Wycombe owner Rob Couhig has claimed that Derby County have “played a game with the public and their fans” but offered his sympathy to the East Midlands club’s fanbase ahead of their impending administration.
The Rams announced on Friday evening that they were set to file for administration, which will see them handed a 12-point deduction from the EFL.
Derby avoided a points deduction last season despite having been found to have broken accounting rules and stayed in the Championship on the final day of the season.
Were the Rams handed a points deduction in the 2020/21 campaign, Wycombe would’ve remained in the second tier and the club’s owner has issued his verdict on the current situation at Pride Park in an interview with The Athletic.
Couhig said: “As for Derby, they have played a game with the public and their fans. Who gets damaged by this? The Derby fans – I have sympathy for them. But I have a lot of sympathy for us. And every other owner gets tarnished with this brush.”
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The Chairboys have made a strong start to life back in League One and are among the frontrunners to win promotion back to the Championship this season but Couhig has indicated that last season’s relegation could cost his club up to £20 million.
He added: “I am looking at this thing and saying: ‘What does this mean to us economically?’”
“In the spirit of full disclosure, I am looking at all of those things. I do not want to say we are going to do anything, but getting whacked for this amount of money? We’ve done things right.
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While Derby fans are the main victims here, the ongoing situation must be a really frustrating one for Wycombe.
You would’ve understood if Couhig’s comments about the East Midlands club were much more scathing than these given had things played out slightly differently, Gareth Ainsworth’s side would still be in the second tier.
The Chairboys were very, very close to extending their stay in the Championship for a second season but narrowly missed out on survival, which as the club’s owner has outlined has proven very costly.
After Friday’s announcement, Derby have to be the favourites for relegation and you wouldn’t bet against seeing Wycombe go the other way when the 2021/22 campaign draws to a close.
That would likely be very satisfying for Couhig and co.