Derby stay in Championship as EFL won’t challenge independent commission ruling

Derby manager Wayne Rooney can now start planning for the new season in earnest (PA Wire)
18:53pm, Fri 02 Jul 2021
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Derby boss Wayne Rooney can begin preparations for the new Sky Bet Championship season after the EFL decided not to purse an appeal which could have seen them relegated.

The governing body confirmed on Friday it had opted not to challenge the £100,000 fine and reprimand handed out by an independent disciplinary commission after the Rams were found to have breached financial rules.

The decision ends the chance that a retrospective points deduction could be imposed, which would have seen Derby relegated and Wycombe reprieved.

An EFL statement said: “The EFL remains disappointed that the commission has determined that a £100,000 financial penalty is appropriate, when it was found the policy adopted for the amortisation of player registrations and the description in the notes to the annual accounts did not comply with profit and sustainability (P&S) rules.

“Alongside a financial penalty, the club received a reprimand as to its future conduct and has been ordered to submit revised and restated accounts for the years ended 30 June 2016, 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2018 to the EFL by Wednesday 18 August 2021.

“While the EFL does not agree that those sanctions are commensurate to the breaches found, following consultation with our legal advisers, the EFL board has regrettably determined that there are insufficient grounds to appeal the sanction imposed by the independent disciplinary commission.”

The original charge was lodged almost 18 months ago and the club was then cleared of breaking the EFL’s financial rules, although the league won an appeal against that decision earlier this year.

As a consequence of the EFL’s decision not to appeal, the divisional placings for season 2021/22 are to remain in accordance with the fixture list issued on 24 June 2021.

Derby’s resubmitted accounts will be assessed in due course and the EFL has vowed to “apply the full force of the current regulations as appropriate”, but the possibility of life in League One has receded.

The statement continued: “Once these have been submitted, the EFL will then be required to consider the submissions in reference to the P&S rules and in particular re-assess whether the club has complied with the requirement to limit losses in accordance with those rules.

“The P&S rules have been adopted by both Premier League and Championship clubs as a means of assisting them in regulating their own financial performance. Having done so it is incumbent on the EFL to uphold those rules and, as previously demonstrated, it will apply the full force of the current regulations as appropriate.

Martyn Waghorn's late penalty secured Derby's Sky Bet Championship status n the final day of the season (PA Wire)

“As a consequence of the EFL’s decision not to appeal, the divisional placings for season 2021-22 are to remain in accordance with the fixture list issued on 24 June 2021.”

Derby, managed by former England captain Rooney, managed to avoid the drop by a single point when they fought back to draw 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday courtesy of Martyn Waghorn’s late penalty.

However, any points deduction could have seen Wycombe, who finished in 22nd place, reinstated at the Rams’ expense.

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