Derby County’s administrators have formally launched an appeal over their 12-point deduction they received last month, according to The Athletic.
The Rams were hit with this automatic punishment by the EFL after going into administration, with this deduction being the standard penalty for clubs across the second, third and fourth tiers of English football that suffer the same fate.
This proved to be a major blow to Wayne Rooney’s side who have started the season in a promising fashion, being beaten in just three of their 11 games and 14 points from these matches.
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Without this punishment, the East Midlands outfit would currently be in 14th place above previous promotion favourites Sheffield United and six points above the drop zone.
However, they now currently sit at the bottom of the Championship table, seven points adrift of safety and in real danger of being relegated to League One if this 12-point deduction remains in place.
They face another nine-point deduction for breaching financial rules, which would all but consign them to third-tier football next term, but the club’s administrators have launched an appeal over their only points penalty so far.
The club are arguing that the Covid-19 pandemic is the reason why they are in their current situation – and because of this – they should escape any points deduction.
This appeal will be reviewed by an independent arbitrations panel, who will assess both sides of the argument and deliver their final verdict, although it is currently unclear when this decision will be made.
Derby County don’t have much to lose with this appeal so this is definitely something the administrators are wise in pursuing, because it could be the difference between Championship and League One football next term.
Not only would that potentially help in keeping Wayne Rooney at Pride Park, but it would also be a major financial boost for any new owner for the club to remain in the second tier and would make them a more attractive prospect for potential buyers.
You could be cynical and argue this is a tactic to try and tempt a whole host of parties to come forward and make formal offers for the club, but if that’s the case, then it’s a brilliant psychological move and one that could end up saving the club.
In the end, with the Rams’ history and stature, a consortium/new owner is likely to be in place within the next few months to provide long-term stability regardless, but staying in the second tier will only be a boost.
Not only would it help in keeping Rooney at the club, but also some of their most promising players including Lee Buchanan, Louie Sibley and others who may look for a way out if they are relegated this term.