Derby County have been relegated from the Championship after their loss to Queens Park Rangers and Reading’s dramatic draw with Swansea.
Wayne Rooney’s side were handed a 12-point deduction early in the season after entering administration. On November 16, they were given a further nine-point deduction for breaching EFL accounting rules. That led to a 21-point deduction, a deficit that ultimately sees them relegated.
Without the deduction, they would be on 52 points and 17th in the Championship. As it stands, they are 23rd, on 31 points. They have been relegated as they have only three games left and a gap of 10 points to 21st-place Reading.
Preferred bidder Chris Kirchner tweeted after the game that he was planning to avoid a 15 point deduction in League One next season by paying unsecured creditors 35 pence to the pound over the next three seasons.
Derby’s fate was decided after they lost 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers on Monday. The result came after an 88th-minute goal from Luke Amos for the hosts.
That meant that they were reliant on a Reading defeat to stay up, a result which seemed on the cards with Reading 4-1 down to Swansea. However, a late comeback, capped by a 96th-minute equalizer from Tom McIntyre, ensured Derby’s relegation.
Results in January and February gave hope that a great escape could be alive, but an upturn in Reading’s form meant that Derby were slowly cut adrift as spring progressed.
Derby had been in the Championship since they were relegated from the Premier League in 2007-08.
Since then, they narrowly missed out on returning to the top flight twice, losing play-off finals in 2014 under Steve McClaren and 2019 under Frank Lampard.
They have not played in the third tier since 1985-86, but will begin next season at that level.
Speaking after the match, Rooney said: “(I feel) proud. It’s a strange feeling because of everything we’ve been through as a group – the lads on the pitch, the staff, the fans.
“There have been so many positives. Yeah, we’ve been relegated, but I’ve never seen a team get relegated and a reaction from the fans like that.
“I thought it was incredible, the support the fans have given the lads all season. Of course, disappointed, sad, upset. But proud.”
Kirchner tweeted: “This week we continue to move forward in a couple directions – planning on the squad and most importantly on our side the business plan to get the final approval on the OADT from the EFL.
“We had to make adjustments with the 35p commitments to ensure that we start next year on 0 pts and also wanted to make sure we were planning for the correct division which we know now.
“This will go to the EFL on Friday and we anticipate a quick turnaround from them for approval as they have been very supportive in helping us to be in a position to close the deal.
“At a high level our target next steps of the process are, 1) EFL approval on business plan 2) stadium situation sorted 3) Creditor approval on waterfall 4) Takeover completion. I’ll keep an update on each of these key milestones as they are achieved.”
Monday’s results mean Barnsley and Peterborough, 24th and 22nd respectively, can still avoid relegation — although that outcome is still unlikely for both clubs.
(Photo: Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)