Derby County are close to agreeing a points deduction with the EFL for breaching financial fair play rules.
Should a final agreement be reached it will see a reduced penalty from that which would otherwise have been enforced, but a reported nine-point deduction would immediately confine them to the bottom of the second tier on minus-two points.
Rule 85 in the EFL regulations allows a club to accept a reduced punishment so as to avoid the time and cost of the case being heard by a future formal disciplinary commission. Reports on Wednesday night claimed a further three-point suspension will be suspended pending future compliance.
It was under that rule in July that Derby accepted a suspended three-point deduction for failing to pay their players last December.
The Rams are already operating under a strict transfer embargo, which limited their hunt for new players in the summer to free transfers and loans on maximum six-month contracts.
Derby were initially charged in January 2020 over breaches of spending rules and subsequently cleared, but the EFL’s appeal over their accounting policies resulted in a £100,000 fine in June.
Under manager Wayne Rooney, Derby are currently 16th on seven points after seven games that have included one win and four draws, having avoided relegation to League One on the final day of last season.