Quantuma, the administrators who have been in place at Derby since last September, have issued an important update amid the club’s ongoing search for fresh ownership.
The troubled Rams recently saw a long saga involving American businessman Chris Kirchner end without a deal getting done. Several deadlines were missed before the plug was eventually pulled.
It has understandably left Derby fans sweating over the future of their club. They are down to the bare bones in terms of players, with the new season beginning in less than six weeks’ time.
Over the weekend, a letter was sent to Derby supporters’ group RamsTrust, signed by Quantuma’s joint administrators Carl Jackson and Andrew Hosking. In it, they reveal news of ‘positive and productive’ discussions and that they will no longer be enforcing ‘hard deadlines’ following the Kirchner saga.
They wrote: “We are having extremely positive and productive discussions with interested parties in relation to the short-term requirements and are confident of those discussions leading to a sale thereafter which will secure the club’s long-term future. We do not, however, believe that imposing ‘hard deadlines’ are the answer at this stage. You will recall that we imposed deadlines earlier in the process which were not adhered to by bidders. We were then heavily criticised for extending those deadlines. In reality, no bids were received that were suitable to be recommended to the EFL for approval.”
With regards to some fans’ concerns that the process is taking far too long, they add: “It is not in Quantuma’s interests financially, to allow the administration to become unnecessarily protracted nor for the companies to be placed into liquidation.”
Following the collapse of Kirchner’s bid, English Football League ( EFL ) chief executive Trevor Birch personally intervened in the takeover saga, saying “It is vitally important that a sale of the club is concluded at the earliest opportunity and we want to ensure that this objective is achieved.”
The fixtures for the new campaign are released on Thursday, with Derby poised for a first season in the third tier since 1986 after relegation last term.
As it stands, manager Wayne Rooney has a skeleton squad with hardly any experienced players to call upon. A number of senior stars are in limbo with their contracts poised to expire and the club unable to offer fresh terms at present.
One boost for Rooney was that he has managed to hang on to assistant coach Liam Rosenior. The 37-year-old was heavily linked with the vacancy at Championship side Blackpool before Michael Appleton was unveiled as the new boss at Bloomfield Road.
Rosenior’s father Leroy, a former boss at Brentford and Torquay, says his son’s “emotional attachment” to Derby means it was always likely he would stay at Pride Park.
He told Sky Sports News : “From Liam’s perspective, I always felt it was going to be difficult for him (to leave) because he’s got such an emotional attachment still to Derby. No matter what people say, when you’ve been in and around it for the last two or three years, himself and Wayne and the coaching staff there do feel that they still have that attachment at Derby.”