EFL reportedly planning to prevent stadium sale loophole after Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading sales

The EFL are reportedly planning to prevent the stadium sale loophole which allowed several Championship clubs to sell and lease back their grounds to comply with financial regulations.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Derby owner Mel Morris bought the club's stadium, Pride Park, with a deal to lease it back.

It came after Rams owner Mel Morris used a separate company to buy the club’s stadium, Pride Park, for a reported £80million with a deal to lease it back, yet the ground was only listed as an asset on Derby’s books for £41million.

As a result, Derby recorded a pre-tax profit of £14.6million this year, yet their reported losses over a three-year period would have broken the EFL’s financial rules.

Football League clubs are only allowed to record losses of £13million a season over a three-year period.

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Reading and Sheffield Wednesday have also been accused of exploiting the stadium loophole.

However, according to the Daily Mail, a proposal will be discussed at a meeting of Championship clubs later this month.

The report claims ‘sale-and-lease-back arrangements would continue to be permitted but the sale would not count on the balance sheet when calculating a club’s profit and sustainability, thus making it less attractive.’

Derby owner Morris has repeatedly said the club have done nothing wrong and was recently asked about Boro chairman Steve Gibson’s complaint.

"Obviously Steve has an issue and he is trying to pursue that. I'm not sure what the issue is,” Morris told Sky Sports on Friday. "What we did was within the regulations. End of story.”