Football - Rams chief: We're playing catch-up

Chief executive and president Sam Rush believes Derby needed a new approach to realise their ambition of returning to the Barclays Premier League.

PA Sport Report

Part of the blueprint saw Nigel Clough sacked as manager and replaced by Steve McClaren, who has assumed the title of head coach.

Another step will see the appointment of a sporting director to work alongside the former England boss, who has experience of operating under such a role during his time in charge of FC Twente and Wolfsburg.

Rush hopes the new structure will eventually give Derby a competitive edge over some of their rivals.

"You have to look at every way you can to get an advantage," said Rush.

"You can talk about budgets and spending for as long as you like, but we are never going to be able to compete with clubs coming down from the Premier League who have broadcast money and parachute payments. They have a B£25million headstart on us.

"But one of the key ways we can compete, or make the playing field more even, is through the recruitment of talent.

"I'm looking forward to a player coming in who I have never heard of and thinking wow! A player who has been scouted with the network of contacts we have at the club.

"I look at the clubs who have overtaken Derby in the last few years and that is what is driving this decision, the fact we have been overtaken. That is a concern.

"A few years ago we beat West Brom in the Championship play-off final, but look at the two clubs now.

"We needed a new direction and I see it through coaching and recruitment and football relationships and that is what we are looking to develop in the whole set-up."

Rush said a similar set-up had been put to Clough during his tenure but resisted by the former Burton boss.

"You guys (journalists) are well aware of that," said Rush. "It was something that had been discussed at length in the club over an extended period of time, from what I understand.

"It hadn't been discussed between Nigel and me in the few months we were working together, but it was certainly something, historically, the club had looked to put in place."

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