Championship fixtures 2021/22: Derby host Huddersfield on opening day but still face threat of relegation

The 2021/22 season’s fixtures have been released by the EFL but Wayne Rooney’s Derby County still don’t know what league they’ll be playing in

Martyn Waghorn of Derby County celebrates with fans outside the stadium as they secure safety in the Championship the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium.
Martyn Waghorn of Derby County celebrates with fans outside the stadium as they secure safety in the Championship the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium.

Derby County have been fined £100,000 over some of their accounting policies – but the threat of relegation to League One has not completely evaporated.

The Rams, managed by Wayne Rooney, survived in the Championship on the final day of the 2020/21 season, but the EFL have revealed they could still go down after breaching financial fair play rules.

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What’s the story?

Championship opening day fixtures for 2021/22 season

The EFL brought two charges against the Rams last year, claiming that the club had breached financial fair play rules.

An independent disciplinary commission initially cleared the club, meaning they avoided a serious sanction.

However, an appeal was later settled in favour of the EFL with Derby now handed this £100,000 fine as a result – avoiding a points deduction.

This may not be the end of the tale, however, as both the EFL and Derby can appeal the decision of the independent disciplinary commission to dish-out the fine.

League One opening day fixtures for 2021/22 season

The EFL could push for sterner punishments, including a sporting sanction such as a points deduction.

Were this to be applied to the 2020/21 season rather than to any future season, then it could see the Rams relegated to League One with Wycombe Wanderers handed a dramatic reprieve after they were left just a point adrift of survival.

What’s been said?

An EFL statement said: "An independent Disciplinary Commission has delivered its verdict on sanctions for Derby County relating to ongoing disciplinary proceedings.

"In May, an Independent League Arbitration Panel ruled that the Disciplinary Commission was wrong to dismiss the League’s expert accountancy evidence, which demonstrated that the Club’s policy regarding the amortisation of player registrations was contrary to standard accounting rules.

"More specifically, the panel determined that the Club’s policy was not in accordance with accounting standard FRS102 because it failed to accurately reflect the manner in which the Club takes the benefit of player registrations over the lifetime of a player’s contract.

"Tonight, the Disciplinary Commission has announced that the sanction to be imposed in respect of those breaches, is a financial penalty of £100,000 to be paid to the EFL and a reprimand for the Club as to its future conduct regarding the preparation of its Annual Accounts.

"In addition, the Club has also been ordered to file restated accounts for financial years ending 30 June 2016, 2017 and 2018 that meet the requirements of FRS102, together with updated Profit & Sustainability calculations if necessary.

"Both Derby County and the EFL have the right to appeal that sanction decision.

"That being the case, ahead of the publication of the 2021/22 season fixture lists on 24 June at 9am, the EFL can confirm that it has developed

What does it mean for the 2021/22 fixtures?

The EFL have decided to develop ‘an interchangeable fixture list for Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers’ while the disciplinary process is finalised.

The fixtures for the EFL were released today at 9am. Derby were handed a home game against Huddersfield in the Championship while Wycombe will host Accrington Stanley in League One. However, these could both swap.