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EFL scrambles to resolve Derby County administration ‘impasse’

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The EFL says it is determined to resolve “a complex legal situation” which threatens Derby’s bid to find a buyer and leave administration.

Derby took office last September and were awarded 21 points for breaching EFL financial rules.

The Sky Bet Championship club’s directors are said to be in talks with three potential buyers, but were unable to name a preferred bidder due to the threat of legal action against Derby by two other clubs.

Middlesbrough and Wycombe are seeking compensation for loss of profit linked to Derby’s financial failings and the potential new owners are reluctant to take on other liabilities.

The EFL said in a statement on its official website: “The current situation remains difficult as Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers consider that their claims should be protected under insolvency policy. The administrators disagree.

“Furthermore, as these claims are not yet determined, the administrators and bidders have no clarity on the size of any liability (if any). This has implications for the output of the administration and, ultimately account, so that the club can maintain its membership status (of the Football League).

The EFL said Derby considered the claims “untrue”, but current bidders “seem unwilling to take the risk of defending them”.

Middlesbrough and Wycombe fear their rights will be affected if Derby can “extinguish or impair claims” using the insolvency process, the EFL has said.

“The EFL are keen to try to resolve the current impasse. The EFL invited each of the trustees, Middlesbrough FC and Wycombe Wanderers to make submissions on this point last week, and we are now considering those submissions. with a view to identifying a way to resolve the conflict which exists between the respective positions of, on the one hand, Derby County, and on the other, Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers.

“Trying to simplify what is a complex legal position is neither simple nor straightforward, but we are committed to finding an appropriate solution and clarifying the matter as soon as possible.”

The EFL last week asked Derby’s administrators to provide updated financial details on how the club plan to fulfill their remaining fixtures this season and set an extended deadline of February 1.

“While potential funding options were presented by the directors, they could not give the necessary assurances that funding was secured to enable the club to complete the season,” the EFL added.

“As a result, the League has decided that the club should not be allowed to register new players until the necessary funding is in place. The deadline for the availability of capitalized plans has been further extended to February 1. 2022.”

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and a separate consortium led by former Derby chairman Andy Appleby are said to be interested in buying the Rams.

Wayne Rooney’s side climbed from the foot of the table after beating Sheffield United on Saturday – they have dropped just two points in their last five games – and are eight points from safety.