EFL wins part of appeal against Derby County accounting policies

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Derby County manager Wayne Rooney (right) and striker Colin Kazim-Richards
Derby stayed in the Championship after a 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in their last game of the season

The English Football League has won part of an appeal against Derby County over some of the Championship club's accounting policies.

However, the EFL appealed against the decision to an independent tribunal and it has won the element of the case concerning how the club measured the value of players - called amortisation.

Derby said the club "accepts but is disappointed" at the decision.

An EFL statement said: "The [independent league arbitration] panel concluded that the disciplinary commission was wrong to dismiss the league's expert accountancy evidence, which demonstrated that the club's policy regarding the amortisation of player registrations was contrary to standard accounting rules."

It added: "The club and EFL will now have the opportunity to make submissions on the appropriate sanction arising out of those breaches.

"Despite media speculation there is no definitive timescale for a determination on sanction, though the league will press for a decision as soon as reasonably possible and will provide a further update at the appropriate time."

A Derby statement added: "The club and the EFL have agreed that the matter shall now be remitted back to the original disciplinary commission who can determine what, if any, consequences arise from the partial success of the EFL's amortisation charge, and the club is therefore currently unable to comment further."

The ruling comes following a difficult season for Derby, which came to a positive conclusion when manager Wayne Rooney's side survived in the Championship by the narrowest of margins thanks to a 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Afterwards, Rooney called for clarity over the club's ownership situation.

Owner Mel Morris has been desperate to offload the club but after the collapse of one deal, thought he had struck another with Spanish businessman Erik Alonso.

However, that deal is also in huge doubt amid confusion and uncertainty over Alonso's source of funding.

There is concern among some fans about Morris' willingness to continue funding the club should the Alonso deal collapse.

Analysis

This is a blow to Derby but the extent of the damage will not be known for some time.

Although the club cannot appeal against the decision, they can appeal against any sanction. And given there are going to be arguments around what that sanction should be, it is difficult to see how that will be sorted out in time for it to apply this season.

That may disappoint Wycombe, who stand to benefit from any points deduction applied for the current campaign, but it is not in Derby's interests for the matter to be conducted speedily.

Beyond that, even if there is no points penalty, a fine will hurt the Rams because their finances are in a delicate state as it is.

Keogh wins £2m payout

Meanwhile, former Derby captain Richard Keogh has won a £2m payout after appealing against his dismissal from the club in 2019.

He was sacked for gross misconduct over his involvement in a car crash.

Keogh sustained knee ligament damage and was out for 12 months.

He made 356 appearances for the Rams after joining from Coventry in 2012 and now plays for Huddersfield.

Keogh had won an appeal at the EFL's Player Related Dispute Commission (PRDC) but that had been contested by Derby at the League Appeals' Committee (LAC). The LAC has now upheld the original verdict.

The EFL said in a statement: "The PDRC held that Mr Keogh had not committed gross misconduct, that he had not brought the club into serious disrepute and that he had been wrongly dismissed by the club."

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