London: Former English Premier League clubs Birmingham and Coventry have been banned from the transfer market for failing to submit their financial accounts on time to the Football League.
The central England clubs missed a March 1 deadline to file reports with the Football League, which oversees the second-tier League Championship in which both play.
Birmingham, who were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, blamed Friday's decision on delayed auditing following the arrest on money laundering charges of owner Carson Yeung.
Coventry said it is waiting for its owner to approve its budget.
"We have to be able to show committed funding out for the next financial year and, at this stage, we could not do this," Coventry chief executive Tim Fisher said. "There is nothing untoward about this and it is perfectly normal to be negotiating funding with the owner. We would hope to secure funding commitments in the very next few weeks."
"The owner has previously funded the club for a period of more than four years and is currently reviewing our budget proposal for the coming year."
Although regular transfers are not possible between the end of the January transfer window and the end of the season, clubs can still sign out-of-contract players or bring in players on loan.
"While the situation is far from ideal, we are confident it will be resolved very soon," Fisher said.
Hong Kong-based Yeung was charged in June with five counts of money laundering involving more than $92 million.
Yeung acquired Birmingham in October 2009 in a takeover worth $130 million but, despite ending a 48-year streak without a major trophy by winning the League Cup, the club was relegated from the Premier League last season.
The charges against Yeung involve money deposited in bank accounts from January 2001 to December 2007.
"The delay in filing the financial statements is occasioned due to the delayed audit processes ... due to the arrest and freezing of the assets of the club's main benefactor and changes to banking arrangements," Birmingham said in a statement. "The draft financial statements are prepared and it is understood that these will be finalized and published by the end of April."
Birmingham signed three players on Thursday. Peter Ramage joined on loan from Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, while Caleb Folan and Cian Hughton were free agents.
The Football League has already deducted 10 points from Portsmouth, which won the FA Cup in 2008 but was relegated two years later, after the club entered bankruptcy protection.
Portsmouth cut its wage bill on Friday by loaning captain Liam Lawrence to promotion-chasing Cardiff - a day after Pompey's administrator said the club may not have enough money to stay in business until the end of the season.