Bristol City owner wants tougher sanctions to deter clubs from overspending

26 March 2019

Bristol City - Steve Lansdown
Photo: Getty Images Stephen Lansdown, owner of Bristol City, calls for tougher sanctions for breaking profitability and sustainability rule.

In wake of Birmingham points deduction, Lansdown calls for tougher sanctions for breaking profitability and sustainability rules.

Bristol City want Premier League to intervene if a club wins promotion while breaking FFP rules.

Group of clubs, including Bristol City, fear creation of uneven financial playing field in the Championship.

Christian Fomsgaard Jensen cfj@offthepitch.com

Bristol City majority shareholder Steve Lansdown is not happy with the way several Championship clubs are run financially, the Bristol Post writes. 

Birmingham City recently had nine points deducted by the EFL after breaking the profitability and sustainability rules, exceeding the allowable losses of £39 million over a three-year period by nearly £10 million. 

According to reports, the EFL is also closely examining Aston Villa, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday over potential overspending. 

The group also includes Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson and a representative of Nottingham Forest

But the punishments are not tough enough to discourage clubs from overspending in their pursuit of Premier-League football and higher income, Lansdown reportedly believes.

He is an influential member of a small group of Championship owners who are demanding more stringent punishments for clubs who fail to stick to the rules of Financial Fair Play, according to the Bristol Post. 

Besides Lansdown, the group also includes Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson and a representative of Nottingham Forest. 

No harm done if you win promotion 

The group fear an uneven playing field is being created between clubs who are run carefully, and those who are willing to take the financial risk and overspend to secure promotion to the Premier League, in the belief that this will help cushion any potential long-term damage. 

Lansdown and Gibson therefore want the Premier League to intervene if a club wins promotion by breaking the rules. 
In their 2018 campaign, Wolves won promotion but lost more than £1 million a week following the examples of Bournemouth who got fined nearly £5 million for their losses in 2014/15 and Leicester City who got fined £3.1 million in 2014. Now established Premier-League sides, these amounts are insignificant for the clubs. 

Bristol City themselves reported a loss of £25.3 million in 2018, up from just £6.6 million in 2017. This is mainly because of the lack of player sales and an increased wage bill. 

The Robins are currently placed 9th in the Championship - just two points from the play-off spots with two games in hand.