Championship clubs angry at EFL for fruitless Derby case

26 August 2020 0 By Total Football News

Derby were facing a possible points deduction, after the EFL charged the club with breaching its financial rules

Last Updated: 26/08/20 2:10pm

The sale of Derby County's Pride Park was subject to an independent investigation

The sale of Derby County's Pride Park was subject to an independent investigation

A number of Sky Bet Championship clubs have told Sky Sports News of their anger at the EFL for pursuing a fruitless legal case against Derby County which has ultimately cost all sides in the division around £1m in legal costs.

At a time when football revenues have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and with no immediate prospect of paying fans returning to grounds, an extra £50,000 bill per Championship club has led to criticism of the EFL's decision to pursue the case.

Derby were cleared by an independent review panel on Tuesday, after a dispute with the EFL which dragged on for more than seven months.

Separately, just as many club bosses have been left frustrated at the panel's decision, after they pushed the EFL to take punitive action against Derby.

It is another example of the increasingly divisive mood between clubs in the Championship.

The EFL still has more than a week to decide whether to appeal against the independent panel's verdict, though doing so would risk further legal costs.

Derby owner Mel Morris is preparing for the new Sky Bet Championship season

Derby owner Mel Morris is preparing for the new Sky Bet Championship season

Derby were facing a possible points deduction, after the EFL charged the club with breaching its financial rules, by selling Pride Park to a subsidiary firm run by owner Mel Morris, which then leased the stadium back to the club for a regular fee.

The EFL felt Derby's £80m valuation of the stadium had been inflated, meaning they could spend more money on player wages - but the independent panel decided the valuation was fair.

Barrister and solicitor fees for both sides stretch into seven figures - a bill which in legal battles is typically paid by the losing side. That cost is now almost certain to be spread across all Championship clubs.

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SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/12057097/championship-clubs-angry-at-efl-as-derby-escape-punishment-over-ground-sale