Exclusive: Derby County fail to pay players on time due to takeover delay but sale of club is imminent

John Percy
·2-min read
Wayne Rooney - GETTY IMAGES
Wayne Rooney - GETTY IMAGES

Derby County have failed to pay their players on time for December, but sources insist the takeover by Derventio Holdings is set to be completed imminently.

Interim Derby manager Wayne Rooney and the squad, plus senior members of staff, have been informed they may not receive their full salaries until next week due to a “delay” in the sale process.

Mel Morris, the current Derby owner, has agreed to sell the Championship club to Derventio Holdings, a company owned by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour.

A deal remains on course, insist Derby sources, and the club has received assurances that the funds for the takeover will go through, maybe even later on Thursday.

In a letter sent to players which has been seen by Telegraph Sport, Derby’s chief executive Stephen Pearce wrote: “On behalf of Derby County Football Club, Mel Morris, and prospective new owners Derventio Holdings, we collectively apologise, that due to an unexpected and last minute delay in the closing of the sale transaction, that your December pay will most likely be delayed until next week.

“We have been assured by Derventio that the closing funds have been remitted, but as at this morning they had not arrived in their lawyer’s client account.

“As soon as they arrive, the transaction will close and we will process any outstanding payroll amounts immediately.”

Negotiations have been at the final stages with Derventio Holdings since November and there was confidence that a deal could be completed before Christmas. However, the takeover is said to now be a formality.

Rooney’s hopes of landing the job permanently are linked to the takeover, with the former England captain expected to be confirmed as manager when the sale is completed.

Derby face Sheffield Wednesday on New Year’s Day with the club 20th in the Championship table.