Sunderland's rivals plot Sheffield Wednesday raid as Leeds United boss reveals 12 referee 'apology' letters

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Your round-up of the latest headlines surrounding Sunderland’s Championship rivals.

Work is already underway at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland prepare for another year of Championship football. The Black Cats will hope for an improvement on this season’s 16th-place finish but know a young and exciting squad will only get more experienced and hope a new manager can oversee improvements.

The regular season is over but those who qualified for the Championship play-offs still have so much left to play for, with Leeds United and Southampton both drawing semi-final first-legs away at Norwich City and West Brom respectively on Sunday. The former clash was not short of controversy and the fallout from frustrated manager Daniel Farke is among this evening’s Championship headlines.

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Albion transfer raid

West Brom are interested in Sheffield Wednesday pair George Byers and Josh Windass, with both currently set to become free agents this summer. The Star reports that Byers in particular is on the radar of several League One clubs including, Blackpool, Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town.

Byers joined Blackpool on loan in January and is expected to leave Wednesday permanently when his contract expires next month, with a host of EFL outfits keen on the 27-year-old. West Brom are the only named Championship club and are also monitoring Windass.

Windass, 30, is also out of contract in the summer but talks are ongoing as Wednesday attempt to keep him at Hillsborough. Stoke City, Hull City and Derby County are also interested.

Farke frustration

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke has received a dozen letters apologising for incorrect refereeing decisions this season. The Whites were controversially denied a penalty during the first leg of their play-off semi-final clash against Norwich City on Sunday, while Junior Firpo saw a goal disallowed when Georginio Rutter was called offside.

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“I have 12 apologising letters at home already during the season with offside goals and penalties not given,” Farke said. “If we would have used VAR during this season we wouldn't be in the play-offs - we would have been promoted automatically. I’m pretty annoyed - it definitely wasn’t offside [for Firpo’s disallowed goal].

“I feel like we should go with the rule that, when in doubt, you give the benefit to the attacking side. Everyone speaks about what these games are worth, so the decisions have to be right. Perhaps the whole stadium would be moaning if he gave it to the away side, but I have to make sure I’m not raging too much.”