Former Derby County owner Mel Morris offers to personally take over claim Middlesbrough have against the Rams

Former Derby County owner Mel Morris has offered to personally take over the claim Middlesbrough have against the Championship club, to allow a takeover to go ahead.

Boro, as well as Wycombe Wanderers, are both seeking compensation from the crisis-hit Rams over their breaches of the EFL' s profit and sustainability rules.

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Middlesbrough's claim is based on the outcome of the 2018-19 Championship season as Derby finished one place and one point ahead of Boro to pip them to a play-off place. They beat Leeds United in the play-off semi-final before losing to Aston Villa in final at Wembley.

The Rams were docked nine points in November over a breach of the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules during the 2018-19 season. That took their deductions this campaign to 21 points, after they had already been docked 12 points for entering administration.

Wycombe are said to have lodged a similar claim as Boro - although according to Morris’s statement, the club are yet to actually lodge a claim but have “merely threatened to" - with the potential liability in both cases said to be a major factor in holding up a sale of Derby.

In a statement on Friday, Morris said: “I invite Boro, and in due course Wycombe if they so wish, to take their claims to the High Court against me personally.

“Let DCFC move on for the benefit of the fans, the City of Derby, the sport and the EFL.”

MEL MORRIS: The former Derby owner has offered to personally take over the claims that Middlesbrough and Wycombe have against the Championship club to allow a takeover to go ahead. Picture: Getty Images.

At least one of the groups interested in taking over Derby are understood to be growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in resolving the impasse caused by the claims.

Morris has presented his offer as a way of moving forward, with the EFL giving administrators until March 1 to provide proof of funding for the rest of the campaign.

“I sincerely hope the EFL, Boro and Wycombe will respond urgently and constructively to my proposal to unlock the impasse,” added Morris.

“By preserving the rights of these parties to pursue their claims through the High Court I can see no reason why the EFL cannot allow DCFC to exit administration without issue or concern that it would be contrary to their rules, articles and insolvency policy.”

On Thursday, the EFL had invited all parties to enter mediation on the matter.

Earlier on Friday, Middlesbrough complained that Derby’s administrators had “consistently refused to engage” with them over their claim.

Boro accused administrators of making “scurrilous and unfounded suggestions” that their claim, and Wycombe’s, was preventing the club being sold when they believe the administrators have also failed to reach agreement with major creditors HMRC and MSD Partners.

“MFC has always maintained that its claim against Derby County is a football-related debt and that it should be treated as such,” a club statement read.

“MFC welcomes the EFL’s confirmation that it shares this view. If the administrators believe that the EFL are not entitled to take this stance, MFC has offered to refer the matter to a judge to decide.

“The administrators were appointed in September but have consistently refused to engage with MFC’s attempts to engage with them to reach a resolution.”