Sheffield Wednesday appear to have received a boost regarding the EFL’s case against them.
The football finance expert Kieran Maguire believes supporters of Sheffield Wednesday should be encouraged by the club’s announcement that charges against its owner, Dejphon Chansiri, and former employees Katrien Meire and John Redgate have been dropped.
However, he reiterated that Wednesday, as a club, are not out of the woods yet, with a second, independent hearing still to take place.
All four entities were charged with misconduct by the English Football League (EFL) last year, relating to the timing and cost of Chansiri’s purchase of the Owls’ Hillsborough Stadium – a move designed to help circumvent the league’s profit and sustainability rules.
But the EFL have yet to comment on the development. And, speaking via BBC Radio Sheffield on Saturday, Maguire offered the following, potential explanation.
“It’s intriguing that the EFL themselves have said nothing with regards to this on their website,” he said. “It could be that they’re licking their wounds.”
He added: “I think it’s good news for the three individuals concerned and it’s got to raise hopes of Wednesday fans as well. If the club executives have been found to have conducted themselves properly then that’s got to give a boost to those people who are of the same opinion with regards to the club and the way that it has conducted itself.”
Who is the lawyer representing Sheffield Wednesday?
Wednesday are believed to hired Nick de Marco, the sports lawyer who has represented clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers (the latter against the EFL), to defend them at the hearing.
And that, Maguire reiterated, is very good news.
“My understanding is that the legal team Wednesday employed, in my view, is the best in the business,” he said. “It’s the equivalent of having Lionel Messi on the subs’ bench coming on with five minutes to go when you’re 1-0 down and turning it into a victory.”
It is unclear how soon the case will be heard, although as Maguire explained it is likely to be held up by the ongoing global health pandemic.