Administrators hopeful despite latest Derby points deduction

18 November 2021 3 min. read
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Championship football club Derby County has been stung with a second points deduction since falling into administration. Despite the situation all but confirming relegation for the Rams, the administrators have stated the conclusion at least enables them to push ahead with their search for a buyer.

In September 2021, just a month into the new football season, Derby County entered administration, with its owner citing the pandemic as a key component of its downfall. According to Mel Morris, the coronavirus pandemic cost the Rams about £20 million in lost revenue – but also added he believes the club has lost him £200 million overall.

Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou, managing directors at business advisory firm Quantuma, were installed as joint administrators of Derby to seek new owners of the historic club. The Rams soon faced a tough battle for survival on the pitch, as well as off it, however. As is standard for a club entering insolvency proceedings, the English Football League (EFL) imposed a hefty 12-point-deduction on the struggling club.

Administrators hopeful despite latest Derby points deduction

That situation has now been compounded, with the news that the EFL has decided to reject Derby’s appeal against that deduction – and the imposition of a further punishment relating to former owner Morris’ dealings in previous seasons. Morris took sole ownership of Derby in 2015, and bought the club’s ground, Pride Park, for £80 million, despite it previously being listed as worth £41 million.

A points deduction was initially said to have been mooted at the end of the 2019/2020 season, and with Derby hovering around the relegation places, this would have seen the club fall into League One. On that occasion, the charge was dismissed, but as reported by the BBC when the Rams first fell into administration, the possibility for another points deduction over these accounting policies resurfaced. Now, those rumours have been confirms, and with a nine-point reduction taking Derby’s point tally to -3, the club is once again firmly rooted to the floor of the Championship table.

While the club had managed to creep back to positive points figures under England legend Wayne Rooney’s guidance, the decision sees the club some 19 points from safety. Despite the dire fortunes for Derby on the pitch, however, the club’s administrators came across as cautiously optimistic in a statement following the news. According to Quantuma’s Carl Jackson, the closure provided by the move allows administrators to proceed with their restructuring strategy for the club, and with prospective interested parties.”

Indeed, the points deduction had been said to put off potential buyers even before the club’s administration. After Derby failed to gain promotion under Frank Lampard, losing the 2019 Championship play-off final to Aston Villa, Morris has been actively looking to offload the club – only for an early takeover deal to apparently have fallen through, when the EFL originally brought charges about the sale of Pride Park.

Looking ahead, Jackson noted, “This has been a difficult matter to navigate bearing in mind the various issues concerned. 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.”