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Profit & sustainability in the EFL: decisions against Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan & Birmingham

Football Gavel
Monday, 24 August 2020 By John Mehrzad QC, Bianca Balmelli

The English Football League (EFL) has recently published disciplinary decisions, two of which resulted in points deductions.  In one case (Sheffield Wednesday), the points deduction was suspended until the start of next season, 2020-21. In another (Wigan) the points deduction took effect from the end of last season, 2019-20, resulting in that club’s relegation. In another case again (Birmingham City), a reprimand only was given.  In a decision yet to be published (Macclesfield Town[1]), a points deduction took effect in the 2019-20 season, resulting in that club’s immediate relegation.

This article by John Mehrzad QC and Bianca Balmelli of Littleton’s Sports Law Group will explain the context of the three recently published disciplinary decisions.  It will demonstrate that:

  1. timing of bringing charges under the EFL Regulations and the Profitability & Sustainability (P&S) Rules;
  2. the seriousness of their breach; and
  3. any subsequent compliance may influence not only the extent of any sporting sanctions but also when those sanctions may take effect.   

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Written by

John Mehrzad QC

John Mehrzad QC

John Mehrzad QC was appointed Silk after only 13 years’ practice – the fastest appointee in the 2019 competition.  With a background in employment law and commercial law, his sports law at Littleton Chambers, London, practice focuses, on the one hand, on financial disputes between clubs, managers, players, intermediaries, associations and commercial partners – usually before FA, PL or EFL arbitrations, or before FIFA or the CAS.  

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Bianca Balmelli

Bianca Balmelli

Barrister, Littleton Chambers
Bianca joined Littleton in October 2019 on completion of her pupillage. She accepts instructions in all of Chambers’ core practice areas.

Before coming to the Bar, Bianca worked as an advocate in South Africa, where she qualified in 2013. There she advised clients on various commercial disputes, both in the High Court and in Arbitrations.

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