Championship team Birmingham City Football Club received a 9-point deduction for breaking financial rules, but that’s not why they should be punished.
Birmingham City Football Club have been handed a harsh 9-point deduction in the Championship. This has taken them from play-off hopefuls, to a relegation possibility. This highlights just how competitive the EFL Championship is. It’s easily one of the most competitive football leagues in the world, and therefore every single point can be either a huge boost or a huge disappointment.
The reason for Birmingham being given this punishment is because they have supposedly broken the rules on spending made by the EFL. Essentially, you need to be bringing as much money in as you’re spending. If you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you’ll get punished. That’s part of the reason why this league is so competitive, open and fair compared to the Premier League, or Bundesliga, for example.
It’s not the first time a club has broken the rules. Nottingham Forest and Leeds City have both been caught spending too much in the past. But, they were handed a financial embargo instead of a points-deduction. This means the club cannot buy any new players until they’ve evened out their finances. It was a tough time for both clubs. They had to part way with some of their best players for a hefty fee, and were only able to expand their team through loaning players.
But, they were both able to adhere to FFP and eventually finished their embargoes. Leeds are now challenging to win the league, and Forest are challenging for the play-offs.
A 9-point deduction seems extremely harsh. It has taken Birmingham into a potential relegation battle with less than ten games to go until the end of the season. They should’ve been given the same punishment as Leeds and Forest instead.
However, the 9-point deduction would suffice for a much more serious, dangerous, and worrying incident. Recently, a Birmingham City fan ran onto the pitch during a home game against local rivals Aston Villa. He proceeded to run towards Aston Villa player, Jack Grealish and punch him to the floor. Stewards then pulled him away and he is now serving 14 weeks in jail.
“the 9-point deduction would suffice for a much more serious, dangerous, and worrying incident”
Although it wasn’t the club’s fault per say, there are serious questions over their security at what is often an intense game. This could have been much worse, had the fan been carrying a knife or another weapon. Other fans may have even taken inspiration from this, and could replicate the act but with even more harm being caused. It puts players, managers, the coaching teams, and any person separating them from fans, at risk.
An example must be made of the incident to deter other fans from copying. The fan himself has been jailed for 14 weeks, has been given a fine, and has been banned from football stadiums in the UK for ten years. But there has to be severe punishment for the club too if we are to have any hope of stamping this behaviour out before it becomes a much more serious issue.