Derby slam Football League over 'unlawful' charge


London (AFP)

Derby have accused the Football League of making "unlawful" charges against them for allegedly breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

Championship club Derby were charged on Thursday for recording losses in excess of the permitted amounts for the three-year period ending June 30, 2018.

Teams in England's second tier are permitted to lose a maximum of £39 million ($51 million) over three years.

Central to the Football League charge is Derby's £80 million sale of their Pride Park stadium to owner Mel Morris before the club leased it back amid claims the Rams' hierarchy deliberately over-valued the arena.

"The club will strongly contest the challenge to the valuation of Pride Park stadium, as well as the newly notified charge in respect of intangible fixed asset amortisation," a statement on Derby's website said on Friday.

"As a matter of law, the EFL is not entitled to bring either of the charges, having previously agreed to all of the arrangements surrounding the stadium sale and never having raised the issue of player amortisation before. The club shall argue that the very bringing of the charges itself is unlawful.

"At all times, the club has acted transparently with the EFL in its submissions for both FFP/P&S and, in respect of the charges above, had received written approval for all of its submissions in respect of this legislation."

Derby, who recently signed former England captain Wayne Rooney, sit 17th in the Championship, eight points off the promotion playoff places.

Any hopes of promotion back to the Premier League could be further hit by a points deduction.

Last season, Birmingham were docked nine points for failing to comply with the EFL's profitability and sustainability rules.