Derby County to be relegated? What’s the precedent involving Sheffield Wednesday and Macclesfield Town

DERBY COUNTY could yet join the relegated duo of Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday in League One – after the English Football League won its appeal to find the club in breach of Financial Fair Play rules.

Martyn Waghorn: His Derby survived at the expense of Wednesday but could still go down. (Picture: Steve Ellis)
Martyn Waghorn: His Derby survived at the expense of Wednesday but could still go down. (Picture: Steve Ellis)

The Rams drew 3-3 with the Owls on Saturday and only stayed up by one point ahead of Wycombe, who would earn a potential reprieve from relegation if an independent panel decide to hit the Midlands outfit with a points penalty as opposed to a fine. Wycombe are considering the prospect of legal action.

The sanction for breaking FFP rules has not been decided yet, but the EFL wants the punishment to be applied this season.

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In what could be viewed as a precedent, Macclesfield were relegated from League Two last summer after an independent arbitration decision resulted in an immediate six-point deduction.

Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan (right) is consoled by Derby County's Colin Kazim-Richards (left) (Picture: PA)

It came after the league governing body won an appeal to apply a points deduction at the end of 2019-20 rather than the start of the current campaign.

As a result, Macclesfield – initially handed a two-point penalty in March 2020, after being charged with misconduct related to the payment of player wages – finished bottom of the Football League on a points per game formula and Stevenage stayed up.

Last July, shortly after the end of the 2019-20 season, Wednesday were docked 12 points after breaching FFP rules regarding the sale of Hillsborough. The points were taken off Wednesday at the start of the following season.

An independent panel then decided to halve their points deduction on appeal. The Owls finished three points below the Rams.

Derby avoided a possible points deduction in August when they were cleared of breaching FFP rules in regard to losses.

But the league have successfully appealed on the grounds of player valuation. According to reports, Derby did not follow accepted practice by including the depreciation of player assets in their accounts.

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