27 Jun 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

Derbyshire-based property developer David Clowes has had a bid to buy EFL League One football club Derby County accepted and aims to complete the purchase this week.

Clowes announced his intention to take the Rams out of administration on Friday (24th June) after buying Pride Park from Derby's former owner Mel Morris. The status of the stadium ownership has been a major stumbling block for previous bidders, notably Chris Kirchner, the US businessman that earlier in the month appeared to be close to agreeing a deal to buy the club, which eventually failed.

Derby's administrator Quantuma has announced that Clowes has been granted preferred bidder status.

His company, Clowes Developments hold assets worth a reported £300m and had already given a loan to the club to allow them to start the forthcoming season after Kirchner's attempt to buy the Rams collapsed.

Clowes commented on 24th June, As a proud Derby supporter, it was inconceivable to me that the club was at risk of falling away.

"We've worked tirelessly behind the scenes on the stadium purchase and loan agreement to be able to get the club going again in time for the next season."

The news comes during a turbulent time for the following the news that Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney would depart as manager, with Liam Rosenier appointed as interim manager in his place. Rosenior will take charge when Derby report back for pre-season training this week.

Rooney said that the League One club, which has been in administration since September, "needs to be led by someone with fresh energy".

The administrators said the latest offer from Clowes complied with EFL insolvency policy, which will mean Derby will avoid a further points deduction.

"The joint administrators will now enter into a period of exclusivity with Clowes, with a completion of the acquisition of the business and the assets of the club targeted for 29th June 2022," said the statement.

"All parties are now working hard to conclude what is still a complex legal transaction within a very short timeframe. Once concluded, the transaction will enable the club to move forward and prepare for the upcoming season out of administration.

"It will also ensure that Pride Park stadium and the club are under the control of a new, local owner with the commitment and resources to enable the club to move forward with a clean slate.

"The offer also provides the best return for creditors and enables the joint administrators to fulfil their statutory duties and will ensure that there are no further points deductions levied against the club once it is out of administration."

The Rams will start pre-season training with only five first-team players under contract for next season. Restrictions placed on the Rams while in administration have included a transfer embargo, which has left the club so far unable to sign new players and offer new deals to those whose contracts expire at the end of this month.


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