Erik Alonso, the prospective Derby County owner, has deleted his Twitter account after being accused of re-using footage of a large property included in a TikTok video to claim it was his own house.
The 29-year-old has faced questions from the English Football League after failing to provide proof of funds, having previously agreed to take over from current Derby owner Mel Morris last month.
Alonso has been a regular user of Twitter, posting his support for the Championship club, but his drawn-out takeover has seen several of the club’s supporters question whether he really has the financial backing to complete the deal.
On Tuesday, Alonso posted a video showing off a lavish home alongside the caption ‘Good Morning’, which was adjudged by Derby fans to be a swipe at those questioning his wealth.
But one user quickly spotted that the video was the same as one published on TikTok by Los Angeles-based luxury real estate agent Davis Pfaff. The home, which was described by Pfaff as being worth $60,000,000, appeared with a backing track of Lose Control by Meduza, Becky Hill and Goodboys.
After the tweet was picked up by a Derby County-focused football analysis account, Alonso’s tweet and the image of the TikTok video went viral, before Alonso’s account disappeared from Twitter.
It is not clear if he deactivated his account, if it was hacked or if it was removed.
Alonso posted a picture of a replica Derby shirt on Saturday before the relegation decider against Sheffield Wednesday, with they went on to draw 3-3 in a dramatic fixture that kept Wayne Rooney's side in the Championship as Rotherham United failed to beat Cardiff City.
The bizarre incident also came on the same day that the EFL confirmed they has won their appeal against an error in law relating to the handling of a previous misconduct charge concerning the club's accounting policies, which could see the club face disciplinary sanctions.
It is not yet clear whether any punishment will be applied to this season or next as the EFL said there was "no definitive timescale" for proceedings.
An independent league arbitration panel concluded an August 2020 disciplinary commission was wrong to dismiss the EFL's expert accountancy evidence which stated the club's valuation of player registrations (amortisation) was contrary to standard accounting rules.
The disciplinary commission had already concluded the club did not adequately disclose in its financial statements the nature and/or effect of its change in accounting policy and there has been no appeal against that decision.
Derby and the EFL will now have the opportunity to make submissions on the appropriate sanction arising out of those breaches.
"Despite media speculation there is no definitive timescale for a determination on sanction though the League will press for a decision as soon as reasonably possible and will provide a further update at the appropriate time," said an EFL statement.
The success of the appeal hinged on the fact the panel determined Derby'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.
Derby said they were disappointed with the decision.
"The club accepts but is disappointed with the LAP's conclusion on the one ground that the EFL succeeded on," said a statement.
"The club and the EFL have agreed that the matter shall now be remitted back to the original DC (disciplinary commission) who can determine what, if any, consequences arise from the partial success of the EFL's amortisation charge, and the club is therefore currently unable to comment further."
Derby claim the reason the appeal took so long was because of issues raised by Middlesbrough and then the EFL, each of which was dismissed, and had this not occurred the issue would have been concluded last year.