Sheffield Wednesday have been charged by the EFL following alleged breaches of financial rules relating to the sale of their Hillsborough stadium.

The Championship club say they are "vigorously defending" the charges, which under EFL regulations could result in penalties including a points deduction or a fine if proven.

The EFL launched an investigation into Wednesday's 2017-18 financial submission under profitability and sustainability rules following the reported sale of Hillsborough to owner Dejphon Chansiri.

Wednesday's accounts showed income of £61.27million "from related parties", which resulted in the club posting a profit.

The league body said in a statement on Thursday: "The EFL has reviewed a large number of documents obtained from the club as part of this process and concluded there is sufficient evidence to justify issuing charges of misconduct.

"The charges are in respect of a number of allegations regarding the process of how and when the stadium was sold and the inclusion of the profits in the 2017/18 accounts."

Wednesday responded by saying: "Sheffield Wednesday note the statement issued today by the EFL and the charges contained within. These charges will be vigorously defended and the club will be making no further comment at this time."

West Brom maintained their two-point lead at the Championship summit with a slender 1-0 win over Hull City on Saturday.

Preston North End and Leeds United remain within touching distance of the Baggies after wins over Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

At the other end of the table, Michael O'Neill inspired Stoke City to a 4-2 win over Barnsley in his first game since taking charge of the club – a result that lifts them above the Tykes at the foot of the table.

Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest edged out Derby County in the East Midlands derby, while there also wins for Fulham, Millwall, Reading and Brentford.

 

BAGGIES STAY TOP AFTER LIVERMORE STUNNER

Jake Livermore's second goal of the season was enough for West Brom to edge out Hull at the KCOM Stadium.

The 29-year-old midfielder finished off a short corner routine in spectacular style after 28 minutes, taking a touch to control the ball 20 yards from goal and unleashing a rocket of a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the Tigers' net.

Hull started the second half brightly and Kevin Stewart missed crucial chances as Slaven Bilic's side found themselves exposed at the back.

But the visitors should have doubled their lead when Matheus Pereira – their outstanding creative player so far this season – sent a chip narrowly over the crossbar, but Bilic's table-toppers claimed all three points nonetheless.

BAMFORD ON TARGET AS WHITES WIN AGAIN

Leeds went into their clash against Blackburn unbeaten in four matches but striker Patrick Bamford was without a goal at Elland Road since April.

The former Middlesbrough striker ended his home drought after a foul on Luke Ayling earned a dominant Leeds side a penalty, Bamford coolly sending Christian Walton the wrong way as he stroked the ball home.

Bamford had a hand in the Whites' second, touching Kalvin Phillips' floated ball deftly into the path of Jack Harrison, who sent an angled shot in off the far post.

But slack marking allowed Derrick Williams to head Blackburn back into the game five minutes before half-time, the full-back rising to meet Stewart Downing's cross for his third goal of the season from 12 yards.

A combative Rovers side failed to break Marcelo Bielsa's men down, however, as they collected back-to-back Championship wins for the first time since August.

PRESTON TOO STRONG FOR RESURGENT TERRIERS

Huddersfield's recent revival came to a crashing halt at Deepdale as Preston registered a third consecutive league win with a 3-1 victory.

The Terriers were unbeaten in seven league games but never looked like clawing their way back into the game after Jayden Stockley had given the hosts a fourth-minute lead.

Alan Browne doubled that advantage shortly after the half-hour mark, while Paul Gallagher added a third with a penalty five minutes after the interval.

Juninho Bacuna pulled one back for the visitors 16 minutes from time, but it did little to take the gloss off another impressive win for Alex Neil's side.

O'NEILL MAKES INSTANT IMPACT AT STOKE

O'Neill made a superb start to life with struggling Stoke, guiding them to an emphatic win over Barnsley at Oakwell.

A Sam Clucas brace and goals from Joe Allen and Lee Gregory helped the Potters end a run of three consecutive defeats and start life after Nathan Jones in style.

Elsewhere, Lewis Grabban scored the only goal of the game as Forest edged out local rivals Derby, while Fulham registered a 1-0 win at Birmingham City.

Millwall overcame Charlton Athletic 2-1, Reading powered past Luton Town 3-0 and Brentford beat Wigan Athletic by the same scoreline.

In the day's other games, Middlesbrough drew 2-2 away at QPR and Swansea City scored deep into stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday.

Leeds United carved out a 2-0 win against QPR to reclaim top spot in the Championship, while struggling Middlesbrough suffered another defeat to remain in the bottom three.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds had been held to back-to-back draws ahead of Saturday's match, but a goal in each half from Tyler Roberts and Jack Harrison lifted them to the summit.

At the opposite end of the division, Jonathan Woodgate remains under pressure following Middlesbrough's 2-0 loss at Derby County, with Tom Lawrence scoring both goals.

Luton Town and Wigan Athletic also remain in trouble after losing to Nottingham Forest and Swansea City respectively on a dramatic day of Championship action.

 

LEEDS KEEP PACE WITH SWANSEA

With West Brom not in action until Monday, the chasing pack knew they had a chance to capitalise.

Swansea were first up in the early kick-off and followed up their 1-0 derby win over Cardiff City last time out with a late 2-1 victory at Wigan to temporarily move top.

Sam Surridge's late header snatched all three points for Swansea after Kieffer Moore had cancelled out Nathan Dyer's opener from the penalty spot.

However, the Welsh side dropped down to second a few hours later following Leeds' home win, Harrison adding to Roberts' first goal of the season.

FOREST CLIMB INTO PLAY-OFFS

Having had their game with Reading called off last week due to bad weather, Nottingham Forest put their fresh legs to good use by opening a two-goal lead at Luton Town.

Callum McManaman pulled one back late on for strugglers Luton, but goals from Lewis Grabban and Sammy Ameobi proved enough to move 2-1 winners Forest from 10th to fifth.

Sheffield Wednesday remain outside the top six after going down 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers, all three goals at Ewood Park coming in the final seven minutes.

Jacob Murphy made the breakthrough for the Owls, only for Tosin Adarabioyo and John Buckley to net in quick succession to end Blackburn's six-match winless run.

 

PRESSURE BUILDING ON WOODGATE

The Championship's lowest scorers fired another blank - their fourth in a row - with Derby winger Lawrence's brace at Pride Park leaving under-fire Woodgate with two wins since becoming Boro boss.

Elsewhere, Huddersfield Town opened up a four-point gap on the relegation zone with a Karlan Grant-inspired 1-0 win at fellow in-form side Brentford.

Grant broke the deadlock just after the hour mark at Griffin Park to snap Brentford's three-match winning streak and continue Huddersfield's resurgence under Danny Cowley.

Meanwhile, Reading beat fellow strugglers Millwall 2-1 through first-half goals from Jordan Obita and Sam Baldock to give themselves some breathing space.

CARDIFF EDGE FIERY ENCOUNTER

Hull City picked up a third league win in a row with a clinical 3-0 victory over out-of-form Fulham, who have won just one of their last five matches.

A first goal in senior football from Josh Bowler gave Hull the lead and further goals followed from Jarrod Bowen and Tom Eaves after the break.

Grant McCann's ever-improving side are now in 11th place, one point better off than Cardiff City, who were 4-2 winners over Birmingham City in south Wales.

Joe Ralls scored a hat-trick in an eventful contest that ended with both teams reduced to 10 men, with Danny Ward and Harlee Dean the players to see red.

West Brom had a men sent off and were dramatically held to a 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic after Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday missed the chance to apply pressure to the Championship leaders.

Slaven Bilic's side remain two points clear at the top after the Yorkshire rivals played out a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

Preston North End are up to second, above Leeds on goal difference, after coming from 2-0 down to claim a stunning 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers in the all-Lancashire clash at Deepdale.

Huddersfield Town extended their unbeaten run to six matches and climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Barnsley that left their opponents bottom of the pile.

 

Cullen holds his nerve after Ferguson sees red

West Brom had to settle for a second consecutive 2-2 draw despite Matt Phillips finishing emphatically at the end of Matheus Pereira's 10th-minute run.

Macauley Bonne marked his birthday by heading the initial equaliser before highly rated West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson was eventually sent off for a reckless challenge on Chris Solly – referee Matt Donohue having initially dismissed Grady Diangana in a case of mistaken identity.

Hal Robson-Kanu restored Albion's lead despite their reduced numbers, but Josh Cullen dispatched a stoppage-time penalty after Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have fouled Naby Sarr as the pair collided.

Neither Leeds nor Wednesday were able to find a breakthrough but Preston found themselves in an all-action contest.

Sam Gallagher's header forced an own goal from North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd inside the first 30 seconds and the Blackburn striker soon made it 2-0 to the visitors.

Tom Barkhuizen reduced the arrears before the interval and would prove the match-winner – firing into the top corner eight minutes from time after Daniel Johnson scored his eighth of the season from the penalty spot.

 

Terriers' Cowley revival continues

Danny Cowley continued to work his magic at Huddersfield, with Karlan Grant netting his eighth of the campaign having created Christopher Schindler's opener.

Jacob Brown pulled a goal back for Barnsley, who are joined in the bottom three by Middlesbrough – Jonathan Woodgate's men held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham at the Riverside Stadium despite their visitors having goalkeeper Marek Rodak sent off for handling outside the area in the 17th minute.

Beleaguered Stoke City are level on eight points with Barnsley after they were beaten 2-0 by former boss Gary Rowett on his first outing as Millwall manager. Jed Wallace converted a penalty 15 minutes from time after teeing up Ben Thompson for the opener.

Bowen at the double, waterlogged Forest

Jarrod Bowen scored twice in the space of six minutes during the closing stages as Hull City saw off Derby County 2-0 to claim back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Lukas Jutkiewicz was Birmingham City's matchwinner in a 2-1 triumph over Luton Town, while torrential rain saw the match between Nottingham Forest and Reading postponed.

Championship leaders West Brom came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against bottom club Barnsley on Tuesday.

Their lead over nearest rivals Leeds United remains at two points, however, after Marcelo Bielsa's side were held to a 1-1 draw at Preston North End.

Sheffield Wednesday moved up to third after a narrow 1-0 win over Stoke City, while Brentford and Birmingham City were victorious against Swansea City and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

Elsewhere, new Millwall boss Gary Rowett was watching on as the Lions drew 2-2 with Cardiff City - the same result as the clash between Queen's Park Rangers and Reading.

BATTLING LEADERS BOUNCE BACK

Basement club Barnsley looked set for a precious win at the Hawthorns after Cauley Woodrow put them two goals ahead after 24 minutes.

Slaven Bilic's side turned things around in the second period, though, with an own goal from Bambo Diaby reducing the deficit in the 68th minute. They ensured a point with nine minutes remaining thanks to Matheus Pereira's third league goal of the season.

Leeds missed the chance to leapfrog the Baggies at the summit as they were held by fellow promotion chasers Preston at Deepdale.

Tom Barkhuizen fired home from close range in the 74th minute to give Alex Neil's side hope of jumping above Leeds into the automatic promotion places.

But on-loan Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah had other ideas, coming off the bench to head home a leveller three minutes from time.

 

OWLS SNEAKING UP ON TOP TWO

Sheffield Wednesday closed the gap to Leeds to just a single point after edging past Stoke City at Hillsborough.

The Potters have endured a woeful start to the season, yet two consecutive wins had given them hope of clawing their way out of the relegation zone.

It was not to be against Garry Monk's side, though, who only needed Massimo Luongo's solitary goal to seal all three points.  

Mark Bowen, meanwhile, remains unbeaten in his first two games as Reading boss, with his side playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with QPR.

Nahki Wells and Jordan Hugill scored either side of George Puscas' goal for the Royals, who sealed a point courtesy of Sam Baldock's strike 16 minutes from time.

 

BEES SWARM ALL OVER SWANSEA

Brentford were in ruthless form against Swansea, sealing a 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.

Said Benrahma claimed his first goal of the campaign to give the visitors the lead before Jake Bidwell's own goal doubled their advantage.

Any hopes the home team had of clawing their way back into the game were extinguished early in the second half when Bryan Mbeumo added a third.

Elsewhere, Maxime Colin's first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory for Birmingham, while Tom Bradshaw cancelled out goals from Danny Ward and Junior Hoilett to seal a point for Millwall against Cardiff.

Lee Tomlin's fine free-kick in the closing minutes grabbed Cardiff City a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.

The high-flying Owls appeared on course to secure a first win at the home of their opponents since April 2007 when they led at the break thanks to Julian Borner's first goal for the club.

The defender cleverly deflected home an on-target shot from Kadeem Harris, who also hit the crossbar as the visitors dominated in the opening half.

However, in a game played out in heavy rain, Neil Warnock's side were far brighter after the interval, substitute Tomlin eventually equalising when he curled home a set-piece opportunity.

Wednesday missed out on a win that would have seen them move level on points with West Brom and Nottingham Forest at the top of the Championship, though they needed a smart stoppage-time save from goalkeeper Cameron Dawson to hold on for a point on their travels.

Wellington Phoenix have completed the signing of former Premier League striker Gary Hooper.

The 31-year-old joins on a one-year deal after being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Phoenix will be hoping Hooper can fill the void left by last term's Golden Boot-winner Roy Krishna, who departed at the end of last season to join Indian Super League club ATK.

Hooper brings a wealth of experience from English football and the Scottish Premiership, where he arguably enjoyed his most impressive spell, scoring 82 goals over three seasons with Celtic.

"His CV on paper is arguably the most impressive of any Wellington Phoenix player to date and I have no doubt he will contribute," Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome told the club's website.

"I'm sure that football fans across Australia and New Zealand will be thrilled to see a player like Gary in action for Wellington.

"It's been no secret that we've been searching incredibly hard for a striker this season and we're extremely pleased to sign someone of the highest calibre."

Hooper will not be ready to make his debut in time for the weekend's clash at Sydney FC but will be available for the Phoenix's home match against Perth Glory in round three.

Derby County ended a troubled week with a 3-2 victory over Birmingham City in the Championship.

Rams players Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence were charged with drink-driving after they were involved in a crash late on Tuesday night, and captain Richard Keogh suffered a season-ending knee injury on the same team evening out.

The club have been scathing about the conduct of those involved and warned they will "pay a heavy price for their actions", making Saturday's home match a welcome chance to focus again on on-field matters.

Neither Bennett nor Lawrence were involved as Phillip Cocu's side took the spoils at Pride Park thanks to goals from Chris Martin, Martyn Waghorn and Jamie Paterson, who netted the 74th-minute winner.

Birmingham replied through Gary Gardner and Ivan Sunjic, and would have gone ahead at 2-2 but Lukas Jutkiewicz failed to convert a penalty.

Derby's second win in nine league games this season - and first success at home - lifted them up to 14th place, one behind Birmingham.

BAGGIES BOUNCE UP TO TOP SPOT

Unbeaten West Brom took over at the top after a 2-0 win at QPR, with second-half goals from Nathan Ferguson and Matheus Pereira settling the outcome in favour of Slaven Bilic's men. QPR had Yoann Barbet sent off in the 82nd minute, moments before Pereira sealed the points.

Swansea had been on course to climb above West Brom but had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home against Reading, for whom Andy Yiadom snatched a last-gasp equaliser. Swansea led from the third minute, when Borja Baston headed in, until Yiadom's late intervention.

The point nudged Swansea above Nottingham Forest and into second place, though. Forest beat Stoke 3-2 on Friday evening.

Leeds were another side to spurn an opportunity to jump to the top of the standings, losing 1-0 at Charlton as Marcelo Bielsa's side suffered a second league defeat of the campaign. Macauley Bonne scored the only goal in the 32nd minute at The Valley, giving Charlton boss Lee Bowyer victory over his former club.

MONK RETURNS TO HAUNT BORO

Sheffield Wednesday were 4-1 up on Middlesbrough at half-time at the Riverside, and the scoreline stayed that way as the Owls continued their bright start under new boss Garry Monk.

Adam Clayton's own goal was followed by efforts from Dominic Iorfa, Adam Reach and Steven Fletcher, with Paddy McNair grabbing the lone reply for Boro, with whom Monk had a short-lived spell as manager two years ago.

Hull and Cardiff were level-pegging at 1-1 heading into the 89th minute at the KCOM Stadium, but the game finished 2-2 after Hull's Jordy de Wijs netted what looked likely to be a winner, only for Danny Ward to snatch a leveller.

FERGUSON SEES RED

Preston and Bristol City shared six goals, drawing 3-3 at Deepdale, while struggling Huddersfield and Millwall finished 1-1 in West Yorkshire, with Shane Ferguson sent off for the Lions late on.

James Collins and Matty Pearson netted as Luton won 2-1 at Blackburn.

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