MIDDLESBROUGH chairman Steve Gibson was at a crunch meeting with rival Championship clubs today held at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground.

During a five-hour meeting, he was one of those club owners demanding an English Football League investigation into the finances of Derby County, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.

He feels the investigation is required because there is a feeling they could be breaching regulations of the profitability and sustainability rules. EFL chiefs are not present at the meeting.

Many Championship clubs share the belief and want increased transparency over the profitability and sustainability rules after Birmingham City were hit with a nine-point penalty last month for breaking them.

It is feared a bitter dispute between Championship clubs will escalate and both Derby and Aston Villa are in the thick of a promotion race to the Premier League, along with Boro.

At the meeting, if 18 of the 24 voted for change then EFL rules could be changed within seven days, allowing all profitability and sustainability statements to be shared. A vote did take place.

It is claimed Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday are pushing hard to keep the status quo, while it has also being suggested it is unlikely any new breaches of regulations which are uncovered would lead to points deductions in this campaign.

The two-year-old profitability and sustainability rules state that clubs cannot lose more than £39m over a three-year period, and a breach could lead to potential sanctions including transfer bans and points deductions.

Birmingham were the first to be hit when they were deducted nine points. They recorded total losses of £48.8m from 2015-16 to 2017-18, nearly £10m more than the £39m limit.