Derby County hit back in strong statement amid threat of League One relegation and Wycombe Wanderers reprieve
Derby County have hit back at the threat of being relegated to League One in a strongly worded statement.
The Rams survived in the Championship on the final day of the 2020/21 season courtesy of a 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, with Wycombe Wanderers left just a point adrift of survival.
But amid their relegation scrap was the threat of sanctions from the EFL – who brought two charges against the Rams last year, claiming that the club had breached financial fair play rules.
An independent disciplinary commission initially cleared the club, meaning they avoided a serious sanction.
However, an appeal was later settled in favour of the EFL with Derby now handed a £100,000 fine as a result – avoiding a points deduction.
This may not be the end of the tale, however, as both the EFL and Derby can appeal the decision of the independent disciplinary commission to dish-out the fine.
The EFL could push for sterner punishments, including a sporting sanction such as a points deduction.
Were this to be applied to the 2020/21 season rather than to any future season, then it could see the Rams relegated to League One with Wycombe handed a dramatic reprieve.
And with a potential appeal in mind, the EFL have confirmed that an ‘interchangeable’ fixture list will be published – to cater for either Derby or Wycombe being in League One next season.
But Derby argue that a points deduction would not be appropriate and also question whether it would be lawful.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Rams said: “Although the Disciplinary Commission has yet to publish its full written reasons for its Decision, the EFL issued a press release about it and the fixture list last night.
"The Club is disappointed that the EFL has not, as is usual, waited until after the publication of the Disciplinary Commission’s reasons nor agreed a statement with the Club and in addition has chosen to be selective about the Decision and present it in a form which omit key dates and details, which the Club has provided by way of clarity above.
“The EFL had sought a points deduction against the Club to be imposed in the 2020/21 season which finished in May 2021. No points deduction has been imposed by the Disciplinary Commission.
“The EFL claims to have developed “an interchangeable fixture list for Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers” because there is a “possibility” that as part of a future appeal against the Decision of the Disciplinary Commission (which has not yet been brought) a points deduction could “take effect in 2020/21 that would potentially impact the final league placings”.
“The Club disputes that a points’ deduction at any time is appropriate, and disputes that it is lawful for the EFL to seek to impose one retrospectively, altering the final league placings after the season has already finished.
“The Club looks forward to competing in the Championship in the 2021/22 season. It shall not comment further until after publication of the full written reasons of the Disciplinary Commission.”