Derby County have most of their players on contracts that are thought to contain relegation clauses should the worst happen and the Rams are relegated down to League One, according to The Athletic.
Wayne Rooney’s side are facing a massive final two games of the season, with the Rams still sitting just four points clear of the relegation zone following their 2-1 defeat at home to Birmingham City on Saturday. Derby still have to wait for Rotherham United to play their matches that they have in hand on them. That could make their situation even worse were the Millers to win those games.
The Rams are also facing the prospect of facing Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the campaign needing to get a result, if the Owls can close the gap on them in the next round of fixtures. It is therefore going to be a very nervy ending to the season for Rooney’s side, who have now lost their last five matches in the league.
Derby County quiz: Does Pride Park have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
The Athletic’s latest report suggests that should Derby suffer relegation to League One then most of their players would see relegation clauses in their contracts activated. That could potentially save the Rams some money if the worst was to happen and they were facing life in the third tier.
Relegation would be huge for Derby and it would potentially put the club in a lot of financial trouble, although the proposed takeover of the club could help deal with that. This report is encouraging in that a lot of the players will at least be impacted contractually within their contracts should they suffer relegation down to the third tier.
That is a major plus because it would be difficult for Derby to sustain their current level of wages if they were operating within the third-tier next term. Rooney’s side will also need to use that as potential extra motivation and avoid that happening by ensuring that they do enough to get over the line in their last two matches.
It should not have come down to this for Derby this season, but if they do survive it needs to serve as a warning that major changes around the club are needed. There will be some players who will maybe need to be moved on after they have underperformed this term.