MIDDLESBROUGH have released a statement clarifying their position in accordance with a claim made against Derby County over breaking Financial Fair Play rules and have looked to address surrounding speculation.

The claim against Derby County is based on the result of the 2018/19 Championship season where Derby County finished ahead of Middlesbrough in the play-off places. Boro finished seventh in the table that season and claim they would have finished in the top six had Derby County not broken Financial Fair Play Rules. The Rams went on to lose in the final at Wembley against Aston Villa. 

Derby County have since gone on to be deducted 21 points this season for breaking the rules and are currently placed under administration.

The nature of the claim against the Rams is confidential but Boro have denied a reported valuation of £40 million with the suggestion that the true valuation falls below that figure. To that end, Boro say they are willing to compromise on the claim as they don’t wish to see County fall into liquidation with the Rams currently in a period of financial strife and sitting in the Championship relegation zone. They also go on to deny any suggestion that the claim will come to nothing which seems to the be the feeling amongst Derby County according to reports.

Derby are currently in the process of searching for a new owner to take over the club. However, reports suggest that the three interested parties are delaying a potential takeover as they want to ensure they will not inherit the cost of any claims made against them. Both Boro and Wycombe Wanderers have sbmitted claims agaist them due to the outcomes of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. A consortium led by former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley are currently the front runners to take over the club.

It's also been reported that Derby's administrators could seek a legal ruling on their compensation battles with Middlesbrough and Wycombe if the Football League does not step back from its current position of the cases being regarded as football debts

Following the opening of an arbitration process in January 2021, Boro say they have made contact with Derby County’s administrators in November over a settlement and have only heard back this week with the club saying they are offering continued engagement. As things stand, the continuing impasse is looking to be resolved with the assistance of the EFL.

In Monday night’s statement from the EFL, it read: “Middlesbrough FC commenced its claims against the Club over 12 months ago in arbitration proceedings, the framework for which is set out in EFL Regulations.

“The EFL is not a party to those proceedings and nor does it have a role in determining the outcome of them. As the arbitration proceedings are private and confidential, we are unable to provide any further detail.

“The EFL is aware that the Administrators have also received notice of claims from Wycombe Wanderers FC of a similar nature to those of Middlesbrough FC, but the EFL has not received full details of them.

“The current situation remains challenging as Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers consider their claims should be protected under the terms of the Insolvency Policy. The Administrators disagree.

“We are aware that Derby County consider the claims to be spurious, but despite this, the current bidders appear unwilling to assume the risk of defending them.

“In contrast, Middlesbrough FC and Wycombe Wanderers consider the claims to have merit, and that their rights will be adversely affected if Derby County can extinguish or compromise the claims using the insolvency process.”

You can read Boro's full statement here.