Derby County hit-back at Middlesbrough and owner Steve Gibson after EFL investigation

Derby County have hit out at Middlesbrough and Leeds United after questions were raised over the club’s adherence with the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 3:27 pm
Derby County have hit out at Middlesbrough and Leeds
Derby County have hit out at Middlesbrough and Leeds

The questions, which were first raised by Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani in May, centred around Derby owner Mel Morris’ decision to buy the club’s home ground of Pride Park and lease it back to the club – helping it achieve a profit.

Radrizzani claimed the club were ‘cheating’ the league’s sustainability rules as a result of this move.

Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson was then vocal in his displeasure at the EFL’s decision to allow such a tactic – with reports suggesting Boro were ready to sue the league over their failure to enforce the financial rules.

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The EFL then confirmed that independent valuations would be carried out into the sales of Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading’s stadiums as pressure began to mount.

But in a statement released today, Derby County have hit back at those – such as Leeds and Middlesbrough – who claimed they had breached the rules.

The statement read: “Derby County Football Club has adhered to the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability Rules with respect to the sale of its stadium.

“The stadium was subject to an independent professional valuation before sale, nearly 18 months ago, and the EFL indicated in writing that the arrangement was in accordance with its rules and regulations.

“The EFL cannot now, long after approving the arrangements, suggest Derby County breached the rules.

“The Club regrets that Middlesbrough Football Club have said they are suing the EFL over the matter, but that is a matter for them. Derby County offered to show Middlesbrough its financial records but they declined the invitation and appear to have decided to bring a claim against the EFL instead.

“The outcome of that action could not now affect Derby County, which has already had its financial returns for the relevant season approved by the EFL, and the Club is solely focussed on the current season.

“The Club will not be making any further comment at this time.”