Leicester face summer of player sales or risk points deduction – even if promoted

Leicester facing summer of player sales or risk points deduction – even if they are promoted
Leicester facing summer of player sales or risk points deduction – even if they are promoted

Leicester City are under pressure to sell players this summer even if they return to the Premier League, as they fight to avoid breaching financial rules.

Championship leaders Leicester have been plunged into a potential financial crisis after it emerged that they are expected to fail profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) after racking up heavy losses.

Relegated from the Premier League last season, Leicester are forecast to comfortably exceed the permitted losses of £83 million over a three-year period. Premier League losses are £105 million but Leicester’s allowance is lower as for this campaign they are a Championship club.

Last year they announced record losses of £92.5 million for the 2021-22 season, and it is understood that latest financial accounts are also likely to report a heavy deficit when they are announced this month.

The key point is how much Leicester’s losses were in the 2022-23 season when they were still in the Premier League.

On Wednesday it emerged that the Football League had failed in an attempt to put the club under a business plan after financial information submitted in November raised serious concerns.

Leicester successfully argued that the rule did not apply as they were a Premier League club last season. Nick De Marco KC, a leading sports lawyer, is believed to have compiled the club’s defence.

It is understood Leicester have argued that the EFL has no legal grounds to circumvent their own regulations to fast-track sanctions.

Leicester had to submit their accounts by March 1 and are aware they have to raise significant funds before the end of June this year.

Last summer they sold James Maddison to Tottenham for £40 million before the end of the financial year and will be in a similar predicament even if Enzo Maresca guides the club to promotion.

Leicester are still in the FA Cup and could raise money from further progress in the competition while a number of players, including Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jannik Vestergaard and Wilfred Ndidi are out of contract at the end of the season.

In a statement, Leicester said: “Today the EFL has published a decision of the club financial reporting panel (CFRP), which confirms that the EFL’s club financial reporting unit (CFRU) acted outside of its powers in its dealings with Leicester City in November 2023.

“Although the Club is pleased that the CFRP’s decision found in its favour, it is concerned that it was necessary for the CFRP to intervene in this way to prevent the CFRU from acting outside of established EFL rules.

“Leicester City confirms it is in discussions with the football authorities regarding its profitability and sustainability calculations. Notwithstanding the CFRP’s decision, the Club remains committed to seeking an appropriate overall outcome in this matter.”

Leicester’s nine-year spell in the Premier League ended last year when they finished third bottom.

Owned by Thailand duty free company King Power, Leicester are top of the Championship by three points.

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