For the most part, Derby County’s performances on the pitch have been a welcome break for fans from the chaos off it.
That wasn’t the case on Saturday, however, as the Rams showed little of the fight we’ve come to expect from Wayne Rooney’s side and were beaten by Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
With the January window fast approaching, the takeover situation still looms over the Pride Park outfit with recent reports suggesting that a raft of Premier League clubs are waiting to swoop for some of their biggest assets in January.
The Mail Online reported last week that the club’s administrators, Quantuma, were set for crucial talks with HMRC last week over the tax bill owed – thought to be in the region of £30 million – with suggestions that they could face liquidation if a solution isn’t found.
The Rams also face compensation claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers, while manager Wayne Rooney is said to be growing increasingly frustrated.
On Friday, Quantuma CEO and joint administrator Carl Jackson released a statement concerning the takeover.
It read: “We are continuing to make good progress and are seeking to complete a sale of Derby County Football Club in late January 2022.
“This is subject to the successful outcome of negotiations with key stakeholders and interested parties which has always been the case.
“By way of key matters still to resolve, later this month we expect to have identified a preferred buyer and made progress with ongoing discussions with HMRC, Middlesbrough Football Club and Wycombe Wanderers FC. All these matters will determine the most appropriate exit route from the Administration.”
American businessman Chris Kirchner is understood to still be the main party interested but the statement from the administrator confirmed that at this stage “exclusivity has not been granted to any individual or group and we continue to have constructive discussions with a number of interested parties”.
It continued: “In terms of funding, this has been secured by the administrators, with a charge recently filed at Companies House.
“Day-to-day work to secure the future of this historic football club continues and while there are no guarantees, we remain confident of a positive outcome for the club.”
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Speaking ahead of the trip to Ashton Gate on the weekend, Rooney addressed the current situation.
He told the Derby Telegraph: “[There is] nothing, as far as I am concerned from the last meeting I have had with the administrators.
“Obviously I have seen the headlines in the newspapers last couple of days, that is news to me. I don’t think there is even an option of the club going into liquidation.
“It [potential takeover] is moving forward. Obviously, I want it to move quicker but I understand it takes more time than we all want.”
You feel Rooney’s stance is likely echoed by the majority of Derby supporters.