Derby County: EFL reject club’s attempts to use insolvency laws to settle certain debts

Derby County are currently seven points from safety after being deducted 21 points

The EFL says Derby County must not use insolvency laws to settle some of their outstanding debts – if they want to get out of administration.

The Championship club are subject to unresolved compensation claims from fellow clubs Middlesbrough and Wycombe.

Derby says the two should not be treated as ‘football-related debts’.

In a reportexternal linkthe EFL say they disagree and believe the Quantuma club administrators must now consider how they wish to proceed.

Quantuma have had until early March to prove how Derby will be funded for the rest of the season.

This deadline was extended from February 1 last Thursday.

Derby has been in administration since September and remains in the Championship relegation zone, seven points from safety, having already been deducted 21 points this season.

BBC Sport understand one of the club’s potential buyers Derby fears that Derby will be liquidated.

The Binnie family submitted a formal £28million takeover offer last month, but that price did not include the club’s stadium.

Pride Park is still owned by Mel Morris, who put Derby into administration. He also has a charge of over £20m to US financial firm MSD, for which Morris is surety.

“The club suffers from critical legacy debt issues running into the tens of millions, all of which need to be addressed if a solution is to be found,” the EFL said.

“This also includes monies due to HMRC and loans from MSD secured against club assets and the stadium.”

It has been suggested that a combined payment of around £7million would settle the issues involving Middlesbrough and Wycombe.

Both clubs claim to have lost due to Derby’s breaches of financial rules.

Boro missed the play-offs in 2019 as the Chairboys would have stayed up last season had the cases against Derby, which led to them being deducted nine points this season, been dealt with sooner.

But the Binnie family would be reluctant to commit to paying the settlement and the additional cost of buying the club and stadium.

The EFL also renewed calls for “formal collaborative negotiations” between current preferred bidder Middlesbrough, Wycombe, Quantuma, Morris, MSD Partners and HMRC “to secure a long-term future for Derby County”.

Wycombe US chairman Rob Couhig said: “Since last November we have been asking the directors for a meeting to conduct good faith negotiations to resolve the issue between the two clubs.

“Despite repeated requests, we never heard a word from them. Maybe now that the request has come from the EFL, they will finally agree to meet and try to find a responsible business solution. .

“As soon as I am told when and where the mediation will take place, I will return to the UK and personally attend.”


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