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Home to roost - Interview
Saturday, 27th Nov 2021 14:54 by Clive Whittingham

After years of mismanagement, excess and deception, Mel Morris has now abandoned Derby County to their fate which, as Ollie Wright from @DerbyCountyBlog tells us, looks bleak...

So... where are we at the moment? Current state of play at Derby?

You know about the points deduction and the fact that we're effectively relegated already. The only thing that matters now is that a buyer is found as soon as possible, otherwise the club will end up liquidated.

Derby league results so far…
Derby 1-1 Huddersfield Davies 39 – Sarr 45
Peterborough 2-1 Derby Dembele 90, Burrows 90 – Stretton 77
Hull 0-1 Derby Baldock 57
Derby 0-0 Middlesbrough
Derby 1-1 Forest Lawrence 11 – Johnson 82
Birmingham 2-0 Derby Hogan 31, Bela 81
West Brom 0-0 Derby
Derby 2-1 Stoke Bird 31, Davies 34 – Ince 58
Sheff Utd 1-0 Derby Sharp pen 89
Derby 1-0 Reading Forsyth 33
Derby 0-0 Swansea
Preston 0-0 Derby
Derby 2-2 Luton Lawrence 20, Knight 60 – Onyedinma 48, Adebayo 83
Coventry 1-1 Derby Godden pen 20 – Shinnie 78
Derby 1-2 Blackburn Davies 89 – Brereton 8, 20
Barnsley 2-1 Derby Adeboyejo 39, Iseko 50 – Baldock 24
Millwall 1-1 Derby Malone 45 – Ebosele 44
Derby 3-2 Bournemouth Knight 13, Lawrence 62, pen 69 – Anthony 19, Solanke 38
Fulham 0-0 Derby

What are the best case scenarios from here? Realistic buyers interested or chancers?

It's hard to know for sure, because the bidders are, in the main, keeping schtum. The only one who has truly gone public with his interest is an American tech entrepreneur, Chris Kirchner, who has made his money in logistics and has been praised pretty highly by one of our administrators in the media. A ropier contender in the Easdale brothers, previously involved with Rangers during their Mike Ashley years, entered the arena, but quickly departed again. Other names to have been linked have generally been American consortia Speculation regarding Mike Ashley appears to have been just that. Per the last update from the admins, there are four credible bidders in the running at the moment, but the clock is ticking and one of them needs to emerge from the pack very soon.

And what are the worst?


What transfer embargoes and rules are you under for January?

Erm... Not 100% clear, but in a nutshell, we're not allowed to pay a transfer or loan fee for the rest of the season. A business plan has been laid out by the EFL as part of the recent Agreed Decision, which confirmed a nine-point penalty. It specified that we can register 25 'Permitted Players', which is slightly more than the previous restriction of 23 'Players of Professional Standing'. The 'PoPS' restriction eventually had to be relaxed, or we wouldn't have been able to field a team, because our youth team all counted, having fulfilled an FA Cup tie at Chorley last season (when the first-team group had experienced a Covid outbreak).

The possibility that the EFL are making it up as they go along with all of this cannot be ruled out.

Ins >>> Sam Baldock, 32, CF, Reading, Free >>> Ravel Morrison, 28, AM, Unattached, Free >>> Ryan Allsop, 29, GK, Wycombe, Free >>> Richard Stearman, 33, CB, Huddersfield, Free >>> Phil Jagielka, 39, CB, Sheff Utd, Free

Outs >>> Scott Malone, 30, LB, Millwall, Free >>> Martyn Waghorn, 31, CF, Coventry, Free >>> Scott Carson, 35, GK, Man City, Free >>> Jack Marriott, 26, CF, Peterborough, Free >>> Henrich Ravas, 26, GK, Senica, Free >>> Florian Jozefzoon, 30, RW, Released >>> Jonathan Mitchell, 26, GK, Released >>> Jordan Ibe, 25, RW, Released >>> Curtis Davies, 36, CB, Released >>> Andre Wisdom, 28, RB, Released >>> Emmanuel Idem, 22, GK, Released

The team is actually playing pretty well, how do you assess the season on the pitch?

It's bizarre, really. There's no genuine tension, other than wanting to win each game because you want to win it. There have been some shockers, most notably defeats to Blackburn and Barnsley and an added-time collapse at Peterborough. But also some excellent displays, not least the recent victory over Bournemouth. Despite all the embargoes, it's a capable side and would have had every chance of surviving without the points deductions.

Who have been the stand outs and weak links so far?

Weaknesses are in goal, where we don't have a reliable number one and up-front, where we have no real cover for Colin Kazim-Richards, who is gradually returning from injury. Tom Lawrence has been fieided as a makeshift nine. But there are plenty of positives. Jason Knight is now recognised as fully-fledged Championship midfielder, with enviable energy and drive. Curtis Davies seems like a man on a mission to keep us up despite everything and has showed himself to be a model professional. The lightning speed of teenage right back or winger Festy Ebosele is so exciting to see and he's one who will inevitably be picked off this summer.

The team has generally been surprisingly good, especially at home, they're all clearly committed to doing themselves justice. We can ask for no more.

Links >>> Official Website >>> Derby Telegraph – Local Press >>> Derby County Blog – Contributor’s blog >>> DCFCFans – Forum

The Twitter @loftforwords, @DerbyCountyBlog

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CliveWilsonSaid added 15:28 - Nov 27
Sounds like a job for Charity Park Rangers!

TacticalR added 16:21 - Nov 27
Thanks to Ollie.

It must be hellish having the threat of liquidation hanging over you.

Despite everything results haven't been bad, topped off with a win and a draw against the top two sides in the division in the last two games.

francisbowles added 10:17 - Nov 29
Yes thanks to Ollie. The best of luck for the future of your club, after tonight.

It will be a tough game and we will need to be really up for it. It helps that the players, of both clubs, have had since Wednesday to prepare.

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