Coventry, Luton and Cardiff have said they have fallen foul of an administrative anomaly after confirming they have been handed transfer embargoes by the English Football League.
All three clubs said they had been given an extended deadline to submit their financial accounts to Companies House because of the pandemic but that the EFL has not replicated this. Each club issued a statement on Tuesday reassuring fans the punishment was purely “administrative” and would not affect planned summer transfer activity.
A Coventry statement read: “The government, due to the coronavirus crisis, allowed companies to extend the deadline to file company accounts by three months and Coventry City chose to take up this option.
“Unfortunately the EFL has decided not to replicate this extension within their own rules, which surprises us as they have amended a number of other rules due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The club’s chief executive, Dave Boddy, labelled the situation “disappointing” and said it was “ridiculous” that the EFL’s regulations did not replicate the government’s approach.
Coventry said they would submit their accounts within three months of the end if February “as required by Companies House” and that the transfer embargo would then be removed. “This is purely an administrative embargo imposed by the EFL,” the club said. “This has no effect on the day-to-day running of the club or its finances, and will have no effect on planned transfer activity.’’
The same reassurances were offered by Luton and Cardiff. Luton described their embargo as “an anomaly” and said their accounts would be signed off by the auditors “well before the statutory deadline”. Cardiff said they would submit their accounts before the of April and the embargo would then be lifted. “The club chose to take this option, in the knowledge that a short term EFL embargo would be imposed,” Cardiff said.
When approached on Tuesday, the EFL said it did not confirm the names of any clubs placed under embargoes.