Derby County Chief Executive Stephen Pearce has said he wants to “build bridges with the EFL and member clubs” after narrowly escaping relegation in an interview with the BBC, with the governing body reluctantly accepting the outcomes of the Independent Disciplinary Commission.
Previously, the EFL had created an ‘interchangeable’ fixture list for Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers, in the event they appealed the decision not to retrospectively relegate the Rams to League One because of their financial mismanagement and bring the Chairboys back to the second tier.
This decision by the EFL not to take further action in this process will come as a huge relief to Derby fans, with manager Wayne Rooney reportedly set to quit if they were relegated, but they are still in a difficult situation with a soft transfer embargo still hanging over their head.
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And with no new owner in place to invest in the squad after Erik Alonso’s proposed takeover of the club collapsed in May, it’s currently unknown how much money Rooney will have to spend in the transfer market even if restrictions are lifted at some point.
Striker Martyn Waghorn is one player they were unable to tie down to a new deal and has since signed a deal with League One side Ipswich Town as he joins Paul Cook’s rebuild in Suffolk.
But in the wake of better news regarding their league status, Derby Chief Executive Stephen Pearce talked about rebuilding bonds with other EFL clubs and the current state of his own club’s squad.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “We want to build bridges with the EFL and member clubs, we respect them, both myself and Derby County. It is clear we do have a polar opposite view on the issue of amortisation. But that is all it is.
“During this period we have been able to function and produce a squad – and we will look to do so now.
“We have a core of senior players and extremely talented academy players. That is enough to operate with and we have a plan for the rest of the window.
“We are not rushing to fill the squad for next week. We have a clear plan ready, pending the future ownership. One of our strengths is our strong relationship with Wayne. He is fully aware of the situation, is informed and supportive.”
Whatever’s happening upstairs, Derby need to remain as cool as possible if they want success on the pitch next season.
Their transfer embargo is currently a major barrier to their progress with Wayne Rooney inevitably keen on bringing in a few additions – but they can only wait and engage in initial talks with potential targets as the situation becomes clearer.
Something that will provide them with a bit of comfort is the fact a few other teams in the Championship are under an embargo right now because of their own financial mismanagement – so the East Midlands side aren’t doomed quite yet.
However, with the start of the season coming up in just over a month, they will need to get out of this embargo quickly if they want to have a productive pre-season and be 100% ready for the 2021/22 Championship campaign, a competition they will definitely now be competing in.