Derby optimistic that preferred bidder will be named before deadline and confident that schedules will be met | Soccer News

There is growing optimism in Derby that a preferred bidder will be appointed by the club’s trustees by the end of the month, although the new owners are highly unlikely to be in place by then.

The English Football League (EFL) has given the Rams a deadline of the end of February to provide proof of funding for the rest of the season and – although the club’s future is uncertain by then – they are expected to have enough support to prove they can fill their remaining devices.

This would avoid any further sanctions from the EFL and could lead to the EFL board lifting the club’s ban on registering new players.

This could allow manager Wayne Rooney to sign currently out-of-contract players before the EFL’s deadline for new player registrations on March 24.

Derby has been in administration since September resulting in a total deduction of 21 points.

They currently sit 23rd in the Championship but are only four points from safety, and Rooney said he believes his side will avoid relegation.

Derby close to agreement with Boro

Derby announced last week that an agreement between their former owner Mel Morris and Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson over the ongoing legal case between the clubs was close.

The sale of Derby to a new owner was complicated in part by claims for compensation from Boro and Wycombe.

Derby boss Wayne Rooney believes his side can avoid relegation from the Championship, despite their points deduction

Middlesbrough confirmed last month that they were suing Derby for “systematic cheating” while breaking EFL financial rules in previous seasons.

Boro says if Derby had not done so they would have been in the Championship play-offs and have the potential to earn tens of millions of pounds from promotion to the Premier League.

Wycombe’s claim indicates they would not have been relegated to League One last season if Derby had not broken the rules.

Derby said details of the deal – a smooth deal – between Morris and Gibson were shared with Rams Quantuma administrators before the teams meet in the Championship on Saturday, which Boro won 4-1.

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Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship game between Middlesbrough and Derby County

The news follows the release of a lengthy statement from Morris earlier this month which included an invitation to Boro and Wycombe to personally pursue their claims against him in the High Court.

Morris said it would allow his former club “to evolve for the benefit of the fans, the city of Derby, the sport and the EFL”.

Details of the deal have not been released, but Derby’s statement said Morris and Gibson were keen to develop it ahead of Saturday’s game at Riverside Stadium.

Mel Morris, Derby
Former Derby owner Mel Morris released a statement last Friday which included an invitation to Middlesbrough and Wycombe to personally address their claims against him.

“The claim has clearly been the source of great concern for both sets of fans, and in particular those in Derby County,” the statement read.

“The fact that a resolution has been discussed and agreed upon should be comforting to both sets of supporters.”

The statement added: “However, it is important that all interested parties, including potential bidders, are satisfied that Middlesbrough’s claim will not be an impediment to Derby’s progress in its plans to sell the club.”

Administrator Carl Jackson added: “We are delighted to see that an acceptable resolution has been identified which allows us to move forward with our plans to sell the club.”

Sky Sports

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