Birmingham City claim to have made changes to ensure spending rules are not broken again, but the Championship club are yet to confirm if they will appeal against a nine-point deduction.

The English Football League (EFL) announced on Friday that Birmingham have been docked points following an investigation into the club's finances.

Birmingham were found to have breached rules on profitability and sustainability, with the deduction immediately coming into effect.

Garry Monk's side therefore drop from 13th in the Championship table to 18th, five points clear of the relegation zone, with eight games of the season to go.

Birmingham have 14 days to decide whether or not to lodge an appeal against the punishment, with the club releasing a statement in response to the EFL's announcement.

"The club has put measures in place to ensure future spending is within acceptable limits and since August we have adhered to an EFL business plan, which imposed transfer restrictions upon us," Birmingham said.

"When the club's owners took over, Birmingham City Football Club was in a dire position and investment was critical across many aspects of the business, including the first team, women's team, academy and the infrastructure.

"Then, as now, decisions by the owners and the board of directors were taken with the club's best interests at heart and a determination to halt a cycle of decline and stagnation, with the intention of pushing on to fulfil ours and our fans' ambitions.

"This season we have taken significant strides forward on and off the pitch and the owners' commitment and intention to drive continued improvement of the club's fortunes will not diminish.

"Birmingham City Football Club notes that it has 14 days in which to appeal the decision of the independent Disciplinary Commission and with that in mind we will be making no further comment."

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points rules for breaching rules on profitability and sustainability, the English Football League (EFL) has announced.

The punishment means Birmingham, who have lost their last four league games, drop from 13th in the Championship table to 18th, five points clear of the relegation zone.

Former manager Harry Redknapp spent heavily before steering the club away from relegation to League One in the 2016-17 season, but has denied responsibility for the points deduction.

"It's surely down to the people who run the club, like the chief executive and the chairman, or whoever, to know if we've got any money to spend," Redknapp told The Daily Telegraph ahead of the EFL announcement.

"I didn't know anything about Financial Fair Play. I was never warned by anyone at the football club that there was going to be a problem with that."

The EFL said Birmingham recorded losses in excess of the £39million upper loss threshold for the three-year period 2015-16 to 2017-18. Birmingham have 14 days to appeal the decision.

"The Profitability and Sustainability Rules, aligned with those in the Premier League, became effective in 2015-16," said an EFL spokesperson.

"Season 2017-18 was the end of the first full reporting period with Birmingham City the only club found to have breached those requirements, when it incurred adjusted losses of £48.787million, £9.787million in excess of the permitted losses.

"The Disciplinary Commission had the opportunity to consider all relevant factors in reaching its determination, including the club's mitigation."

Birmingham City have been deducted nine points rules for breaching rules on profitability and sustainability, the English Football League (EFL) has announced.

The punishment means Birmingham, who have lost their last four league games, drop from 13th in the Championship table to 18th, five points clear of the relegation zone.

Former manager Harry Redknapp spent heavily before steering the club away from relegation to League One in the 2016-17 season, but has denied responsibility for the points deduction.

"It's surely down to the people who run the club, like the chief executive and the chairman, or whoever, to know if we've got any money to spend," Redknapp told The Daily Telegraph ahead of the EFL announcement.

"I didn't know anything about Financial Fair Play. I was never warned by anyone at the football club that there was going to be a problem with that."

Aston Villa and Birmingham City have each been fined £5,000 by the Football Association (FA) for their skirmish in the Second City derby at St Andrew's.

Players from both sides clashed following Birmingham midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld's challenge on Jack Grealish in the early stages of the Championship encounter.

The FA confirmed the punishment in a statement on Monday.

It read: "Both clubs accepted a charge and the standard penalty for failing to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the fifth minute."

Kieftenbeld was shown a yellow card for the tackle before a spectator ran onto the pitch and punched Villa captain Grealish.

Paul Mitchell, 27, pleaded guilty to assault and was jailed for 14 weeks.

Birmingham have until Friday to respond to an FA charge stemming from the attack on Grealish, who scored the only goal in the visitors' 1-0 victory.

Norwich City hold a four-point lead at the top of the Championship as Sheffield United moved into second place with victory over promotion rivals Leeds United. 

Chris Basham scored the only goal of the game in the early kick-off at Elland Road, the Blades overcoming their Yorkshire rivals to climb above them in the table. 

Norwich capitalised on Leeds' loss with a 2-1 victory away at Rotherham United, who slip into the relegation zone after Reading collected a hard-fought point at Stoke City. 

West Brom won for a second time under caretaker boss James Shan, while Aston Villa thumped play-off rivals Middlesbrough 3-0. Preston North End, meanwhile, are up to seventh thanks to a 1-0 triumph against Birmingham City. 

Nottingham Forest and Hull City were held to draws, by Ipswich Town and QPR respectively, but Sheffield Wednesday maintained their hopes of a top-six spot, winning 4-2 at home to Blackburn Rovers. 

At the other end of the table, Wigan Athletic eased their relegation fears with a resounding 5-2 triumph over Bolton Wanderers, who are getting cut adrift. 

GODFREY WINNER HEAVENLY FOR CANARIES

Ben Godfrey was the hero for Norwich as his 67th-minute header clinched Daniel Farke's side a sixth successive win. 

The Canaries are now five points clear of Leeds, who had goalkeeper Kiko Casilla sent off in the closing stages of their 1-0 loss to Sheffield United, forcing a limping Pontus Jansson to take over between the posts.

West Brom may not have entirely given up on automatic promotion just yet either - Kyle Edwards' superb solo goal was enough for the Baggies to overcome Brentford.

VILLA ON THE CHARGE

Aston Villa continued their resurgence, recording a fourth win on the spin to close within a point of Middlesbrough.

Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn scored in a dominant first-half performance from the hosts at Villa Park, with Albert Adomah adding a third just before full-time.

Tony Pulis' side are looking over their shoulders after a third straight loss, Preston now sitting just a point behind Middlesbrough after Sean Maguire's stoppage-time goal defeated Birmingham.

Wednesday are also making a late charge, Steve Bruce's in-form team extending their league unbeaten run to 11 games with a comfortable victory at Hillsborough.

WIGAN WIN RELEGATION SCUFFLE

Wigan recorded their first league win since February 2 - and in emphatic fashion, too - as they overwhelmed fellow strugglers Bolton, who are now eight points from safety.

Joe Garner scored the only goal of the opening half before Wigan crucially struck twice soon after the break, Gavin Massey making it 2-0 before Nick Powell added a third.

Reading have moved out of the bottom three after the woodwork helped them pick up a point at Stoke, the home side denied by the post as they drew 0-0 for a third successive outing.

Birmingham City have been charged by the Football Association following the incident that saw Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish punched by a spectator during Sunday's derby at St Andrew's.

Paul Mitchell, 27, was jailed for 14 weeks by magistrates in Birmingham after running onto the pitch to attack Grealish.

The Aston Villa midfielder went on to score the only goal in a 1-0 win for the visitors.

The FA have charged Birmingham for breaches of Rule E20(a) and (b) – the same offence put before Arsenal after a spectator entered the pitch to celebrate a goal in their game against Manchester United later on Sunday, shoving Chris Smalling in the process.

An FA statement read: "It is alleged the club failed to ensure that its spectator[s] conducted themselves in an orderly fashion; refrained from improper or violent conduct and refrained from encroaching onto the pitch during the EFL Championship fixture against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Birmingham have until Friday, March 22 to respond to the charge.

Norwich City marked Daniel Farke's new contract with a 3-2 home win against Hull City to move back to the top of the Championship table. 

Farke's new deal to 2022 was confirmed ahead of kick-off and the celebrations continued after Norwich recorded a fifth straight league win. 

There were big wins at the bottom of the league for Millwall and Rotherham United, while play-off chasers Preston North End and Aston Villa both won on the road. 

In their first game after the sacking of head coach Darren Moore, West Brom thumped Swansea City in a game that saw a bizarre penalty miss.

NORWICH BACK ON TOP

Leeds United won at Reading on Tuesday to leapfrog Norwich into top spot but the Canaries flew back above their rivals 24 hours later at Carrow Road. 

Marco Stiepermann opened the scoring in the 11th minute and Emiliano Buendia scored either side of Marc Pugh's reply to seemingly seal a comfortable win. 

Hull striker Chris Martin struck with three minutes to go to give Norwich a scare but, with Leeds and third-placed Sheffield United facing off at Elland Road at the weekend, Farke's leaders look in an increasingly strong position.

MILLWALL OUT OF THE DROP ZONE

With games running out fast, teams at the other end of the table are in desperate need of points and Millwall collected a vital victory to jump up to 19th place. 

Ben Thompson's first-half brace sealed a 2-0 win away to Birmingham City with Neil Harris' side breaking a run of four straight losses ahead of their FA Cup quarter-final date with Brighton and Hove Albion. 

Rotherham also boosted their own survival chances but a dramatic 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers was not enough to take the Millers out of the final relegation place. 

Semi Ajayi gave Rotherham the lead and, after Bright Samuel hit back for the hosts, he headed the winner in the 95th minute to secure his team's first away success of the season.

BAGGIES BOUNCE BACK

Moore's dismissal after Saturday's draw against bottom side Ipswich Town raised eyebrows but caretaker James Shan oversaw a first home win of the year as West Brom downed Swansea 3-0 to solidify their fourth place. 

Chris Brunt opened the scoring but Swansea missed a golden chance to equalise, Bersant Celina losing his footing as he took a spot-kick to somehow send the penalty behind him. 

Mason Holgate and Jay Rodriguez added second-half strikes for West Brom, who have a comfortable cushion in fourth place.

Middlesbrough stay fifth despite Tony Pulis' men going down 2-1 at home to Preston North End, goals from Paul Gallagher and Jayden Stockley securing a second-half comeback and a sixth straight away league win for Alex Neil's side, with the Scot reportedly a target for West Brom. 

Sixth-placed Derby County were held to a goalless draw at home to Stoke City, allowing Aston Villa's 3-1 comeback win away to Nottingham Forest to move Dean Smith's men within two points of the final play-off spot.

The Birmingham City fan who attacked Jack Grealish has been sentenced to 14 weeks in prison and handed a 10-year ban from football matches.

Paul Mitchell, of Rubery, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to pitch invasion and assault after punching Aston Villa midfielder Grealish during the Second City derby at St Andrew's on Sunday.

Mitchell, 27, was also ordered to pay £350 in fines and is prohibited from attending games in the United Kingdom for the next decade.

The incident occurred just hours before a man ran across the field of play and pushed Manchester United defender Chris Smalling during their Premier League match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

The Football Association has resolved to work with other authorities in order to provide greater protection for players and match officials.

"This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour," an FA spokesperson said in a statement.

"On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.

"Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.

"This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.

"We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.

"In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place."

The Birmingham City supporter who attacked Jack Grealish during Aston Villa's 1-0 win at St. Andrew's has pleaded guilty to pitch invasion and assault.

Villa captain Grealish was punched from behind by the pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

West Midlands Police confirmed Paul Mitchell, 27, was charged after the game and he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Birmingham City confirmed Mr Mitchell has been banned from the Championship club for life.

Grealish showed no ill effects from the incident and went on to score the only goal in his side's 1-0 victory before leaping over the advertising hoarding to celebrate with the away supporters.

The police made four arrests in total for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

The man who attacked Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has been charged by police and will face court on Monday.

Villa captain Grealish was punched from behind by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby against Birmingham City.

West Midlands Police confirmed Paul Mitchell, 27, had been charged with "invading the pitch and assaulting" Grealish.

"We've this evening [Sun 10 March] charged a man with invading the pitch and assaulting Aston Villa player Jack Grealish during the Second City derby," they said in a statement on Twitter.

"Paul Mitchell, aged 27, of Rubery, has been remanded in custody to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court tomorrow [Mon 11 March]."

Birmingham City had earlier announced the supporter would be banned for life.

Grealish showed no ill effects from the incident and went on to score the only goal in his side's 1-0 victory before leaping over the advertising hoarding to celebrate with the away supporters.

The police made four arrests in total for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

The Birmingham City fan who attacked Jack Grealish is in custody while a steward was spoken to following the Aston Villa star's goal at St Andrew's, police have confirmed.

Villa captain Grealish was punched from behind by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of encroachment onto the pitch and assault, with hosts Birmingham announcing the individual will be banned for life.

Grealish showed no ill effects from the incident and went on to score the only goal in his side's 1-0 victory before leaping over the advertising hoarding to celebrate with the away supporters.

Television footage showed a member of security being led away by authorities after appearing to forcibly push the 23-year-old back onto the playing field.

West Midlands Police confirmed a steward was spoken to in the aftermath of Grealish's goal but that "no offence has been reported at this stage".

"An attack on a player is completely unacceptable and outrageous," match commander, superintendent Nick Rowe said of the initial incident.
 
"The vast majority of people were well behaved but unfortunately the occasion has been marred by this.
 
"We currently have a man in custody for questioning and will be working with Birmingham City Football Club as we fully investigate what happened."

The police made four arrests in total for suspected assault or violent disorder offences.

Enquiries are ongoing relating to objects being thrown at officers, while offensive social media posts directed towards Grealish will be reviewed.

A jubilant Jack Grealish described scoring the winner for Aston Villa against Birmingham City after being punched by a pitch invader as "the best day" of his life.

Grealish, Villa's captain on the day, was attacked less than 10 minutes into a heated affair at St Andrew's when a man entered the field of play and struck him around the neck and jaw from behind.

Players from both teams checked on the midfielder's welfare and he went on to score the decisive goal in Villa's 1-0 victory, beating Lee Camp from just inside the box in the 67th minute.

Grealish said the ugly incident, which led to an individual being arrested by West Midlands Police, took him by surprise, but did not overshadow a proud day.

"I was just unaware at the time," Grealish told Sky Sports when asked about the attack.

"I was walking into position and I just felt a whack around the side of the face. Obviously there's rivalry in football but I don't think there's any place for that really.

"I just tried to get on with my job in the end and I think I did. It was unbelievable to get the winner in front of the fans after what happened.

"It's the best day of my life to come here as captain of Aston Villa and score the winner. It's what dreams are made of, especially being an Aston Villa fan."

Grealish's winner lifted Villa to ninth in the Championship, a point above their Second City rivals.

Birmingham City have issued an apology to Jack Grealish and confirmed the man who attacked the Aston Villa midfielder will be banned from St Andrew's for life.

The Villa captain was punched from behind by a man who encroached onto the field in the early stages of Sunday's derby clash.

Grealish appeared to be struck on the neck and jaw but showed few ill effects as he later went on to score the winner.

With the EFL having already condemned the incident while the match was still ongoing, Birmingham also put out a strong statement at the end of the Championship fixture.

It read: "Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in this afternoon's derby match.

"We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St Andrew's for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.

"The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.

"What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this – there are no excuses.

"Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club."

West Midlands Police tweeted to confirm that a man had been arrested following the incident.

Jack Grealish dramatically gave Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Birmingham City after being attacked by a pitch invader in the early stages of Sunday's derby.

Villa captain Grealish was felled by a punch to the neck and jaw region when a man ran onto the pitch in the opening 10 minutes of the Championship clash at St Andrew's.

A steward led the individual away off the field and West Midlands Police later confirmed a man had been arrested "following the incident on the pitch involving an attack on an Aston Villa player".

Players from both teams checked on the welfare of Grealish and the 23-year-old proved the match-winner in the 67th minute, beating Lee Camp with a left-footed effort from just inside the box and running to celebrate with the away fans behind the goal.

Anwar El Ghazi, Tammy Abraham and Andre Green had earlier squandered chances to break the deadlock, while Conor Hourihane rattled the crossbar with a thumping strike 15 minutes from full-time.

Craig Gardner wasted two late opportunities to equalise for the hosts as Dean Smith's men held on for a second straight victory, lifting them into ninth and back to within four points of the play-off places.

Birmingham, who have now lost two on the trot, slid back to 11th, one point behind their rivals.

The EFL has condemned the attack on Jack Grealish that marred the opening of the derby match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa on Sunday.

A man ran onto the St Andrew's pitch and aimed a punch at the Villa midfielder, who was facing the opposite direction and appeared to be caught on the neck and jaw. 

Play was stopped while stewards restrained the man, who has since been arrested, before Grealish – who later scored the winner – was helped to his feet.

The EFL released a statement when the game was still in progress, with the governing body denouncing the "mindless actions" of Grealish's assailant. 

It read: "The EFL condemns the mindless actions of the individual who encroached on to the pitch at St Andrew's on Sunday afternoon. 

"It's a situation no player should ever be faced with.

"In all circumstances the playing surface is for players, not supporters and those playing in the game must be able to do so safe in the knowledge they will not be subjected to this type of behaviour. 

"While this incident falls within the remit of the Football Association, we will work with all the relevant parties to address the issue of player and match officials' safety on the pitch and ensure the appropriate action is taken."

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