English Championship sides have been told that they run the risk of a potential 21-point deduction if they breach spending regulations.
The BBC report that the guidelines were presented to the league's 24 clubs during an EFL meeting on Thursday, where they learned that the current 12-point punishment can now be raised by an additional nine points for anything considered to be an 'aggravated breach'.
"The EFL presented to Championship clubs the sporting sanction its board would be seeking against any club found to be in breach of its profitability and sustainability rules," an EFL spokesman said.
"This included a points deduction, with reductions available dependent on the level of the breach. Aggravating factors will also be taken into consideration, resulting in potential further punishment.
"Any final sanction will remain a matter for an independent disciplinary commission to determine, who have a full range of penalties available to them.
"Clubs found to be in breach and referred to a commission will be given the opportunity to put forward their case in mitigation."
Previous reports claimed that Birmingham were facing a 12-point sanction for exceeding the permissible levels of losses. But the Times have since reported that the Blues could be docked 15 points as a result of them signing defender Kristian Pedersen.
Birmingham were said to be working closely with the EFL on their Profitability & Sustainability breach in an effort to get their affairs in order. However, they could get hit with the hefty deduction after following through with the signing of the full-back despite their transfer embargo, and against the advice of the governing body.
The EFL had denied registering Pedersen over the summer yet the 24-year-old has appeared in every league game so far this season.
"Under its new guidelines the EFL will demand that clubs who breach the profit and sustainability rules limiting losses to £39m over a three-year period will be docked 12 points, but with reductions in the punishment available depending on the extent of the breach," the report in The Times reads.
#EFL today introduced new sanctioning guidelines for breaching spending rules with a maximum of 21 points docked. #BCFC face being docked 15 points - 6 for overspending plus nine for a possible aggravated breach. More @TimesSport https://t.co/iJfS4T7uPd— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) September 20, 2018
"If the breach is less than £2m the 12-point tariff would be reduced to three, for example, with the punishment increasing on a sliding scale to the point where no deduction is applied if the breach is greater than £15m.
"In Birmingham’s case they have been summoned to appear before an independent disciplinary commission for recording a loss of approximately £46m in the period from 2015/16 to 2017/18, an aggregate breach of £7m, which under the new formula would lead to them losing six points this season.
"In addition however the club are also at risk of being found guilty of an 'aggravated breach' as last month they went ahead with a deal to sign Denmark’s Under-21 international Kristian Pedersen despite being under a transfer embargo, which led to the EFL releasing a statement expressing 'exceptional disappointment'.
The Blues have only managed to take six points from their first eight matches this term, and a point deduction would leave them in an extremely worrisome position.