‘Exasperated’ EFL demands funding plan as Derby County crisis deepens

Pride Park, home of Derby County

Tensions rose on Thursday evening between Quantuma, the administrator appointed to try and find a buyer for Derby County, and the EFL, which appears to be running of of patience over the affair.

Yesterday afternoon, administrator Quantuma said it had provided the EFL with three different ways of bridging a funding gap – ensuring that the club can continue to fulfil its fixtures until the club is sold. However, later in the evening, the EFL said it was becoming “exasperated” with the lack of a plan for the stricken club, which has been in administration since last autumn.

In a lengthy statement issued on Thursday afternoon (January 20), Quantuma said it is now deciding which of the trio of ways it has formulated is the best plan of the trio to progress.

The statement said: “The EFL have maintained this position throughout and our objective was always that once we had formalised our buyer, that we would work with that buyer to help with funding whilst the formalities of exiting the administration were dealt with. That remains our intention and indeed discussions with those interested parties as referred above have focused on their commitment to provide that funding.

“The deadline for evidence of funding is 1st February, at which time the EFL have said that if they do not have firm evidence of funding, they will consider their position in terms of Derby’s ability to fulfil the fixture list. We have provided the EFL with three scenarios as to how that funding gap can be bridged and the EFL await further confirmation from us as to which scenario we plan to deliver. This will be dealt with over the next few days.”

Quantuma has moved to reassure Rams fans that they are in regular contact with manager Wayne Rooney and that it has been “hugely impressed” with his “commitment and understanding”. The company added: “We have explained the current position to Wayne Rooney and have committed to keeping him abreast of our progress. There have been some player exits but our position has always been that we would like to maintain the integrity and quality of the squad as best we can. That is still our intention.”

Quantuma also said it is still in talks with three parties interested in buying the stricken club. The statement said: “Whilst we had hoped to have been able to announce formally our favoured bidder, this has not been possible to date as a result of the issues we will refer to later in this update. These discussions continue this week, and we remain hopeful that we will be able to announce the preferred bidder shortly. Due to the complex nature of these matters, we are unable today to commit to the specific date on which we will do this. We are, however, cognisant of the 1st February deadline as set by the EFL.”

The sticking point for prospective buyers appears to be the claims from Wycombe Wanderers and Middlesborough. On this matter, Quantuma said: “We do not think it would be helpful, in view of the sensitivity of these matters, to elaborate on the discussions we have been having other than to confirm we are committed to dealing with these claims in the most expeditious manner. They are complex and are heavily disputed. Whilst the two claims have yet to be fully pleaded, we have taken advice from leading law firms and obtained three QC barristers opinions as to the merits of their claims and also the EFL current position.

“We have highlighted different ways in which we believe these claims can be dealt with and we are in discussions with the EFL in this regard. As referred above, no interested party is willing to commit to acquiring the club without further clarity on these claims and we continue, tirelessly to find a solution to move matters forward.”

However, a counter statement from the EFL shows just how desperate the situation now is for the The Rams.

Bemoaning the amount of “misinformation” in the public domain, the League said that the claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers being resolved will not immediately fix the problems facing the takeover of the club, and that they are “merely one part of a complex puzzle”.

The EFL added: “The administrator as a matter of urgency needs to clarify how it plans to fund Derby County for the remainder of the season. By the administrator’s own forecasting, the Club will run out of cash by February, and therefore sourcing funds is of paramount importance to ensure they can compete for the rest of the season. This is not an artificial EFL deadline, but the reality of when we have been informed the money runs out.2

The EFL said that it needs “urgent clarification” from the administrator as to who the preferred bidder is. Without this clarification, no tangible progress can be made into solving the challenges associated with the claims, it added.

The statement continued: “The League is exasperated that this has still not been resolved and that we are approaching the end of the transfer window and a dministrators have still not provided us any guarantee of funds which are required under the terms of the League’s Insolvency Policy.

“As a founder member of the Football League with a proud history, the Club is of huge importance to the East Midlands, our competition and the wider football family and we all hope it can flourish once again in the future as a sustainable member of the EFL.2

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