Birmingham City, West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday boosted as rivals handed strict EFL verdict

The EFL has handed a severe transfer punishment to one of Birmingham City and West Brom’s Championship rivals.
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Sky Bet Championship outfit Cardiff City have been placed under a fee restriction for the next two transfer windows, it has been announced by the English Football League.

An independent Disciplinary Commission has confirmed and approved the decision, punishing the Bluebirds for failing to make payments to Nantes FC for the transfer of Emiliano Sala.

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This means Cardiff will only be able to sign players for free – both in the case of permanent and loan deals – throughout the entirety of the 2023/24 season.

West Midlands sides Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion will be indirectly boosted by this development as there will now be one less team able to compete in the transfer market.

This is particularly relevant for Blues as Cardiff are likely to be a direct relegation rival if things don’t quite work out as hoped for John Eustace’s side.

Progression is expected at St Andrew’s with new ownership, two signings already completed, and more on the horizon – but fans will need to be patient as an improvement will take time.

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The likes of the newly-promoted Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday will also be at an advantage following the EFL’s decision.

What did the EFL statement say?

Cardiff are now under a severe transfer restriction.Cardiff are now under a severe transfer restriction.
Cardiff are now under a severe transfer restriction.

Published on the morning of Friday, June 23, an official statement from the EFL reads: “Cardiff are subject to a fee restriction and not permitted to pay fees in respect of transfers or loans for two full transfer windows.

“This sanction is inclusive of and had been applied in the January 2023 Winter Transfer Window, and now also applies during the current 2023 Summer Transfer Window, though does see the Club receive a reduced sanction from three full transfer windows after appeal.

“Cardiff City had triggered the EFL’s ’30-day rule’ when it was late in making an initial payment to Nantes FC for the transfer of Emiliano Sala, having been ordered to do so following a lengthy legal process involving FIFA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and then the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

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“The Club appealed to a Disciplinary Commission following an amendment to the League’s ’30-day rule’ in June 2023 after EFL Clubs agreed a right of appeal should be afforded to any Club in breach should they have genuine exceptional circumstances that ought to be considered by a Disciplinary Commission.

“Upon reviewing the case, the Disciplinary Commission agreed with the EFL that the Club was 53 days late in making payment so should be sanctioned, but that there were also exceptional circumstances surrounding the case which should be considered.

“In addition to the fee restriction for two windows, the Club will also make a payment toward the EFL’s legal costs and arbitrators’ fees.”

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