Another dramatic twist for Derby County sees a new bidder and his net worth revealed with fans hoping this is the one that goes through.
It’s reported that local businessman David Clowes wants to come to the ‘financial rescue’ of the East Midlands outfit.
Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd are to submit a bid to buy Derby County with the Derbyshire-based property group purchasing the company that owned Pride Park Stadium from Mel Morris.
Clowes have also issued an interim loan to the club which will enable Derby to start the season.
The club has been on the lookout for a new owner since entering administration back in September 2021 and the closest they came was with American Chris Kirchner, who looked to be closing in on a deal earlier this year after being named as preferred bidder.
BREAKING: A Derbyshire based property group have successfully purchased the company that owned Pride Park Stadium from local businessman Mel Morris. pic.twitter.com/TZpZ1qc1e4
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 24, 2022
However that deal fell through earlier this month when Kirchner withdrawing his offer following a delay in the latter stages of the takeover and this left the club’s administrators, Quantuma, having to restart their search for potential new owners all over again.
Pride Park is still owned by former chairman Mel Morris, making it a potential stumbling block, though it’s believed Clowes was set to be a part of one takeover plan, with the lifelong Rams fan buying the ground from Morris.
Clowes is now set to become one of the bidders for the club and will also have an advantage when it comes to the stadium issue, with Pride Park to be included in a deal at a much cheaper £23.5m, compared to an official valuation of over £80m.
“With a deadline looming and the start of the next season getting closer, we needed to do something,” Clowes said.
As much as I promise myself I won’t, everytime someone new comes in for the club, I can’t contain my excitement.
This time feels different, a proper Derby fan buying and saving his club.
— DCFCHub (@DcfcHub) June 23, 2022
A Clowes Developments representative added: “Clowes Developments would like to formally thank all parties involved in the deals to date. Collectively we have paved the way for a positive outcome for the future of Derby County Football Club.
“We would like to take the opportunity to thank our respective teams of professional advisers who have helped us to successfully purchase the Company that owned Pride Park Stadium, secure the loan agreement and confirm the submission of a bid to purchase the club.
“It must be recognised that great business comes from handling transactions with respect and an open mind. We are very happy to have been able to resolve the issues relating to the ground and are pleased to be in a unique position to help get the club get ready for the next season. We have made sound professional relationships to date which we hope will continue to prosper from here on out.
“Derby County Football Club are now a few steps closer to exiting administration with the hope of a new owner for the club just around the corner, an opportunity to move forward with a clean slate.”
In 2018, Clowes featured on the Sunday Times rich list with a net worth of £252m, an increase of £50m on the previous year.
A deal with Clowes – a ‘significant player’ in the takeover race who will be backed by Morris to complete it – would also mean that he would not have to lease the stadium, something that would be a big plus for the club.
Mike Ashley is said to have put £50 million aside ready to bid for the club, while former chairman Andy Appleby has recently said that a bid for the club is in its ‘final strokes.’
Steve Morgan also reportedly remains interested in buying the club, meaning Quantuma has potentially a choice of four potential deals as it’s a race against time to get the takeover sorted, for signings to be made and contracts to be sorted among a number of other stuff to be dealt with behind the scenes.
Sky Sports reporter Rob Dorsett claims that Clowes is expected to be named as preferred bidder on Friday, giving him a period of exclusivity to complete a deal.
The journalist wrote on Twitter: “Local Derby businessman David Clowes expected to be given preferred bidder status to buy #dcfc tomorrow morning, when club staff will be told. Very wealthy property developer and life-long Derby fan. Will have til next Wednesday to complete takeover.”
Meanwhile, Derby centre-back Curtis Davies expressed his desire to stay at the club this summer, but added that he’d be silly to not look at other options.
“I still don’t know, until there’s an owner here to be able to obviously speak about my contract, I don’t know,” he said on Sky Sports. “I’ve said that I’d like to stay here, I’d like to be part of the team that got promoted again, but ultimately I want to keep playing, so the thing for me is if there is to be something out there then I’d be silly not to take something.
“But, I’m hoping with all the rumours that are circulating again with potential new owners. The latest I’ve heard is of another three or four parties that are interested, I’m hoping one of those get over the line, if not for me then for the club in general because this club, it would be massive for it to get sorted and get back to the Championship.
“It’s a strange situation, last year was strange, coming into it with, I think at that time we had 10 players, that was actually good compared to this season, there’s only five, maybe seven depending on extensions. We went down the line with Chris Kirchner and it didn’t happen, I’m just hoping that a new owner can come in and it gets resolved quickly, because it’s one thing trying to retain these players who are still under contract until July 1, but it’s another thing trying to attract players to the club. If you don’t get an owner, you can’t offer contracts.
“It was the strangest season in the world where you can get relegated but the collective of the fans, the players, everyone around the club and the city have all come together. It’s been fantastic in difficult circumstances of course,” Davies added when reflecting on the season just gone.
“You have a manager that has actually enhanced his reputation, strangely in a season where his team is relegated. We knew it was nothing we did on the pitch, it was all stuff off the pitch, all financial stuff we can’t handle and we tried our best, I think that’s what Derby is about I think they know if we give our all then they’ll always support you.”
🗣 “Ultimately I want to continue playing.”
Curtis Davies gives an open and honest breakdown of his feelings around the uncertainty surrounding Derby County. pic.twitter.com/UE5Uacv5dn
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 23, 2022
Simon Jordan and Jim White also took to clash during heated debate over Derby County takeover saga.
White raised the possibility of administration continuing into July and late August. “They could seriously go into another season in administration,” he said.
To which Jordan replied: “A hard deadline is… So if you set me a deadline, and it’s a hard deadline, and you say I have to complete it on May 31. May 31 comes, and I go, ‘I’ve changed my mind’. Where’s your hard deadline now? The sale’s down the swanny, where has it gone?
White added: “All right, you go and we get the next one in. Who is the next one? Everybody should have been better than this,” to which Jordan continued to address administration. “The point is, to go into admin is debilitating. The bigger picture is, which is worse? Liquidation.
“Getting through administration as quickly as possible, if they have to stay in for another six months, then that is what they’ll have to do until a buyer completes. The alternative is Armageddon. Meltdown.”
White showed sympathy for Derby fans. “It’s an absolute mess,” he added. “It should not have gotten this far, Simon.
“Everybody knows that. It should not be in this situation. It should have been sorted a lot sooner than it has been.
“I know it’s easy for me to say that, but it should have been. But think of the Derby fans, the most important people in the whole scheme of things.”
Jordan remarked: “But Jimbo, in the world that we live in, young ladies should be able to walk down country lanes late at night without being attacked. But we don’t live in that perfect world.
“We live in a world where there are more complexities to a situation, and everyone has to deal with the complexities, rather than a utopian parachute helicopter view of ‘let’s get it done’.”
Fans reacted as another dramatic twist emerges for Derby which sees a new bidder and his net worth revealed…
@17Dan17: After backing Chris Kirchner and defending him until it collapsed, I told myself I wouldn’t get carried away when a new PB was named. In other news I’ve just booked a slot with a local tattoo artist to get David Clowes name across my heart. #DCFC
@Ros614899561: It doesn’t matter how rich people are if they’re not prepared to bid enough. David Clowes, a well respected Derby man, is stepping up (again) to try and save this club from more pain. Even if he just rescues us and then sells us on, I’ll thank and support his efforts. #DCFC
@adaml88: I can see Ashley trying to team up with David clowes if he becomes PB if he passes the tests #dcfc #dcfcfans
@freddiethehat: Mr Clowes proved a commitment by buying the ground! Most owners don’t have prior experience but good business knowledge. He has offices in Ednaston, has a transparent, successful company & appears to be fair in his dealings. I hope he seals the deal #DCFC
@Jack_Pow: Hearing a lot of good things about David Clowes. Let’s hope the finish line is finally in sight. 🤞🏼 #dcfc
@Willjb789: Think it’s finally going to happen #dcfc
@rammie235: I for one don’t give a rat’s backside who takes over at #dcfc. As long as I have a club to support then whoever the new owner is will have my gratitude and backing. Lionel Pickering did wonders when he was in charge. what’s to say that Mr clowes can’t do the same. Coyr🐏🐏🐏🐏
@johnnysleftfoot: Why are people still creaming over Mike Ashley this morning… if he really wanted the club, he should have bought it with assets in January for a good price, now this “shrewd businessman” is trying to buy us with no assets and a league below… doesn’t sound amazing to me #dcfc
@BrumRam: Come on David. “Clowes” that deal #DCFC
@AndyMargett: Cautious with the news as always, we’ve been here with this “he’s a fan and one of our own” before… Let’s hope he’s more Lionel and nothing like Mel… Not going to get carried away… #dcfc #dcfcfans
@barrytheram: Clowes is #DCFC through and through.. unlike the man who claimed to be.. had a go at buying the club in early 2000s.. no he didn’t pick up last months wage bill that was PS.. suspect Clowes is not in this deal alone..
@jon1289: David Clowes is just the right man for Derby County. To start with he’s got the same initials 🖤⚪️🐑 #dcfc #dcfcfans
@KESADCFC: Excited at the prospect of Clowes taking ownership, I really hope he brings people in to run the club, otherwise you can easily fall into making fan decisions. #dcfc
@Peakfanblog: If David Clowes, on his own or leading a consortium, is confirmed today as preferred bidder at #dcfc then everyone should get behind and thank the man. He is a longtime fan who has saved the club. He deserves the thanks of all supporters and I wish him the very best. Thank you!
@Danpayne123: I trust Clowes a lot more than our last preferred bidder. I truly think this could finally be the end of a very dark tunnel. #dcfc
@ostrich8421: My brother is a structural engineer, does a lot of work for Clowes. Says they’re absolutely massive, own loads of distribution centres and warehouses, let them out to big businesses. Serious money, Derby fan, if he’s the PB then this is what we’ve been wanting 🐏 #dcfc #dcfcfans
@theboyhaywood: #dcfc for everyone saying “not another supporter owning the club” remember Lionel Pickering was a supporter and he gave us the best years I’ve witnessed as a fan.