Date: 3rd June 2019 at 7:00am
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With Aston Villa securing their return to the Premier League following our successful Championship Play-Off Final victory over Derby County last Monday, this week has again seen the media harp on about Financial Fair Play and the various speculative punishments we may face.

We all knew we were close to the line given the spending in the last three seasons, but despite the ‘we’re doomed’ approach of the red tops last summer, the safer money was on if we had breached – it was probably only by a small amount so the prospect of a points deduction was always an extreme outlook.

Having already provided the EFL with our provisional figures for the 2018/19 campaign everything went quiet for a bit until Steve Gibson shot his load towards the end of the campaign as Middlesbrough missed out on promotion and his wibbling seems to show no sign of abating.

Villa will be a target for his ire as well given our recent off pitch steps in May.

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It certainly seems like we are prepared to do the Stadium shenanigans to solve our final FFP figures and that decision may tell us a lot. Given our promotion to the Premier League I initially expected we wouldn’t, and that the steps taken were a fall back if we failed to get promoted. But if we do, it’ll be done for a reason and it’s perfectly within the rules, regardless of what some chairman feel.

With the likes of the Daily Mail and Talksport banging on again last week about a points deduction it’s understandable as to why plenty of fans were concerned.

The EFL had already announced, either prior to or just after their QPR success and precedent that the rules were now aligned between the Premier League and the EFL so promotion was no longer an escape to punishment – and that is ultimately what the wibbling in the recent reports leant on.

That’s not quite the case, as although I assumed it meant full punishment was backed, it appears the actual regulations pertaining to promotion are strictly limited to enforcing a fine – with thanks to Dave J (Yorkshire AVFC).

A points deduction, even as a request (if one can even be made) does not seem to be on the cards in the actual regulations. The only way a sanction can now get that high when attaining promotion is via a default to ‘pay the fine’ scenario akin to punishment for administration etc where the Premier League have to make a stand.

Quite a lively oversight in my humble and having worked so hard to get their punishment precedent and get the Birmingham points deduction on the cards, oh, the EFL will be kicking themselves.

Shame that really.

I’m not sure if it ever truly became a hashtag, but ‘pay the fine’ was closer to reality than we thought!

For those wanting the specifics with Birmingham – I believe they were known to have breached in 2017/18 so the provisional 2018/19 figures for me were required pre-punishment purely to establish how much of a breach had taken place. We clearly, on that score, didn’t breach in 2017/18 or we’d have also been hit with a points deduction – so with promotion secured, whatever our 2018/19 numbers say it’s totally irrelevant on that front.

The EFL’s threat of denying promotion seems to only exist if you breach the regulations 12 months ahead of gaining promotion – which is nice.

Can I say I’m right 100%, no.

But I’m not reading it any other way having now changed my earlier assumptions about their ‘agreement’.

Maybe some in the media can actually take a proper look at things instead of just going with clickbait nonsense as they regurgitate worst-case scenario’s that don’t actually appear to exist?

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