The newly announced Championship and League 1 & 2 Financial Fair Play rules rely on the use of a 'transfer embargo' as the main sanction for overspending clubs in the Football League. The first transfer bans for League 1 and 2 clubs under the new rules will commence from the start of next season (2012/13). However the Football League have confirmed that fans may be kept in the dark about any transfer ban imposed on their team.
When contacted, the Football League explained that they have a 'longstanding policy not to comment publicly about the imposition of embargoes and that it would be up to the club's discretion whether they wish to make an embargo public'. Unfortunately, League clubs have not always been good at informing their supporters - Portsmouth fans found out about their January transfer embargo through informal channels, some time after the ban was imposed. There is a real risk that fans may be left in the dark as clubs seek to hide an embarrassing ban from their supporters. By leavint it up to the discretion of the clubs, the League appear to have missed an opportunity to ensure greater transparency and communication with fans.
The requirement to restrict expenditure on wages to less than 65% of turnover will be particularly difficult for clubs recently relegated from the Championship. As things stand, Coventry, Portsmouth and potentially Sheffield United may have to do some clever deals in the summer to avoid an embargo - managing the communication process with their supporter may present an additional challenge.