Stoke City’s Championship rivals could face transfer restrictions, report claims



Football League clubs who defer players’ wages could be subjected to transfer restrictions to prevent them from trying to exploit the situation for competitive gain.

Rick Parry, the EFL chairman, has already told clubs to stop trying to sign rival players amid concerns it undermines the financial plight as the sport wrestles with the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

However, the Telegraph reports that discussions are underway between the EFL and it’s clubs regarding a potential introduction of rules that would block teams who have deferred player wages from spending millions in the transfer market.

Stoke City’s owners have said their players and staff will be paid in full, and have also guaranteed jobs at their bet365 business. 

In the Championship, Leeds United, Brentford and Wigan Athletic are among the clubs who have struck deferral agreements with their players during the crisis and, if the plans are put in place, would be subject to the EFL rules.

However, it is unlikely those restrictions would apply if a club earns promotion to the Premier League – with Leeds fighting for the title and Brentford battling for a play-off spot prior to the suspension of fixtures.

A source told the Telegraph: “If you’re building up liabilities and not paying what you owe, that becomes very challenging in two respects – one is in terms of the impact of the players you owe money to, and the second is on the competitive aspects in relation to clubs who haven’t deferred wages.

“If you defer a substantial element and then go out and spend £10 million in the transfer market when a club that has paid their players in full can’t then afford to spend in the market, can that be right?

“You can’t have a complete transfer embargo but you might have restrictions on fees or a stipulation that X per cent of the money has to go to paying off the players’ deferred salaries first because the whole basis of deferrals is that you haven’t got any money.” 





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