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Trickle of money to EFL being killed - Ainsworth

Published on: 21 March 2023

Burnley, Sheffield United, Huddersfield and Wigan have all faced EFL sanctions relating to finances this season

Queens Park Rangers manager Gareth Ainsworth says the financial trickle down from the Premier League to the EFL is being "killed" by foreign players.

On Monday, Wigan became the fourth Championship club this season to be sanctioned for financial problems.

"It's just getting harder and harder with the influx of foreigners in the Premier League," said Ainsworth.

"They seem to be going elsewhere for their players now and the money isn't coming to the Championship anymore."

He added: "It really is killing it - the pyramid is tough to keep going and teams seem to be getting punished for it."

A winter of discontent

Championship bottom side Wigan, who were previously given a suspended penalty for a similar breach, were deducted three points for failing to meet terms of contracts in June, July and October 2022.

At the other end of the table, promotion-chasing Sheffield United were placed under a transfer embargo in January due to a breach of rules concerning the default of payments to another club.

Third-bottom Huddersfield Town and top of the table Burnley were both placed under a transfer embargo within two days of each other for submitting their annual accounts late.

Meantime the English Football League is reviewing Reading's finances amid reports the club is about to receive a six-point deduction.

The Royals, who are one place above QPR in 18th, were deducted six points for breaching financial rules in 2021.

A further six-point deduction was suspended until the end of 2022-23 provided they hit targets outlined in a business plan agreed with the EFL.

"There's all sorts of rumours about teams breaking the rules and are there going to be points deductions here there and everywhere," Ainsworth told BBC Radio London.

"The reason I mention it is because it shows the intensity of the Championship, I think there were only four teams who spent money in January.

"I'm really hoping we can do it on our own back and get enough points to be a Championship side next season. I don't want to rely on that - if we have to then I'll take it."

"A lot of building and change"

QPR, who are six points above the relegation zone, had a claim, dismissed by an arbitration panel in 2018, that Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are unlawful.

The Loftus Road club subsequently agreed a settlement of almost £42m with the English Football League relating to a case that the west London club broke spending limits on their way to winning promotion to the Premier League in 2014, with QPR's wages of more than £75m making up 195% of their turnover of £38.6m.

"We've historically come cropper of FFP in the Premier League years," Ainsworth concluded.

"We are definitely going to try to do things properly and make sure that on the pitch we earn the right to be in the Championship next year.

"We have some great players here, great fans, love this place and we will try to keep it secure here. There's a lot that needs doing here, a lot of building and a lot to change, hopefully I get the summer to do that."


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