Derby County could face ANOTHER points deduction next season


Derby County could face ANOTHER points deduction next season if an FA investigation finds that Wayne Rooney’s agent secretly paid around £1.6M in player salaries in breach of rules

  • Derby County have been in administration for nine months after financial crisis
  • After American Chris Kirchner failed to complete the purchase of the club earlier this month, a new buyer, Clowes Developments has now been lined up
  • However, the Daily Telegraph claims that while Kirchner was trying to buy the club Wayne Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, secretly paid player salaries 

Derby are facing the prospect of another points deduction in League One next season as a potential punishment for the alleged illegal payment of player wages.

The FA are investigating reports in the Daily Telegraph that Wayne Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, secretly paid around £1.6million in player salaries last month in a failed attempt to help American businessman Chris Kirchner buy the club in what would amount to a breach of the governing body’s intermediary regulations.

Derby were given a three-point suspended penalty for the non-payment of wages last season and the EFL are facing pressure from rival clubs to impose it if last month’s salaries are proven to have been paid late again.

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Football agent Paul Stretford (left) and American businessmen Chris Kirchner (centre) watched Derby County at Pride Park last season

Crisis-ridden League One side Derby have been in administration since September last year

Crisis-ridden League One side Derby have been in administration since September last year

It is understood that the Rams will only be hit with suspended points for non-payment of wages.

The FA could also punish Derby with a fine or points deduction for any illicit payments in addition to taking action against Stretford. 

On Tuesday night, Rooney’s agency the Triple S Group defended a bridging loan to cover Derby’s wages and said they had told the FA about it, leading to what Triple S called a ‘routine’ inquiry. 

‘The Triple S Group is aware of The FA’s routine investigation – indeed, it was the Triple S Group that voluntarily disclosed the information to The FA which has resulted in further inquiry.

‘We were surprised that details of this investigation have appeared in the press while the investigative process is ongoing. Regardless, the Triple S Group is confident in the legal advice it sought originally and will continue to cooperate fully with The FA to resolve this matter swiftly.

‘No further comment will be made at this time.’ 

The FA also said it had ‘nothing to add’. 

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Derby were docked a combined total of 21 points last season – 12 for entering administration, nine for breaching profit and sustainability rules – which condemned them to relegation from the Championship and they could also start League One with a negative points total.

In addition to the possible three-point penalty in the next campaign Derby could also be docked a further 15 points if their new owner does not settle all outstanding debts, but this prospect has receded since Clowes Developments had their bid accepted last week. 

Derby were relegated from the Championship last season amid their financial struggles

Derby were relegated from the Championship last season amid their financial struggles

Wayne Rooney and his side battled hard to retain their Championship status despite points deductions last season. Rooney has since left the club following relegation

Wayne Rooney and his side battled hard to retain their Championship status despite points deductions last season. Rooney has since left the club following relegation

The Derbyshire-based property group have agreed to pay all unsecured football creditors at least 25 per cent of what they are owed, which will enable them to avoid the larger points penalty.

Derby’s administrators, Quantuma, could also face action from the Financial Services Authority if it is proven they were complicit in the secret wage deal. Stretford is alleged to have provided a £1.6m cheque to cover Derby’s wage-bill towards the end of last month when Kirchner’s takeover first ran into serious problems before he withdrew a fortnight ago.

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If found to have broken FA rules Stretford faces a fine or the temporary suspension of his agent’s licence. The investigation into Stretford emerged three days after Rooney announced he was leaving the club following a meeting with Quantuma last Friday.

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