Boro brought a claim against the Rams with the latter breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules, extra spending that the Teesside outfit’s owner Steve Gibson believes cost them a play-off place at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
Gibson’s side came agonisingly close to securing a top-six spot that season, finishing just one point behind the Rams with Frank Lampard’s side losing out to Aston Villa in the play-off final.
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It had previously been reported that a resolution had been found to this dispute and it has now been revealed that will come in the form of compensation, with a package of around £3m thought to have been agreed.
However, that transaction will only take place when Morris sells Pride Park, with a deal close to being struck despite this issue previously being labelled as a major hurdle.
The ex-Rams owner reportedly wanted £20m for Derby’s home ground and with preferred bidder Chris Kirchner refusing to negotiate with him in the past, the American businessman’s takeover looked to be almost impossible to conclude considering he needs to negotiate a deal for the stadium to take control of the relegated side.
With a takeover now moving closer though, Boro could be in line to receive their £3m windfall in the coming days, a small consolation for missing out on the play-offs once again this season.
£3m is a much lower figure than many people expected – but football shouldn’t operate in this way.
You can see why Boro raised this claim because they have a legitimate reason to feel Derby’s breach gave them a slight advantage – but that’s where tighter measures need to come in to punish breaches of financial rules a lot quicker to stop these types of claims being made.
A day in court with the two sides would have been a real shame because this is the type of issue that should be settled away from the legal system – and you can only hope this sort of incident doesn’t happen again.
If it does, more measures will need to be put in place to prevent the fate of clubs from being decided in the courts rather than on the pitch, whilst also making sure that those that feel aggrieved are treated fairly.
This issue caused major spats between Boro and Derby supporters on social media but with this chapter now looking set to be closed, you hope any form of relationship between the two sides can be struck again under the latter’s new ownership.