Over the past few seasons, Derby County have spiralled into a downward curve of financial trouble, legal battles and points deductions, which have plagued the club both on and off the pitch.
The Rams started the 2021/22 season with a whopping 21 point deduction, which to a side that had stayed up by the skin of their teeth in the following campaign, was a massive blow.
Chances of survival still remain slim for the Midlands club who are currently in the Championship’s relegation zone, but are now off the bottom of the table thanks to impressive performances under the guidance of ex-Derby captain and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney.
In an exclusive interview with EFL accredited and Derby County journalist Jacob Hackett, he described how the club were spending beyond their means under the guidance of owner Mel Morris, by stating “Mel threw all the money at Derby getting up without even looking at Financial Fair play”.
He also explains how Derby managed to avoid sanctions in seasons gone by, explaining “It became apparent that we couldn’t keep spending this much money and FFP started to be brought up but Mel would always find a loophole”.
Despite the EFL’s looming 1st February deadline, which will warrant the club to declare it’s proof of funds so it can continue operating for the rest of the season, there have been some positive developments for Derby, with EFL chairman Rick Parry suggesting that discussions had been raised with the club’s owners Quantuma.
This followed, after both Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers threatened legal action against Derby claiming that their wrong-doings had directly jeopardised the club’s respective league forms, in securing promotion and avoiding relegation from the Championship.
The EFL have also recently approved the sale of the club to American Investment firm Carlisle Capital for £28m. The firm have agreed to accept liability for the claims made by both Middlesbrough and Wycombe, which could act as a huge lifeline for the preservation of the club.
BREAKING: Sky Sports sources can confirm that the EFL have approved the sale of Derby County to Carlisle Capital for an estimated £28m. The American investment firm have agreed to accept liability for the claims made by Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers. #DCFC #DerbyCounty pic.twitter.com/FNPyisxfjl— Sky Sports Football (@SkySporttsFoot) January 24, 2022
What the future holds for Derby is certainly in doubt, with them being on the brink of financial liquidation and facing multiple legal battles from other clubs, which had also been acting as a barrier against them being taken over.
Many of the club’s fan base are enraged with the current situation and are wondering what it will eventually boil down to.
Ex-Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan suggested that the fans somewhat allowed Morris to get the club into this position, stating on ‘talkSport’ radio, “Once upon a time you (Derby fans) liked Mel Morris and to some extent you allowed him to run your club”.
There are, however, now many positive signs and the sale of the club could well act as a huge boost for the morale of the fan base.
Although, with the subject of them even being able to start next season as a functioning club in doubt, there is an air of desperation lingering over Pride Park and the future of Derby’s status as a football club.