Derby, who have had two unsuccessful takeover attempts this year, said the move was due to "a number of developments" and appealed to the EFL to find a buyer for the club; Rams owner Mel Morris "devastated" and says decision to apply to enter administration was unavoidable
Friday 17 September 2021 22:29, UK
Derby County are set to enter administration amid ongoing financial problems at the Championship club.
Derby, who have had two unsuccessful takeover attempts this year, said the move was due to "a number of developments", including a failure to identify new owners and the continuing financial impact of Covid-19.
In a statement revealing their intentions on Friday night, the club said they were appealing to the EFL "to now assist the Club and the Administrators in any way they can in the effort to find a purchaser".
"Last week, it became clear that the process which has been underway to identify a purchaser for the club likely would not be productive over the near term, despite the number of negotiations with credible parties," Derby said.
"Because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the revenues and profits of all of its businesses, the club has been unable to service its day-to-day financial obligations. The directors had no choice but to make the
tough decision to take this action and protect the club."
Derby, managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney, face a mandatory 12-point deduction as a result of the move to enter administration.
The club, who have been owned by Mel Morris since 2015, are already facing the possibility of separate points penalties for prior breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.
Morris has told Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett he is devastated by administration and that a prospective buyer had pulled out of a takeover as recently as last week.
The club statement continued: "The irony is that the club's financial forecasts show the emergence of a financially sustainable picture. Absent the COVID-19 pandemic, we undoubtedly would have been able to trade through.
"However, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the unpredictability it has created represents too much of a strain.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic and lock down tightened their grip, the club's revenues and cash flow took a circa £20million hit."
Derby were initially charged in January 2020 over breaches of spending rules and subsequently cleared, but the EFL's appeal over their accounting policies resulted in a £100,000 fine in June.
Rooney's side sit 16th in the Championship after their opening seven games of the season.
Speaking about reports of a points deduction for breaching financial fair play rules, Rooney said on Friday: "If nine points is the penalty we have to take then I'm confident we'll stay in this division.
"Obviously like everyone else we're waiting to see what's going to happen and what's going on. If it's nine points then I've got a lot of faith in the players and in myself."
Derby avoided relegation from the Championship on the final day of last season after drawing 3-3 at Pride Park against Sheffield Wednesday.
The club then avoided a points deduction, which would have sent them down to League One, when the EFL decided not to appeal against a decision to only fine the club for failing to comply with finance rules.
Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett: "I have spoken to Mel Morris. He has explained an awful lot to me.
"He is very upset. One thing Mel Morris is, is a Derby County fan and he is devastated that despite what he thinks are his best efforts and he is adamant that they are his best efforts, this was unavoidable.
"The figures he told me are quite shocking. He says that Derby, as one of the bigger clubs in the Championship with a big crowd, a big stadium, and a big wage bill relative to other clubs in the division, was losing £1.3m to £1.5m every single month and that has been going on for more 12 months. Quite simply that wasn't sustainable."