Football League clubs have to submit their accounts for Financial Fair Play consideration by December 1, and a number of clubs will be wary that they could be set to have their spending punished.
Any club that is found to have failed the restrictions set by the governing body will be subject to a transfer embargo starting on January 1, 2015, and, whilst clubs will be able to still sign players on a ‘one in, one out’ basis - as long as the squad has fewer than 24 registered players - any team is likely to suffer without being able to sufficiently strengthen their side.
The ban cannot be removed until May 2015, although any club applying will only have their embargo removed if they can prove that they are set to pass the FFP test set for the following December - thus taking the 2014/15 season into account.
The three clubs relegated from the Premier League cannot be scrutinised until the 2015/16 season, but there are still three clubs who are remarkably likely to be hit with a transfer embargo come the turn of the year - and they are listed here.
Struggling Leeds are finally finding some stability since the arrival of Massimo Cellino, having been funding a wage bill of almost £20 million before he bought the club. The acceptable £3 million season-wide losses were far exceeded by the Whites, who were said to be losing more than £1 million a month, and Cellino has admitted that he expects the club to be placed under restrictions in the new year. However, they should be able to end their embargo at the earliest opportunity, with the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham making the 2014/15 accounts healthy reading.
As frequently reported by the Nottingham Post, Forest’s heavy spending in the search for promotion could cost the club. The Fawaz Al-Hasawi regime has been focused on returning the cub to the top flight, and they are set to receive and embargo at the turn of the year. Sales proceeds from this summer will not cover the current years’ accounts, and next year will have to factor in the signings of Britt Assombalonga and Michail Antonio, leaving the club with no viable date to forecast FFP compliant accounts. With promotion looking increasingly unlikely this season, Forest could wind up in a cycle of Championship mediocrity until their level their accounts.
A surprise contender considering their recent promotion to the Championship, but it is their spell in the third tier - where the allowed expenditure is lower - that could cost the club. Club owner Maxim Denim has spent a sizeable amount making the club competitive, and, currently leading the Championship race, the South Coast side could well be on their way to the Premier League. The sale of Lewis Grabban to Norwich City over the summer will only come into effect for the 2014/15 season, whilst reports are suggesting that the £5.75 million received for Adam Lallana’s move from Southampton to Liverpool will not be enough to cover the funds if they attempt to remove the ban for the summer transfer window.