Derby County: EFL charges over spending rules dismissed

Pride Park, home of Derby County
Derby finished 10th in the Championship in the 2019-20 season

Derby County have had charges relating to a breach of English Football League spending rules dismissed.

The charges related to the valuation of Pride Park when it was sold to owner Mel Morris for £80m, despite it previously being listed as worth £41m.

The sale led to a pre-tax profit of £14.6m in 2017-18, keeping Derby within a three-year cap of £39m in losses.

A charge over how the club measured the value of players - called amortisation - in their accounts was also dismissed.

The findings mean Derby will avoid a points deduction and fine, which would have come into play for 2020-21 Championship season.

Sheffield Wednesday received a 12-point deduction on 31 July for breaking spending rules.

However, an independent disciplinary tribunal did find that "the wording of the amortisation policy in Derby's financial statements could have been clearer".

Most clubs spread the transfer fee they have paid for a player over the life of his contract, with them being worth £0 at the end of their deal. For example, a player bought for £10m over a five-year contract would cost £2m a year but have no value at the end of that contract.

Derby assigned a residual value - how much they expected to receive in a transfer fee - to a player at the end of the contract, thus lowering their amortisation costs.

In a short statement, the Rams said their were "delighted with the outcome" and will fully focus on next season, which begins with a Carabao Cup tie against Barrow on 5 September.

The EFL said it would "consider the judgment in full before commenting further". Both parties have 14 days in which to appeal.

The sale of Pride Park to Morris proved controversial, with some clubs arguing that it gave Derby an unfair advantage as it allowed them to incur losses greater than £39m over three years.

Last September, Middlesbrough said they would sue the EFL over the issue having missed out on a play-off place to Derby by a single point in May 2019.

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