The Independent Disciplinary Commission’s full Written Reasons in connection with the two charges brought by the EFL against Derby County are now published by the Club and are available here. The Club understands the EFL is also publishing those reasons on its website. The detailed reasons run to 122 pages but in short, as announced yesterday, clear the Club of any wrongdoing.
The Commission found that Derby’s independent valuation of its stadium was at a ‘Fair Market Value’ under the Championship P&S Rules and therefore the Club had not breached its P&S requirement in the period ending 2017/2018.
They also found that the Club’s accounting policy with respect to the amortisation of player registrations was not in breach of financial accounting standards or the EFL rules, save that they found the policy ought to have been described more clearly. The Commission criticised the EFL for pursuing the Second Charge without first seeking “information and clarification about the Club’s amortisation policy”.
The case brought by the EFL has taken almost 8 months to deal with and the way it was pursued meant that both sides incurred substantial legal costs. The Club estimates that the EFL’s failed proceedings has cost it hundreds of thousands of pounds. Ultimately, that is money all the member clubs will be asked to pay, and that could have been used by those clubs in these difficult times. It is regrettable that clubs who had no involvement in these proceedings ultimately have to pick up the bill for the EFL’s legal costs, and that those clubs who strongly encouraged the EFL to bring proceedings against Derby ought to ask themselves whether they think that outcome is fair.
The Commission’s decision means that that the Club has not breached the P&S Rules and there is no longer any registration embargo against it. After many months of costly (and apparently unnecessary) disciplinary proceedings brought by the EFL and the associated press speculation, the Club is pleased that it can now finally move on and concentrate on the next football season and focus on addressing the issues created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Club would like to place on record its thanks to its legal team led by Mr Nick De Marco QC and Mr Tom Richards of Blackstone Chambers and Mr Jon Butler and Mr Simon Davers of Geldards. In addition, the Club also wishes to acknowledge the patience and support of its supporters, staff and players during this process.