Derby in new takeover talks after proposed deal falls through

Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Derby have confirmed their proposed takeover by Spanish businessman Erik Alonso is off.

The Rams announced in April that a deal was agreed with Alonso’s company No Limits Sports Limited, but that has now fallen through.

However, chief executive Stephen Pearce said the club are in talks with a number of other “credible” parties about a takeover.

Pearce said on the club’s website: “In respect to the agreement with No Limits Sports Limited, this transaction is no longer under consideration.

“An announcement was made in April that a deal was agreed between Mel Morris and No Limits Sports Limited, but subsequent developments mean the deal is no longer an option.

“However, Mel Morris is in touch with a number of credible parties in respect to purchasing both the football club and Pride Park Stadium.

“Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot expand on this information at this time in terms of the identities and complexities of the discussions, but should we be in a position to share more details then we will do so.

“Whilst this is a financially challenging time, we can assure supporters, and everyone connected with the club, that the board and management are working tirelessly to address the situation and ensure we are in the best possible place in both the short and long term.

“It is widely understood that our current owner has been in discussions with numerous parties about a transfer of ownership of both the club and Pride Park Stadium.

“After two abortive processes which have been harrowing, we can confirm that we have a number of other credible parties who are in active negotiations to help take the club forward.”

The Rams only secured their Championship status because Rotherham conceded an 88th-minute goal at Cardiff on the final day of a campaign to forget for Wayne Rooney’s side.

Pearce says the coronavirus pandemic, which has cost the club around £20million in revenue, was a major factor behind their poor performance.

“Since Covid-19 impacted the United Kingdom early last year, it would be fair to state that Derby County has lost around £20million in revenues,” he added.

“The impact of losing the vast majority of our revenues when the club was already loss-making has been significant and, therefore, we have been presented with several challenges to overcome.

“Of course, the lack of revenue affects many aspects including our ability to recruit players.

“Furthermore, with so many Championship clubs benefiting from Premier League parachute payments, and retaining Premier League squads, it has made it difficult to be as competitive as we would have wished to be. Injuries to key players also impacted us during the 2020-21 season.

“We are not the only football club in the country to report such losses, given the knock-on effect of being unable to welcome supporters into stadiums for such a lengthy period.”

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