Derby set for additional nine-point deduction – ending hopes of Championship survival

·3-min read
Derby County
Derby County

Derby County are set for another heavy points deduction which will all but relegate them to League One, but the club’s administrators insist they will be saved from extinction.

Wayne Rooney, the Derby manager, is facing a further damaging blow of nine points being docked for financial breaches to all but end any lingering hopes of Championship survival.

After the club was deducted 12 points for going into administration, Derby’s long-running feud with the Football League will result in further sanctions and an imposed business plan.

Derby’s administrators are understood to reluctantly accept the punishment, yet on Thursday insisted they were confident the club will find a buyer later this year.

Andrew Hosking, the administrator for business advisory firm Quantuma, revealed that up to six parties, including some that are “serious and well-funded”, have already registered their interest.

Staff and players will also be paid this month, with the funds coming from ticket sales and other revenue. Talks are ongoing with lenders to secure funding for the next three months.

However, Hosking also warned of more short-term pain as they prepare to agree a sanction with the Football League after previous owner Mel Morris was found guilty of breaking financial regulations.

“We’d want to have clarity with the Football League and have that effectively encapsulated,” he said.

“We wouldn’t want to be passing that on to a prospective purchaser. We want certainty and we don’t want a prospective purchaser then having to divert his attention to try and get a solution with the Football League.

“There is going to be pain for both the employees of this club and the football staff, that pain needs to be dealt with in one fell swoop.”

Derby appointed Quantuma earlier this week and administrators are understood to have told staff they hope to find a buyer within 90 days.

While redundancies are expected, Rooney has been assured that despite being Derby’s highest earner his job is not under any threat.

Debts remain the biggest concern, with £26 million owed to HM Revenue and Customs.

Hosking said he was confident of saving the club and insisted there will be no repeat of Bury, who were expelled from the Football League in 2019.

“Nothing is 100 per cent in this world but my view is that there will be a 95 per cent probability of it being resolved, certainly in the coming months,” he said.

“I do not consider, at all, that this could be a liquidation scenario. There was a suggestion this could be ‘another Bury’ but I don’t consider that to be the case. We are not despondent and don’t consider the obstacles that we face to be insurmountable.”

Rooney, meanwhile, has accused Morris of being “disrespectful” for not keeping him informed on the club’s perilous situation.

The former England and Manchester United forward revealed after Saturday’s victory over Stoke that he had not spoken to Morris for weeks and on Thursday again hit out at the former owner.

He said: “I have not spoken to him since August 9 and I find that a little bit disrespectful, if I’m being honest. There was no phone call, no message.

“It was not sincere or heartfelt enough [when Morris addressed club staff and players earlier this week to discuss the situation].

“Staff said they got more out of a five-minute meeting with me than with 45 minutes with Mel Morris.

“We have to now put him to the back of our minds and move on.”

Derby are currently on minus 2 points and face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane this weekend.

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