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Derby County finally sack their manager

Derby County have finally chosen to sack their manager, Phillip Cocu, following a dreadful start to the 2020/21 Championship season.

The Rams currently sit bottom of the Championship table, taking just six points from 11 games played so far. That really is bad.

Assistant Manager Chris van der Weerden and Specialist First Team Coach Twan Scheepers have also left the club by mutual agreement.


Cocu was appointed as Derby’s manager in the summer of 2019 and oversaw 65 matches in total across all competitions.

The club would like to place on record its appreciation for the way Phillip and his staff conducted themselves in what were some extremely challenging situations during his tenure.

Phillip and his staff helped develop and establish a considerable number of Academy players in to the first team squad and Phillip made significant financial contributions and personal efforts towards the club’s community projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, which the club are extremely grateful for.

Derby County wishes to thank Phillip, Chris and Twan for their hard work and dedication over the last 16 months and wish them every success in their future careers.

The club will provide further updates when appropriate and will be making no further comment in the meantime.


Phillip Cocu was a deadman walking for a long while at Pride Park but out-going owner Mel Morris had been reluctant to pull the trigger as it would cost him up to £4million.

The Rams chief is selling the club for eye-watering £60million to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan after the EFL approved the deal.

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, who is in fact the cousin of Manchester City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, owns the Bin Zayed Group, which is a Dubai-based conglomerate.

The takeover is expected to be completed soon but Morris has been left angry with Cocu and his tactics after just one win in 11 games this season despite the presence of Wayne Rooney on £100,000-a-week.

Former Holland international Cocu still had the majority of his contract left after joining on a four-year deal in July 2019.

It was in September that Sheikh Khaled became interested in the club with Derventio Holdings (UK) Limited registered at Companies House with three directors: Bin Zayed Group managing director Midhat Kamil Kidwai and two Swiss-based British entrepreneurs, Andrew Obolensky and Christopher Samuelson. Sheikh Khaled was listed as a “person with significant control”.

Derventio was a small town in the Roman province of Britannia. Today the area is known as Little Chester, on the outskirts of Derby.

Representatives of the new company are understood to have attended Derby’s recent league fixture against Watford.

Cast your mind back to 2018, Sheikh Khaled was interesting in Liverpool however put in a bid that turned out to be unsuccessful.

That was reportedly worth around £2 billion, before going on to place an offer of £350 million for Newcastle in 2019.


Christopher Samuelson has has previous experience within English football, having has something to do with Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich’s takeover of Reading in 2012 and again in 2016 with purchase of Aston Villa by a Chinese consortium led by Tony Xia.

He was also behind various failed investment, with Everton in 2004 and also an unsuccessful bid for Bristol Rovers in 2015, as The Athletic report.

Mel Morris sealed a deal for the Championship club from Andy Appleby’s American Partners group in 2015, but is known to be trying to sell a big stake for around a year now, with Henry Gabay, a financier, and Foster Gillett, the son of ex-Liverpool co-owner George Gillett, among those interested in buying Derby.

Derby have been playing second tier football since their horror season in the Premier League back in 2007/08, when they picked up one win and eight draws in 38 league matches.

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