United Kingdom

Derby County to enter administration

Derby County owner Mel Morris has been seeking a buyer for the club since June 2019

Derby County are set to go into administration amid their continued financial problems.

The club, which is up for sale, said despite negotiations with a number of “credible parties”, identifying a buyer was unlikely in the short term.

It means they could face a 12-point deduction in the Championship.

In a statement the Rams said Covid-19 had a “severe impact” on revenues and they “had no choice” but to appoint administrators to protect the club.

It claims the pandemic has cost them around £20m in lost revenue and left them “unable to service its day-to-day financial obligations”.

“We cannot stress enough how devastating it is to be forced into this position,” the board’s statement said.external-link

“This season, Covid-19 has continued to have a negative effect on revenues.

“Unlike other sectors, football has been able to only marginally reduce its cost base with the majority of outgoings being associated with playing staff who obviously could not be furloughed.”

Derby, managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney, are 16th in the table with seven points from their first seven matches.

Rams already facing points loss

Their accounts for 2016, 2017 and 2018 are already being re-examined after they were found to have broken accounting rules and they could face more points deductions for that.

The Rams have been fined £100,000 and reprimanded in July by the English Football League for that breach.

The EFL are yet to comment on Derby’s intention to appoint administrators.

Derby owner Mel Morris has been trying to sell the club since June 2019, but has already had two prospective sales fall through.

In March Derventio Holdings, who were backed by the Abu Dhabi-based Bin Zayed Group, saw their takeover bid end while another from Spanish businessman Erik Alonso was called off in May.

The Rams have been under a transfer embargo since before the summer window opened, meaning Rooney was only allowed to sign free agents with strict conditions on salaries.

On the field, the Rams have won just one of their seven league matches this season and drawn four, leaving them two points above the relegation zone.

Derby narrowly avoided relegation to League One last season by a point when they drew against Sheffield Wednesday in their final match.

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