Team Derby to hold crunch meeting with EFL

Pride Park Stadium, home of Derby County

An alliance of city leaders set up to help save Derby County was due to meet with football league chiefs on Thursday (January 20) after speaking with the club’s administrators.

Earlier this week, representatives from Team Derby, which includes Marketing Derby, Derby City Council and local MPs, met with Quantuma to find out how the city could help.

The group, which was set up to put pressure on the English Football League (EFL) to remove the obstacles blocking the Rams takeover, will now meet with the organisation today to find a solution.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, who attended the meeting with Quantuma, said: “The reason why we met the administrators was to really understand the current state of play and, in particular, how we might influence events to avoid even the chance of liquidation.

“The support that the campaign has received from the city, county and the wider UK football community has really helped to put the Derby County issue front and centre.

“This is helping to focus the minds of those who can shape events.”

The Rams have already been handed a 21-point deduction and a transfer embargo by the EFL for previous breaches of Financial Fair Play rules and for going into administration.

The club is up for sale and administrators, who have three parties interested in buying the club, were due to announce their preferred bidder last week.

However, it appears the announcement has been held up by the EFL while claims made against the club by Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers are clarified.

The EFL has also imposed a second transfer embargo on the club and demanded proof that the Rams have the funds to complete the season, while also threatening expulsion from the Football League on 1 February.

This has resulted in a national uproar and concerns that the EFL is acting unfairly.

It prompted the formation of Team Derby, which is calling on the EFL to allow the Rams takeover to proceed – and for the claims by Middlesbrough and Wycombe to be dealt with after the takeover is completed.

There has been a large groundswell of support for Derby County since the crisis began, both locally and nationally.

At the time of writing, a petition asking the Sports Minister to intervene was approaching 60,000 signatories.

On Wednesday night, at a meeting of the full council, councillor Chris Poulter, leader of the city council, urged it to call on the EFL to allow Derby County to name its preferred bidder and proceed with its takeover to guarantee the club’s survival.

He also called on the council, on a cross-party basis, to get behind the Team Derby campaign.

Speaking at the, he said: “The reaction and avalanche of support demonstrated in so many different ways in the last few days has been truly remarkable.

“The city of Derby without a team competing at the highest levels of English football is unthinkable.

“I would call on all councillors to support Team Derby’s efforts to show that Derby cares and we are determined to do everything possible secure the club’s future.

“Let’s show the EFL how determined Derby is and how much we care – even if they don’t!”

Meanwhile, local MPs have raised Derby County’s plight in Parliament, calling on the Government to do everything it can to prevent the Rams being expelled from the football league and going into liquidation.

Earlier this week, MP for Mid Derbyshire Pauline Latham secured an urgent question in the House to debate the Derby County crisis.

At the debate, Latham said: “Derby County Football Club cannot be allowed to be removed by the EFL on February 1.

“These clubs are so much more than businesses. They represent the heart and soul of communities, nowhere more so than in Derby.

“Not only that, but they are also huge drivers of economic growth and are part of the cultural fabric of our country.