EFL develops fixture lists featuring Derby County in Championship and League One

DERBY County still face the threat of potentially dropping out of the Championship in 2021-22 subject to a league appeal - despite avoiding a points deduction for their breach of the EFL’s accounting rules after an independent disciplinary commission hit them with a £100,000 fine.

Pride Park. Picture: PA.
Pride Park. Picture: PA.

The potential for relegation to League One remains if a retrospective points deduction is imposed and the league successfully appeal against an independent commission's decision.

Derby's fixtures are therefore interchangeable with those of Wycombe Wanderers, who were relegated to League One last season in the final Championship relegation place, with the Rams finishing one place above the bottom three in 2020-21.

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Wanderers finished third from bottom and went down alongside Yorkshire duo Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United.

Derby are due to welcome Huddersfield Town on the first day of the Championship season on August 7.

A statement on the EFL website late on Wednesday night read: "An independent Disciplinary Commission has delivered its verdict on sanctions for Derby County relating to ongoing disciplinary proceedings.

"In May, an Independent League Arbitration Panel ruled that the Disciplinary Commission was wrong to dismiss the League’s expert accountancy evidence, which demonstrated that the Club’s policy regarding the amortisation of player registrations was contrary to standard accounting rules.

"More specifically, the panel determined that the Club’s policy was not in accordance with accounting standard FRS102 because it failed to accurately reflect the manner in which the Club takes the benefit of player registrations over the lifetime of a player’s contract.

"Tonight, the Disciplinary Commission has announced that the sanction to be imposed in respect of those breaches, is a financial penalty of £100,000 to be paid to the EFL and a reprimand for the Club as to its future conduct regarding the preparation of its Annual Accounts.

"In addition, the Club has also been ordered to file restated accounts for financial years ending 30 June 2016, 2017 and 2018 that meet the requirements of FRS102, together with updated Profit & Sustainability calculations if necessary.

"Both Derby County and the EFL have the right to appeal that sanction decision.

"That being the case, ahead of the publication of the 2021/22 season fixture lists on 24 June at 9am, the EFL can confirm that it has developed an interchangeable fixture list for Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers, while the disciplinary process is finalised.

"The fixture list for both the Championship and League One will be published in full based on the 2020/21 final standings, pending any appeals relating to this decision."

On Thursday morning, Derby issued a separate statement, stating that the club were looking forward to competing in the Championship in the 2021-22 season and strongly disputed any suggestion for a points deduction - retrospective or otherwise - might alter the final league placings of last season.

It read: "The EFL claims to have developed “an interchangeable fixture list for Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers” because there is a “possibility” that as part of a future appeal against the Decision of the Disciplinary Commission (which has not yet been brought) a points deduction could “take effect in 2020/21 that would potentially impact the final league placings”.

"The Club disputes that a points’ deduction at any time is appropriate, and disputes that it is lawful for the EFL to seek to impose one retrospectively, altering the final league placings after the season has already finished.

"The Club looks forward to competing in the Championship in the 2021/22 season. It shall not comment further until after publication of the full written reasons of the Disciplinary Commission."