The EFL says it disagrees with Derby’s belief that legal claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe should not be treated as football-related debt.

Both clubs are seeking compensation relating to Derby’s breaching of financial rules, but the Rams believe that the governing body should not force them to defend the claims in order to keep its EFL membership.

But the EFL has rejected that stance, insisting that Boro and Wycombe are creditors and should be paid.

It said in a statement: “Derby County is seeking to use insolvency legislation to avoid having to defend the claims of Middlesbrough FC (which commenced initially in January 2021) and Wycombe Wanderers.

“Derby County considers those claims should not be treated as football-related debts and that it would be wrong for the EFL to require the club to have to continue to defend the claims as a condition of continuing membership in circumstances where they have been compromised by way of a restructuring plan.

“The EFL does not agree with that analysis.

“At the request of the administrators, and in line with commitments given at last week’s meeting with local politicians, the EFL has provided a further clear statement to Quantuma of its position on the application of the Insolvency Policy, so as to enable them to apply to the High Court or engage in Arbitration to have that issue determined.

“It is now for the administrators to determine how they wish to move this matter forward and we remain willing to expedite any process, as necessary.

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Wayne Rooney believes avoiding relegation with Derby County would be the greatest achievement of his illustrious career

“The EFL has previously requested mediation between the two clubs and the administrators and is today inviting all relevant and associated parties involved to enter formal collaborative negotiations to actively seek out the compromises and solutions required to ensure that Derby County has a long-term future.”

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Highlights of the Championship match between Derby County and Birmingham City.

Lord Pendry: Door has not been slammed shut

The former shadow sports minister, Lord Pendry, said he had spoken to Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson in an attempt to bring an end to the legal claims against Derby County which, the administrators say, are preventing them from selling the club.

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Derby County fans marched from the city centre to Pride Park ahead of the game against Birmingham to protest against the situation the club finds itself in

Lord Pendry has raised three parliamentary questions, asking the Government to ensure Derby does not go bust.

Speaking before the EFL released a statement on Tuesday evening, Lord Pendry said he understood why Middlesbrough and Wycombe feel hard done by when Derby breached the EFL’s financial rules.

But Lord Pendry said after his conversation with Gibson, he is confident an agreement can be reached.

“(Gibson) says it’s perhaps not as gloomy as some people think at the moment,” Lord Pendry told Sky Sports News.

“There are meaningful talks going on, and it was encouraging enough to know the door hasn’t been slammed shut.”

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Krystian Bielik’s stoppage time bicycle kick completed Derby’s comeback from 2-0 down to earn a point against Birmingham.

The Labour Peer has appealed to everyone who is owed money by Derby to be “realistic” in their demands, to allow the Rams to come through this crisis. Sky Sports News revealed last week Derby’s total debts are in excess of £60m.

“It’s not about pity,” he said.

“I would like them (the creditors) to be a bit realistic about the situation that they have found themselves in to show there’s a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

“If they’re interested in football at all, they must be interested in one of the founder members of the league who are desperately trying to get out of it, despite all the scars along the way.”

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