and it is understood their defence will be based on the claim the EFL was aware of what they were doing and effectively sanctioned it. The Athletic has been told the club warned then-EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey about their P&S crunch and that they intended to fix it by selling the stadium. Several weeks of talks about Hillsborough’s valuation followed but the figure of £60 million was said to have been approved by the league. This agreement came after the deadline for the financial year but the club will argue this followed consultation with the EFL in the summer of 2018. The EFL declined to comment on the delays to the case but has previously said the charges followed a “comprehensive investigation”. The club have not responded to request for comment on their legal tactics but have previously said they consider the charges to be “unlawful” and will therefore bring their own claim against the EFL. Founder members of the Premier League and England’s third oldest professional club, Wednesday have won four top-flight titles in their history, as well as three FA Cups and a League Cup, their most recent trophy in 1991. But they have also been relegated to the third tier twice since 2000, spending a total of four seasons below the Championship. Relegation this season, however, would be particularly alarming for their still large fanbase, as it would raise immediate questions about Chansiri’s willingness to bankroll the club, particularly if he is banned from any direct involvement, with the added complexity of who owns Hillsborough. The future of Monk, the club’s 14th manager since 2000, would also immediately come under doubt, as well as the eight senior players out of contract at the end of the season, including top scorer Steven Fletcher and highly-rated defender Morgan Fox.
  9. It's a disgrace and we should be awarded a 3-0 win immediately.
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