Middlesbrough reportedly set to sue EFL over Derby County's purchase of Pride Park

Middlesbrough are reportedly set to sue the English Football League for failing to enforce its financial rules on Derby County.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 7:10 am
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson doesn't believe all Championship clubs have been playing by the rules.

It was claimed earlier this year that Boro had sent a letter to the EFL to complain about some clubs buying their own stadiums to comply with the league’s financial rules.

Derby’s ground, Pride Park, was listed as an asset on the club’s books for £41million, yet Rams owner Mel Morris used a separate company to buy the stadium for a reported £80million with a deal to lease it back.

It meant Derby recorded a pre-tax profit of £14.6million this year, yet their reported losses over a three-year period would have broken the EFL’s rules.

The EFL’s profit and sustainability rule states that clubs are only allowed to record losses of £13million a season over a three-year period.

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After breaking this rule, Birmingham City received a nine-point deduction last campaign.

The Times’ report says that Boro’s claim is based on the fact they finished one point behind Derby last season, as the Rams secured sixth place, the final play-off spot, in the Championship.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson has made his thoughts clear on the matter, stating back in June: “If a player deceives the referee I don’t expect that to be ignored and I don’t expect the EFL and other clubs to ignore Financial Fair Play.

“It’s there, it’s a rule, it’s an important rule and needs to be followed and if it’s not followed sanctions must be taken against those clubs that cheat.”