Reports of Sheffield Wednesday wage problems underlines why January may not provide the solution they hope for on the field

Sheffield Wednesday's players have not received their wage in full and on time for the second time this year, according to reports.

FRUSTRATION: Tony Pulis is looking for "help" in January

The Championship club are refusing to comment on reports squad members only received a maximum of £7,000 of their November wages, with the rest promised later. Wages were late in June.

The financial difficulties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic cast doubt on whether the January transfer window can be the panacea for his relegation-threatened side manager Tony Pulis is hoping.

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The Owls are bottom of the table after 19 matches of the 46-game season, seven points from safety. Their position us not helped by a six-point deduction for a financial fair play breach to try to get around rules limiting the losses clubs can run up to £39m over a three-year period.

Pulis has made clear his squad “needs help” in January, but has been more guarded when asked if funds will be made available.

As part of a rescue package from the Premier League, Championship clubs will collectively have access to £200m of interest-free loans from January but these are only designed to allow clubs to meet their PAYE responsibilities.

Clubs across English football have suffered financially from the lack of gate receipts since March, whilst having to run the footballing sides of their operations since matches resumed in June, with the added costs of Coronavirus testing and making Hillsborough and the Middlewood training ground safe for those working there. Wednesday have not had fans at home games since the March 4 FA Cup tie against Manchester City.

As expected, Sheffield was not lifted out of Tier 3 restrictions in the latest review, meaning games will remain behind closed doors for the rest of 2020.

But providing a rescue package has been politically difficult. The Government have not been prepared to help out league clubs because they believe there is enough money in the game, as evidenced by the huge transfer fees paid by Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window. On their part, the top-flight clubs are reluctant to pour money into badly-managed clubs which could allow them to win promotion and compete with them in future.

According to the latest available pre-Covid figures, Championship clubs spend more money on wages than they bring in as income. The Owls were one of the worst culprits in this respect.

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