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Derby unable to pay first team in full amid doubts over club takeover

Most of Derby's first-team squad only paid half of their pay in December; Club struggling with a major cash flow problem after delays to the proposed takeover by Sheikh Khaled's Derventio Holdings; EFL to discuss financial plight of several clubs in board meeting on Thursday

Derby players
Image: Most of Derby's first-team squad have received only half of their December wages

Derby County's chief executive has told the first-team squad that the club is unable to currently afford to pay them their outstanding wages from December, but is working to address the problem.

Most of Derby's first-team squad were only paid 50 per cent of the money that was due to them at the end of December and were told the rest would be paid in full, together with their current month's wages, at the end of January.

But, repeated delays in the protracted takeover by Sheikh Khaled's Derventio Holdings has meant the club has a major cash flow problem.

After a number of missed deadlines, it had been hoped that the deal would be concluded on Tuesday night, but the purchase of the club remains incomplete.

Sky Sports News has been told that there is a legally binding agreement between the two parties for the sale of the club.

Wayne Rooney can now prepare his Derby players to face Rotherham on Saturday
Image: Interim boss Wayne Rooney and the players met with club CEO Stephen Pearce to discuss the issue on Wednesday

But, without the purchase fee and associated money being paid, the deal cannot be concluded, and current owner Mel Morris is continuing to fund the wages shortfall from his other business dealings.

Major concerns over the financial plight of several clubs including Derby County will be discussed at an EFL board meeting on Thursday.

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Sky Sports News has been told the PFA has been aware of the cash-flow problems at Derby for several weeks and is liaising with the EFL.

On Wednesday, club CEO Stephen Pearce called the players and interim boss Wayne Rooney together at the training ground and apologised for the ongoing problems, and promised to keep them informed of developments.

Pride Park, home of Derby County
Image: Derby's takeover by Sheikh Khaled's Derventio Holdings appears to have stalled for the time being

In December, both sides involved in the buy-out said a deal was still on track, but nothing has been said publicly since.

It leaves Derby in further turmoil, following the coronavirus outbreak which forced them to close their training ground last week, and field a team of junior players in the FA Cup defeat to Chorley.

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