Analysis: Inside Derby County’s debt nightmare

29 September 2021

Derby fans
Photo: Alamy Derby County still have a huge following when they play away despite the financial problems the club is facing. Pictured are Derby County fans when they played Sheffield United away in the weekend.

Off The Pitch has been given an insiders’ view of the challenges facing Derby County’s administrators as they seek a new buyer for the club.

Industry insider: “This could be a £70-80 million project to re-stablise the club. Billionaire owners will be likely be put off by the high risk nature of turnaround and local businessmen, supporters groups will not have means to do this.”

Insolvency practitioner: Decision to delay administration after implementation of new HMRC rules could cost new buyer extra £20 million.

Derby owner-chairman says he will underwrite nine-figure soft loans and that “liabilities aren't a lot different to what the purchase price for a club with no debts will be.”

James Corbett, Senior Correspondent

As the full scale of Derby County’s debt mountain becomes clear, doubts have been cast on the ability of a new buyer to take on the club’s post-administration debt burden. 

Owner-chairman Mel Morris put the Midlands club into administration earlier this month, and is understood to be prepared to walk away from £100 million of “soft” loans he is owed by the club and “hand back” Pride Park, which he owns separately.

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