Derby County: EFL extends deadline for administrators to provide proof…

Derby County: EFL extends deadline for administrators to provide proof…




Derby’s next game is at home to Birmingham City on Sunday

Derby County’s administrators have been given an additional month to provide proof of how the Championship club will be funded for the rest of the season.

The English Football League originally asked administrators Quantuma to provide details by 1 February.

But that date has now been pushed back until the beginning of March to allow further talks with possible buyers.

Derby have been in administration since September and keep in the relegation zone, eight points from safety.

A joint statement from the EFL and Quantuma said: “Today’s development will allow the club to meet its current obligations whilst giving a further four weeks to continue the discussions with the interested bidders and applicable stakeholders in respect of a sale, alongside providing additional time to seek clarity on the claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe.

“It is appreciated that many people have been waiting to receive an update over the last 48 hours but given the complexity and ever-changing circumstances, our priority has been to provide clarity once there is a definitive position.

“Our commitment as ever remains addressing the many challenges at hand and we will look to provide updates as soon as we are able to.”

Middlesbrough and Wycombe both claim to have lost out because of Derby’s financial rule breaches.

Boro missed out on the play-offs in 2019 while the Chairboys would have stayed up last season had the situations against Derby, that led to them being deducted nine points this term, been dealt with sooner.

The nine-point deduction followed the initial docking of 12 points after owner Mel Morris placed the club into administration.

A preferred bidder for Derby has however to be named by Quantuma amid fears that the club could confront the threat of liquidation if a deal cannot be agreed.

The wealthy Binnie family from the US, founders of investment company Carlisle Capital, submitted a £28m bid last Friday, while a consortium including former Rams chairman Andy Appleby is thought to be preparing a fresh offer which would also include the buy of the club’s Pride Park stadium.

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has also been considering a bid following his £305m sale of the Magpies last October.

On the pitch, manager Wayne Rooney is continuing his efforts to prevent the club being relegated to League One, despite the possibility of further players leaving to ease the financial situation.

They could not finalise a new contract for former England defender Phil Jagielka, who joined Stoke, while Dylan Williams and Graeme Shinnie have departed for Chelsea and Wigan respectively.

Goalkeeper David Marshall and youngster Jordan Brown have also left this month to join QPR and Leyton Orient.

There is also believed to be interest in captain Tom Lawrence from Championship rivals Bournemouth, who are pushing for promotion back to the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Derby and East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest have been charged by the Football Association after a melee during Saturday’s game at the City Ground.

The charge follows incidents in stoppage time of the match, which Forest won 2-1, and following the final whistle.

examination

BBC Sport reporter Simon Stone

This news will take some of the heat out of a situation that was getting increasingly tense, already though, realistically, there was never a prospect of Derby County going out of business on 1 February.

That date was put in place by the EFL to get clarity over funding and establish a cash position at the club, not a hard stop if resolutions were unattainable.

From conversations I have had over the past 48 hours, there is confidence Derby will get by to the end of the season, by player sales or external loans.

The meaningful issues are establishing a preferred bidder and from that, to have meaningful dialogue with Middlesbrough and Wycombe over their noticeable compensation claims that threaten to land Derby with another £60m bill.

Major creditors HMRC – who are owed £28m – and finance group MSD, who have a £20m loan lodged against Pride Park stadium, are sure to be involved in further discussions, as is Morris, who nevertheless owns the stadium.

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