Any new Derby County buyer ‘must spend £50MILLION just to clear the club’s debts’ as ‘insiders fear Rams’ chances of liquidation stand at 50/50′ after entering administration
Any prospective owner of Derby County must plough £50million into the club just to clear their debts before spending a penny on the playing team, The Athletic has reported as the full extent of the Rams’ turmoil comes to light.
After years of financial woes, the Championship outfit entered administration on Friday night and will be handed a 12-point penalty by the EFL while a further nine points could be deducted due to financial irregularities within the club’s accounts.
Derby owner Mel Morris has long sought a new owner and has attributed the coronavirus pandemic and the club’s ongoing Financial Fair Play inquiry as factors behind his failure to sell up.
The full extent of Derby’s financial woes have been revealed after entering administration
The Championship club entered administration on Friday after years of financial struggles
And The Athletic reports that any prospective buyer of the club will be expected to invest £50m just to clear the Rams’ debts, with sources telling the outlet that the club’s chances of liquidation are ’50/50′.
The report adds that Derby’s football creditors must be paid up to £10m, while an American private equity firm is owed a secured debt of £20m. The club also faces a tax bill of close to £30m.
The bombshell news came out of the blue for Wayne Rooney and his squad on Friday night, who were preparing for their clash with Stoke City the following day.
Owner Mel Morris has tried to find a new buyer of the club amid the club’s deepening crisis
The Athletic reports that any prospective buyer must plough £50m just to clear the debts
Rooney confirmed that he learnt of the latest development via Sky Sports News, and the Manchester United legend reportedly refused to allow chief executive Stephen Pearce to speak with the players before their 2-1 victory at Pride Park.
England’s record goalscorer says he has had no contact with club owner Mel Morris ‘for a while now’ yet — at this stage — he has no thoughts of leaving and even believes he could keep Derby up if the punishment does not exceed 12 points.
But Rooney talked openly of playing in League One next season if the penalty is greater. ‘I have said before that I am committed to this club and this group of players,’ said Rooney.
‘I love working with them. I’m committed to the staff and I care about them. I’ll do all I can to get us through. We will get through it for the better though there are tough times ahead in the near future.
Derby boss Wayne Rooney has vowed to fight on despite an impending 12 point deduction
‘I don’t know what the points deduction is going to be. It’s 12 points for administration but whether there is more, I don’t know. My job is to rebuild from the football side and bring pride and dignity back to the club.
‘This is a big club with a huge fanbase and those fans deserve my full attention and the players’ full attention. Performances like today make it a more attractive club for potential investors. It’s important we get the right people in to run this club properly.
‘If the penalty is 12 points, we have a chance [of staying up]. If it goes beyond that we might have to start preparing for League One as well.’
Rooney acknowledged that administration would mean the loss of jobs for some employees, who he plans to address when he has more information. ‘There will be people who loses their jobs who have mortgages and bills to pay,’ he said.
Derby could be hit with a 24-point deduction which would surely consign them to League One
‘To have that snatched away is heartbreaking. It’s been a very difficult 24 hours. I’ve seen administration happen to other clubs and it’s not a great position to be in.
‘I found out the news on television which is not ideal. Communication is key and I have had no contact with Mel for a while now.
‘It’s been difficult to address fans and I don’t know the situation when I speak to the players. I am very proud of the players and staff today. I was less interested in the result than in the players showing the fans they care. They deserve a lot of praise and I am sure the fans are proud.’