Potential new Derby County owner Erik Alonso has been told throughout his takeover attempt by former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon, Sky Sports News has learned.
Calderon has been the lawyer for the Alonso family for many years.
Sky Sports News was also told that Alonso filed proof of funds with the EFL last week and hopes to complete his buyout by the end of next week – once League officials sanction the purchase.
Derby officials believe the Spanish entrepreneur has shown sufficient evidence of funds to not only buy the club but also to provide significant future investments.
It emerged that Alonso first made an offer to buy Derby nine months ago, long before current owner Mel Morris cleared a takeover deal with rival Alonso, Sheikh Khaled and Derventio Holdings; that takeover collapsed last month.
When Alonso thought a deal to buy Derby was dead, he made an unsuccessful offer to buy Sheffield on Wednesday, before shifting his focus to Pride Park when news of Derventio’s failure broke.
The Alonso family have made their fortune in the hotel business and own a vineyard in the famous La Rioja region of Spain.
Alonso – who is only 29 – has two degrees, one in business and one in sports management.
He plans to move his young family to England as soon as the Covid restrictions allow, so he can handle things at Pride Park firsthand.
The main ambition of Alonso’s No Limits Sports Limited – the company that will own Derby – is to help the club win promotion to the Premier League. We have been told that improving the club’s foreign scouting network and attracting more international talent is an important factor in its plan.
Who is Erik Alonso?
• 29-year-old Spanish entrepreneur.
• Speaks fluently English and Spanish.
• Former Olympic boxer, who played five fights. He was quite famous in Spain when he was in the ring.
• Owner of No Limits Sports Limited – which will be the owner company of Derby County, if the EFL allows the takeover.
• He has two degrees – in business management and in sports management.
• Former adviser to Dejphon Chansiri at Sheffield on Wednesday, but the two fought last year, and Alonso’s offer of around £ 30million to buy the Yorkshire club was rejected two years ago month.
• The Alonso family owns several hotels and a vineyard in La Rioja.
• Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon is Alonso’s family lawyer and has advised him throughout this recovery.
• Taj Samal, a former investment banker, is also part of its management team.
• Alonso is married with an eight-year-old son, and he plans to move his family to the East Midlands as soon as the coronavirus allows them to move.
What is the background to Alonso’s offer to buy Derby?
• Alonso’s initial offer to buy Derby County predates the agreement owner Mel Morris signed with Sheikh Khaled’s Derventio Holdings last November.
• Alonso turned his attention to trying to buy Sheffield Wed when he thought the Pride Park deal was dead.
• When Derventio Holdings did not complete the takeover, Alonso resubmitted its offer.
• Derby officials are confident that Alonso has shown enough evidence of funds to not only buy the club but also to move it forward with future investments.
How fast could the takeover happen?
• Proof of funds documents were filed with the EFL last week
• It all depends on how quickly EFL lawyers can process the request, but it usually takes 10 working days.
• Once EFL approval is granted, the legal sale of the club will likely take up to 48 hours.
• Alonso could be the new owner of Derby by the end of next week.
What do we know about Alonso’s plans for Derby?
• Alonso is fully behind Wayne Rooney, wants to keep him as manager, and the two have already discussed summer transfer plans.
• Alonso is keen to ensure that current owner Mel Morris remains at the club in an advisory capacity, although there has so far been no formal discussion of his role.
• The Spaniard wants to develop Derby’s overseas scouting network and increase the number of foreign players in the squad.
• Alonso tweeted last night that “the good times will be back” at Derby.
• He targets promotion to the Premier League as a key ambition, and this is how he plans to redo his initial investment.
• Alonso plans to move to England with his wife and eight-year-old son, and he plans to lead the club from here