Derby are facing the prospect of relegation from the Sky Bet Championship after accepting a 21-point deduction for breaching English Football League accounting rules.
The club’s administrators Quantuma have agreed a further deduction of nine points, plus a further suspended three points, for historical financial breaches.
It takes the total penalty points to minus-21, after the minus-12 for sliding into administration, leaving the Rams on minus three points and marooned at the bottom of the table with relegation to League One looking inevitable.
The decision brings to an end a long-running saga of nearly two years, after Derby were initially charged in January 2020.
There is no right of appeal and the club have also agreed to the dismissal of their appeal against the 12-point deduction issued for entering administration on September 22, meaning that sanction remains.
Trevor Birch, the EFL’s chief executive, said: “The EFL’s objective throughout this ongoing process has been to ensure that the principles of the regulations were upheld on behalf of all clubs.
“In order to assess the sporting sanction that was applicable to apply to these breaches, previous P&S cases have been carefully reviewed and guidance taken from them. The EFL has also considered the P&S sanction guidelines as well as mitigation put forward by the club.
“Given the complex circumstances of the case and the various outstanding regulatory issues between the EFL and Derby, the league is satisfied at the agreed outcome and the sensible approach taken by both parties in negotiating this outcome and in respect of the appeal withdrawal.
“Our focus is to continue to work with the joint administrators to assist them in securing a long-term future for the club.”
While the latest points deduction has dealt a huge blow to manager Wayne Rooney’s hopes of avoiding relegation, Derby’s future has moved a step closer to being saved.
The club are speaking to a handful of interested consortiums about a possible takeover.
“This has been a difficult matter to navigate bearing in mind the various issues concerned,” said Carl Jackson, a joint administrator for Quantuma.
“While point deductions are never ideal for any club, it was critical to the club’s future that all matters were concluded between the EFL and the club in relation to historical issues.
“This conclusion allows us to proceed with our restructuring strategy for the club with prospective interested parties.”
Derby have won just one of their last nine league games, drawing five, and will resume their Championship campaign with a home match against top-of-the-table Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Rams are now 14 points behind second-bottom Barnsley and 18 behind Peterborough, who are just outside the relegation zone.
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