Could Aston Villa join Sheffield Wednesday and become the third club to be threatened with a points deduction in stadium sale crackdown?

Reports in the national media suggest Villa are the subject of a Premier League probe into the May 2019 sale of Villa Park, which is reportedly yet to be ratified eight months on.

All three clubs used a loophole to include the sale of their stadium in their accounts and stay within the body’s stringent Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) rules, which allow clubs to make a loss of no more than £39m in a three-year rolling cycle.

The accounting period in which the Villa Park sale was included was their three-year spell in the Championship, from 2016 to 2019, which would ordinarily set them under the jurisdiction of the EFL. But the EFL have handed the matter onto the Premier League after the Birmingham club were promoted last season.

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The nature of any eventual charge for Villa – if indeed there is a charge to be heard – remains to be seen. The EFL have charged Wednesday and Derby for misconduct and a breach of spending rules respectively.

The top tier authority are reportedly still seeking independent valuations for Villa Park, which was sold for £56.7million to NSWE Stadium Limited, a third party company owned by Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

Should the deal be approved, it will allow the club to fall within P&S rules.

Both Wednesday and Derby have stand threatened with points deductions should they be found guilty. Both clubs are vigorously fighting the charges.

Aston Villa could become the latest club to be charged for circumstances around the sale of their stadium.

The Owls, who sold Hillsborough to a third party company owned by owner Dejphon Chansiri for £60m, have taken legal action against the EFL, accusing their actions as ‘unlawful’, and the charge is on hold subject to an arbitration hearing.

Last week Derby, who sold Pride Park to owner Mel Morris for £80m as included in their 2017/18 accounts, released an explosive statement that too claimed their charge was unlawful, claiming it indicated the EFL had ‘made a mistake’ in ratifying the club’s accounts first time around.

The Derby case is set to be heard by an Independent Disciplinary Commission.

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