Derby County could face another investigation into an alleged breach of EFL rules after several clubs complained about a loan undertaken from MSD UK Holdings Limited on the grounds it has led to a conflict of interest.
As revealed by Sportsmail, the Championship club borrowed around £30million from Michael Dell's private equity firm earlier this year, 12 months after Sunderland took out a similar loan from an American billionaire's hedge fund, leading other clubs to claim they have broken EFL rules.
Derby are expecting a verdict imminently from the independent panel convened by the EFL into their alleged breach of spending rules.
Derby face the threat of multiple points deductions that could risk their Championship status
The existing charge relates to Derby's sale of Pride Park to a company owned by chairman Mel Morris for £80million, as well as their unusual method of valuing players for accounting purposes, which could lead to them being docked 12 points next season.
Derby would face almost certain relegation if hit with multiple points deductions, but will receive little sympathy from some rivals who are convinced they have been using creative accounting to get round the EFL's profit and sustainability rules, which prohibit clubs from losing more than £39m over a three-year period.
Sportsmail has learned several clubs have contacted the EFL demanding clarification on the loan from MSD UK Holdings, which they claim is a breach of rules.
A company belonging to club owner Mel Morris bought Derby's Pride Park home for £80million
EFL rules prohibit third party investment in multiple clubs, other than lending facilities provided by commercial banks.
The complainants' contention is that Derby's loan is not 'in the ordinary course of banking' as MSD are not registered with the banking regulator, unlike other equity houses who also provide funding to clubs.
The complaint is a matter for the EFL Board, who have the power to approve the loan of investigate further. Regulation 112 of the EFL rules gives the Board the authority to relax some of its provisions if it is deemed to be appropriate.
The EFL and Derby County declined to comment.
The club was charged in January by the EFL for recording excess losses under FFP regulations