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Wycombe’s promotion chances predicted to be slim following EFL’s Derby decision

Wycombe Wanderers know that their fate next season will be a return to League One.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side were hoping for a reprieve by way of a retrospective points deduction for Derby County.

Having finished a point behind the Rams in last season’s Championship, Wycombe were banking on a points handicap preserving their second tier status and sending Derby down.

But that will not be the case, after the English Football League (EFL) confirmed their stance on Friday evening.

The EFL said that they will not be appealing the decision to hand Derby a £100,000 fine over some of their accounting policies.

Wycombe fell just short of survival last season

A statement said: “While the EFL does not agree that those sanctions are commensurate to the breaches found, following consultation with our legal advisors, the EFL Board has regrettably determined that there are insufficient grounds to appeal the sanction imposed by the Independent Disciplinary Commission.

“As a consequence of the EFL’s decision not to appeal, the divisional placings for season 2021/22 are to remain in accordance with the fixture list issued on 24 June 2021.”

The league had published what they called an “interchangeable” fixture list, meaning Derby and Wycombe’s fixtures could effectively be swapped over should the need have arisen.

That now won’t be the case and Wanderers can properly plan for life back in the third tier. Whilst they won plenty of plaudits last season for their ability to compete on a relative shoestring, the bookies do not fancy them to make an immediate return.

Derby have escaped a retrospective deduction, which would have relegated them to League One

Skybet price Wycombe at 6/1 to go up next term, with ten other teams at lower odds. Next season looks a difficult campaign to call, given the likes of Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton will be expected to battle it out at the top.

When it comes to winning the division, Wycombe are 20/1 – compared to the 13/2 for Sunderland to lift the trophy.

For reasoning behind Wanderers’ modest odds, you can perhaps look at how they got promoted to the Championship in 2019-20.

When the season was curtailed in March 2020, the Chairboys were eighth and yet sneaked into the play-offs upon the resumption via the points-per-game method.

They ended up beating Fleetwood and then Oxford in the end-of-season lottery to confirm their first-ever tilt in the second tier.

Wycombe will begin next season at home to Accrington Stanley. Derby, meanwhile, begin at home to Huddersfield.

Skybet and other bookmakers have yet to publish relegation odds on the Rams for next season.

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