Derby County owner Mel Morris has revealed he does not regret buying the Championship side in an interview with BBC Radio Derby, with the club set to enter administration after a turbulent year.
The summer was a particularly difficult time for the Rams, who had several charges against them from the EFL and were placed under a strict transfer embargo, only being able to recruit five players for a squad that still looks threadbare in places.
To this day, Derby County still have four offences to their name according to the EFL embargo reporting service, with three accounts-related misdemeanours amid a potential breach of the profit and sustainability rules dominating the governing body’s quarrels with the East Midlands side.
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But arguably, the most sinister charge of the four is their default in payments to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, potentially foreshadowing Friday night’s news about their imminent administration.
With a squad severely lacking squad depth, Derby County employees at risk of losing their job and a 12-point deduction certain to come if they enter administration, with that total potentially going up to 24, the Rams currently find themselves in a terrible state off the pitch.
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Mel Morris, who took sole ownership of the second-tier side in 2015, doesn’t have any regrets about buying the club in the first place though and said to BBC Radio Derby: “No. The desire to do it, the rationale, the benefits if we could pull it off for the city and for the club were huge.
“I would sooner have tried and failed than not tried at all. If you only ever thought you would do it if you were only ever successful, people wouldn’t do things at all. It is a difficult one to answer.
“Do I regret it? Financially I regret it and can tell you that.”
You would think most Derby County fans will regret Mel Morris ever getting involved, considering the current state they are in.
This is such a sad story, but you would hope they would attract several potential buyers because of the size of the club, because it would be a complete catastrophe if they ceased to exist after 137 years.
The defaults in payments to HMRC were particularly sinister and perhaps this is why people shouldn’t be surprised at the current situation at Pride Park, but you can only hope they can bring in new owners as quickly as possible in an attempt to try and retain some of their brightest stars.
Jason Knight, Max Bird, Louie Sibley and Lee Buchanan are all 21 and under and are regular starters for the club, the future of the Rams. So if they were to be sold amid their potential recovery, it would be a complete disaster and something that would never be forgiven.
It would be hard to see Mel Morris being welcomed back to Pride Park again – and who could blame the fans considering the perilous position they currently find their club in? Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.