Middlesbrough to sue Derby County over purchase of Pride Park

A general view of Pride Park which Middlesbrough believe was purchased illegally (PIcture: PA)
A general view of Pride Park which Middlesbrough believe was purchased illegally (PIcture: PA)
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MIDDLESBROUGH are reportedly poised to sue the English Football League, alleging that it failed to enforce its financial rules over Derby County’s purchase of Pride Park.

Boro have sent a legal letter to the EFL, accusing Derby – who beat them to last season’s Championship play-offs by one point – of exploiting a loophole in the league rules, enabling them to buy their own stadium, thus becoming financially compliant – national reports suggest.

Middlesbrough chairman, Steve Gibson (Picture: SWPix.com)

Middlesbrough chairman, Steve Gibson (Picture: SWPix.com)

Derby owner Mel Morris used a separate company to buy Pride Park for £80m with a deal to lease it back.

At the time, the ground was listed as an asset on Derby’s books with a value of £41m.

This year, Derby reported a profit of £14.6m pre-tax, when losses of more than £13m per year over three years breach the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules.

Last week, the EFL ordered property experts to valuate Pride Park.

If we had won all six games, I would have been saying exactly the same thing.

Jonathan Woodgate

It is a milestone occasion at the Riverside today, with Boro staging their 500th game there.

Boro are aiming to mark the occasion in fitting fashion with a win and continue to make progress in their style makeover under Jonathan Woodgate.

Results may have been mixed thus far, but players have openly stated that they have been enthused by the footballing ethos of Woodgate.

Earlier this week, midfielder Paddy McNair praised the Boro head coach’s approach, while castigating the ‘boring’ football under his predecessor Tony Pulis.

Focusing on the bigger picture, Woodgate said: “It is good to hear, but we are only six games in.

“If we had won all six games, I would have been saying exactly the same thing.

“There is a long way to go, but I am glad he is enjoying it as he has probably been our best player this year so far.”