Birmingham City have issued a club statement confirming that the English Football League (EFL) has placed them under a transfer embargo for breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
The statement read: “The club has spent several months working diligently to satisfy the EFL.
“Unfortunately and disappointingly the EFL are currently refusing to allow us to make additions which would enable us to strengthen the manager’s squad.”
FFP was introduced by UEFA and requires clubs to only spend a certain amount more than their income each year, to ensure that they are not being run unsustainably. If the directors of Birmingham are not able to convince the EFL that they are working within the parameters of FFP before the end of the transfer window then the club will not be able to make any new signings.
With the Championship getting stronger and stronger each year this could leave the Blues lagging behind clubs such as Nottingham Forest, who’ve made 10 signings, and Stoke who have made five.
Here at Football FanCast we’ve taken a look at the potential consequences of the EFL keeping the embargo enforced until the transfer window closes on Thursday August 9.
Currently Birmingham’s only signing of the summer is Danish left-back Kristian Pedersen, who signed on a four year contract from German side Union Berlin. However, the 23-year-old is now in limbo with manager Garry Monk not allowed to register his first signing as Birmingham manager with the Football League.
Other Championship clubs have already attempted to take advantage of this situation, with The Daily Mirror (Transfer Live Blog, 21:37, Saturday July 28, 2018) reporting that Derby County are keen to take the Dane defender on loan.
If the other option is to sit twiddling his thumbs, Pedersen may be keen to force another move even if it is to another Championship club.
Before Monk was aware his side would be placed under the embargo he had ousted goalkeeper David Stockdale from the first team and told Tomasz Kuszczak to find a new club in the hope that a new keeper would come in for the start of the season.
Now though, he has been forced to confirm that youngster Connal Trueman will start in goal in the Blues opening game of the season against Norwich, according to The Birmingham Mail despite the 22-year-old’s senior experience being just four games for Solihull Moors.
The physicality of the Championship means it is not for the faint-hearted and it could be a difficult debut for Trueman if Monk doesn’t end up recalling Stockdale to the side.
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Monk joined the club in March this year and The Daily Mirror reports that he was ensured by the club’s hierarchy since the moment he signed on the dotted line that the embargo would not be a problem.
With that turning out to be a false promise and with the difficult task of getting early results with a thin squad, it would be no surprise to see the boss leave just a couple of weeks into the Championship season.
Monk left Leeds last summer after just a year in charge of the club following the takeover at Elland Road by Andrea Radrizzani, with BBC Radio Leeds commentator Adam Pope suggesting it was transfer budget related.
Birmingham fans will be hoping the current squad rallies together to ensure this isn’t the case, but there is no doubt that without additions it could be a painful start to the season for Monk and the Blues.
So, Birmingham fans, do you think Monk will stay even if the transfer embargo is not lifted and the Blues suffer a difficult start to the season or will he jump ship as he did at Leeds? Have your say in our poll below.