Derby County go into administration just hours after manager Wayne Rooney speaks on potential getting a points deduction.
The Championship outfit are expected to face a 12 points deduction for breaching financial fair play rules with the Rams to appoint administrators.
Statements have been issued on Friday night over the long running saga which is hopefully set to come to an end.
Derby County Football Club today announced that the Club, the ultimate holding company of the group, and all of the subsidiary companies have filed notices of intention to appoint administrators.
This action was made necessary by a number of developments. 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. 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.
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 £20 million hit. This season, COVID-19 has continued to have a negative effect on the Club’s revenues. Unlike other sectors, football has been able to only marginally reduce its cost base with the majority of outgoings being associated with playing staff who obviously could not be furloughed. It is widely known that we had significantly reduced our wage bill, but the major benefit of these reductions were not going to take effect until this season.
The COVID-19 lockdown also meant that we were unable to have face-to-face meetings with a number of potential purchasers who could not visit the stadium or training ground. A planned sale of the club and stadium that was due to close in January 2020 collapsed when the EFL was coerced into challenging the Stadium Sale transaction, a charge that would be dismissed some 9 months later. The ongoing litigation and charges in regard to the P&S regulations and the protracted timetable for this to reach a resolution, added further uncertainty and made negotiations challenging.
These issues also led the EFL to preclude the Club from drawing down circa £8.3 million of financial assistance, as was made available to all other Championship clubs in respect of settling PAYE liabilities, further aggravating our cash flow and ability to meet our financial obligations. Even today, we await the EFL’s response in these matters. This response is important to the Club, its supporters and also to any prospective purchaser of the Club.
We wish to thank our supporters, staff and especially our creditors who have sought to help through the pandemic while we have worked to find a purchaser. The Club’s owner has provided substantial funding throughout this period, even as the process has been underway since June 2019 to find a purchaser. We are especially grateful to MSD Partners, who have been hugely supportive and have provided additional financial assistance this year, going far beyond the original loan it provided in August 2020.
We know this situation will raise concerns among our supporters. The Club respectfully asks that our supporters continue to show their support, especially to the playing staff under Wayne Rooney and our employees who have all been outstanding during these difficult times. This ongoing support in turn will be instrumental as we seek to find a new owner to take the Club forward.
We appeal to the EFL to now assist the Club and the Administrators in any way they can in the effort to find a purchaser.
We cannot stress enough how devastating it is to be forced into this position. We all – the owner, the members of the board, and our staff – are true Derby County supporters. We will continue our work under the stewardship of the Administrators to help facilitate their process and their effort to find a purchaser.
Once Administrators have been appointed in the coming days it will be customary for them to communicate with staff and supporters about timescales and processes to seek a purchaser and address creditor concerns.
CURRENT LEAGUE STANDINGS
Based on Wigan, 12 points will be docked at the end of the season. They could still lose another nine on top of that PLUS if they’re relegated without the -12, they count next season.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
Asked how such a possible points’ punishment would affect his commitment to the club, Rooney said: “I am committed to the club. If we get nine points, and that’s the penalty we have to take, then I am confident we’ll stay in this division.
“I have said many times I am a confident person. If we get dealt nine points, there is nothing I can do, there is nothing the players can do. Like everyone else, we are waiting to see what’s going to happen and what’s going on.
“If it is nine points, then I have got a lot of faith in the players and faith in myself, and I am confident we will stay in this division.
“If it goes beyond that with more points, then it becomes a lot more difficult, of course, but my focus is on the players and getting them right for the games.
“My commitment to this club is there for everyone to see. The easy thing for me to do would be to walk away. I am a fighter, I am not doing that. I am here trying to help this club, and I am fully committed to this football club.”
Rooney fielded more questions on the threat of a points’ penalty at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Stoke City game.
Here’s what he said:
Q) How difficult is it for you and the players to know a punishment is pending?
Rooney: “I have said before, all we have to do is focus on the games, and the next game in front of us which is Stoke, and that is all we are doing. Whatever is happening above me is out of my control. My job is to get the players ready to play a game of football, and that is all I am focused on. The players have been excellent, the work they are doing in training and the effort they are giving me in games. No need for concern from that point of view.”
Q) It is clear a punishment would have an impact on you and the players. Would you rather that was sooner rather than later so that you can deal with it, move on and react?
Rooney: “I don’t know if it is going to be a points deduction or not, so I have to just keep working with the players on trying to get as many points on the board, and that’s what we will do. The other side of it is down to the EFL and to (club chairman) Mel Morris. Whatever punishment we may get, there is not much I can do on that.”
Q) It must have been really tough with the off-the-field issues dominating throughout your time as a manager?
Rooney: “Not really. I am a professional, I do my job, and that is all I am asking of the players – come in, work hard in training and be ready to play in the games. The other side of it, as a player, you don’t really see what is going on in the background. The players are all very good professionals, they come in, they do their work, and work very well. At the minute, I don’t think it is affecting the players that much, but if there is penalties we have to take, then it could be difficult for the players, but that is something I will have to deal with at that time.”
Fans reacted as Derby County go into administration and Rooney speaks on the points deduction…
— Jack 🏴🐏 (@_Jack_27_) September 17, 2021
— Sarcastic Forest (@SarcasticForest) September 17, 2021
@TLummo: Can confirm Morris no longer has the EFL on strings
@dietmountainlu: he has got the entire derby fanbase on ropes though
@AndyBebbington: Speaking as a Bolton fan we’ve been here and its horrible but there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it just takes time.. All the best Derby
@DCFCDrew: it has fuck all to do with COVID and you know it, this has been coming for years
@hilssinger: Maybe the owners and directors should take some accountability for getting into this position rather than blame everyone else. Devastating times.
@aaron_bwfc: As a Bolton fan who has seen something similar, hope you lot get this resolved quickly, administration is horrendous
@Reecedcfc: More statements than forest have points
@corky_coyle: Absolute disgrace!!! The size, history and fan base of this football club deserve a hell of a lot better than what is going on! Distraught is an understatement but myself and my gal will be there tomorrow for the lads and the club!
@JakeyBing: An absolute disgrace to the clubs many stakeholders. I understand the Covid impact, but using it and the EFL as the drivers is simply untrue. Years of comical off field mismanagement has created an unsustainable business model. The blame lies at the feet of the board alone!
@JoedcfcHill: Never thought the club I have supported as a young 4 year old kid would come to this. Gutted is an understatement but will never stop supporting the only club I know and love
@JimmyDCFC: A lot of hiding behind Covid going on here.
@portercarl1: Let’s blame Covid-19 for everything Derby County Don’t try and pull wool over the supporters eyes 🤷🏻♂️ we all know real reasons why we’re in this mess 👍🏻😡 🖤🤍 #ramsforever🐏
@Paramore1979: Same old Derby always trying to outdo us. #nffc lose 6 out of our first 7 and sack our 59th manager in the last 5 years and what do you do? Administration.
@gempopmoo: Unbelievable whats happening… all the fans can do is back rooney and the players
@RobJGMoore: Feel like pure shit just want the corner flag back
@Tjallen22: Sadly I just don’t believe a single word that comes out the club anymore. What that statement tells me is that you accept none of the blame for the poor demise of this club. Instead you blame COVID and the EFL, take some god damn responsibility.
@JonForestH: Does administration wipe out the EFL accounting penalty, or do they get a double hit? 10pt admin penalty plus the 9pt EFL punishment? 🙏#nffc
@deanpryor2: You want to hope it’s 19 points then you might have a chance of finishing above us
@Kyledcfc18: We’ve had more statements than wins for fuck sake
@dave_phuket7: Feel for them, great fans and my favourite away day. Stoke fan by the way
@TheeHancock: As a Nottingham Forest fan it’s a shame to see. Both our clubs are in a mess. Ok we’re not in the situation you’re in and I really feel for you. I want our rivalry to be played at the highest level.
@GaryOwen69: As a Wigan fan if this happens you are unfortunately in for a lot of pain, forget your team, it’s gone, hopefully you will have decent kids which stop you getting dicked each week & prey everyday that someone comes along and you start again & come back strong
@garyn132: How many more clubs?! So sad for all my fellow Derby fans to be in this nightmare, as football supporters irrelevant of who we support, we deserve better.