Derby County: Sheffield United's Championship rivals facing relegation after further points deduction
Sheffield United’s Championship rivals Derby are facing the prospect of relegation to League One after accepting a further nine-point deduction for “historical financial breaches”, taking their total punishment to 21 points this season.
Derby were docked 12 points after going into administration earlier this year, and the club’s administrators have agreed another deduction of nine, plus a further suspended three points, for historical financial breaches under former owner Mel Morris.
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.
Trevor Birch, the EFL 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 County, 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."
Carl Jackson, a joint administrator for the club, said: "This has been a difficult matter to navigate bearing in mind the various issues concerned.
"Whilst 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."
United have already played Wayne Rooney’s Derby twice this season, once in league and once in the League Cup. The Blades have won both games, with the return at Pride Park scheduled for mid-January.