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Birmingham City fans demand transparency from club over EFL charges

Birmingham City have been charged by the EFL for allegedly breaching the business plan imposed on the club by the league following sanctions last season – and now Blues fans want answers.

The Blues Trust have now written to the club following the charge, which came after their accounts revealed St Andrew’s was sold to one of the club’s subsidiaries to circumvent the EFL’s financial fair play rules.

Supporters were led to be believe at a meeting with the club hierarchy that the club were operating within the EFL business plan – but this may now not be the case.

“We now find that the truth is we appear to have been in breach of that plan,” the Blues Trust said.

“Although the EFL are yet to comment it seems unlikely to be coincidence that this declaration coincides with another extremely concerning set of accounts.

“Once again, the supporters have been misled, and once again treated with contempt by the club.

The sale of St Andrew’s to one of the clubs subsidiaries generated £22.7m for Birmingham City’s accounts, bringing their losses below £8m and within the £13m allowed by the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules.

Clubs selling their own grounds to subsidiaries is a controversial practice. Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are two other Championship clubs that have recently sold their grounds to ‘themselves’ to sidestep financial fair play restrictions. The FSA argues that owners (or related parties to owners) should not be permitted to hold security over a club’s assets in this way.

The Blues Trust described the accounts as alarming and are now asking the club whether the sale was approved by the EFL, exactly what the EFL are investigation and in what way the club are being accused of infringing their business plan.

In a short statement the club denied the charges brought by the EFL and said they would be awaiting the outcome of the league’s disciplinary hearings before commenting further.

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