Rooney's Derby face 12-point penalty after entering administration

Bradley Collyer - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

London, Sept 17, 2021 (AFP) - Former English champions Derby County have applied to enter administration, the struggling second-tier club announced Friday.

The Championship side issues a statement which claimed the club's directors "had no choice but to make the tough decision" to file notice to appoint administrators following a failure to secure new owners and the impact of COVID-19 on the Midlands club's finances.

"Last week, it became clear that the process which has been underway to identify a purchaser for the club likely would not be productive over the near term, despite the number of negotiations with credible parties.

"Because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the revenues and profits of all of its businesses, the club has been unable to service its day-to-day financial obligations. The directors had no choice but to make the tough decision to take this action and protect the club."

Derby are set to face a mandatory points deduction under league rules designed to ensure clubs are not disadvantaged by being well-run businesses.

The Rams are already facing separate points penalties for previous breaches of financial fair play rules.

Derby, however, could appeal on the grounds of extenuating circumstances, with the club adamant their financial position is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic rather than financial mismanagement.

"The irony is that the club's financial forecasts show the emergence of a financially sustainable picture," the statement added. "Absent the COVID-19 pandemic, we undoubtedly would have been able to trade through.

"As the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown tightened their grip, the club's revenues and cash flow took a circa £20 million ($27 million) hit."

Derby avoided relegation from the Championship on the final day of last season after drawing 3-3 at Pride Park against Sheffield Wednesday.

The were then then spared a points deduction, which would have sent them down, when the English Football League decided not to appeal against a decision to only fine the club for failing to comply with finance rules.

Derby's greatest days were in the 1970s when they were twice crowned champions of England by winning the old First Division, the forerunner of the Premier League.

Their initial 1971-72 title came under celebrated manager Brian Clough, who later turned Nottingham Forest into English champions before twice winning the European Cup with Derby's arch-rivals.

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Rooney's Derby face 12-point penalty after entering administration
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