EFL ease Derby County transfer embargo allowing the Rams to sign FIVE players

EFL ease Derby County’s transfer embargo, allowing the Rams to sign FIVE players to bolster their threadbare squad before the season starts in two weeks… but long-running dispute with the league goes on

  • Transfer embargo imposed after  Derby County broke the EFL’s financial rules
  • EFL limited Derby’s squad to 23, which initially included academy players
  • Now the league has relaxed its position and more senior players can be signed

The EFL has relaxed a transfer embargo on Derby County that will allow the Championship club to sign much-needed players for the coming season.

The league had banned the Rams from securing the signatures of new players as part of an ongoing dispute.

But with the embargo now eased, manager Wayne Rooney will be allowed to sign up to five players with Curtis Davies, Ravel Morrison and Andre Wisdom set to be the first to be offered contracts, according to The Athletic.

The previous contracts of Davies and Wisdom expired on June 30. 

Wayne Rooney's Derby avoided relegation from the Championship on the final day last season

Wayne Rooney’s Derby avoided relegation from the Championship on the final day last season

Derby have been limited to a squad of 23 players of ‘professional standing’ under sanctions imposed by the EFL and initially the club was told this would include a number of academy players used in an FA Cup tie against Chorley earlier this year.

In that FA Cup Third Round fixture in January, nine of Derby’s starting 11 were making senior debuts and the team had an average age of just 19, after Wayne Rooney’s squad was decimated by an outbreak of coronavirus.

However, the East Midlands outfit appealed to the EFL, which has revised its assessment.

In a statement, the EFL said: ‘Upon review, the Board has determined that the appearance in that fixture by those players will not be considered as part of any assessment of whether they are players of ‘professional standing’ in line with the League’s embargo policy, due to the exceptional circumstances that applied at the time of the fixture.

Derby manager Wayne Rooney celebrated his side's Championship survival last season

Derby manager Wayne Rooney celebrated his side’s Championship survival last season

‘However, the Board rejected a further request to relax an enhanced embargo that remains in place in respect of other regulation breaches. The Club will therefore continue to be under wage restrictions on player recruitment and limited to a squad size up to 23 players of ‘professional standing’.

The outcome of the appeal will be a huge relief to Derby and its fans since it has been down to the bare bones.

The club’s preseason friendly with Manchester United at the weekend ended in a 2-1 defeat, but Rooney only had nine registered players available, two of whom were goalkeepers.

In June, it was announced Derby County will be fined £100,000 for breaching EFL accountancy rules following a decision from an independent commission.

The long running saga relates to how Derby value players in their accounts, known as amortisation

Wycombe would be restored to the Championship if Derby were hit with a points deduction

Wycombe would be restored to the Championship if Derby were hit with a points deduction 

Derby were originally charged in January 2020 over allegedly breaching financial rules. Last August an independent disciplinary commission cleared the Rams of any wrongdoing but the EFL pressed forward with an appeal over a second charge, specific to amortisation.

On that point, an independent league arbitration panel overturned the original decision and concluded the Rams had failed to meet the required standards.

Derby must submit revised accounts for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as part of an ongoing dispute by Wednesday, August 18.

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