Stadium sales face fresh scrutiny in EFL probe
The English Football League has appointed QCS from the legal team which advised the Government on Brexit as it steps up an investigation into stadium sales at three Championship clubs.
Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading are under scrutiny from the EFL over the valuations of their stadiums, with an unscheduled board meeting held in London yesterday to discuss the situation.
It has been alleged by a number of Championship clubs, including Middlesbrough, that the three breached profitability and sustainability rules by selling their stadiums and then leasing them back. Derby have defended the £80million valuation of their Pride Park home and insist they were fully compliant with the rules when they filed their accounts for the 2017-18 season. An EFL spokesman said: “Further investigation is still required on a number of issues in respect of the profitability and sustainability submissions of some Championship clubs.”
In a statement last month, Derby said: “The stadium was subject to an independent professional valuation before sale, nearly 18 months ago, and the EFL indicated in writing that the arrangement was in accordance with its rules and regulations. The EFL cannot now, long after approving the arrangements, suggest Derby breached the rules.” Wednesday and Reading have always defended their positions.
The EFL is understood to have enlisted QCS from Blackstone Chambers – which advised the Government on Brexit in the Supreme Court – to assist its independent investigation.