Derby clear to start season after loan from local business targeting takeover

Derby’s administrators have said the club will be able to start the season after receiving a loan from a local property group attempting to complete a takeover.

The League One team’s future has been in doubt since the US businessman Chris Kirchner pulled out of a deal to buy the club at the start of last week.

The joint administrators have been in talks with interested parties and said on Friday Derby’s immediate future was secure. The loan has come from Clowes Developments, whose chairman, David Clowes, is a Derby fan. His company has bought the stadium, Pride Park, and those moves are expected to preface a takeover.

“The joint administrators are very pleased to be able to confirm that following a period of negotiation, Derbyshire-based property group Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd (“Clowes”) has issued an interim loan to the club,” a spokesperson said. “This loan will allow the club to start the forthcoming season, and to continue to trade.

“The joint administrators welcome the earlier statement from Clowes, in which it was confirmed that a successful acquisition of the club’s stadium, Pride Park, [was] completed on 17 June 2022, and they look forward to continuing positive discussions over the next day or so.

“All parties recognise the need to conclude a sale of the business and assets of the club, as a matter of urgency.”

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Derby, relegated last season, begin their season at home to Oxford on 30 July. David Clowes said: “As a local and established property company, purchasing the stadium seemed the obvious first step. Secondly, as a proud Derby supporter, it was inconceivable to me that the club was at risk of falling away.”

He continued: “It is intended that this step forward will help to alleviate some of the growing pressure, allowing more time to make the right decisions for the future of the club. The acceptance of our offer and swift completion of a deal will also allow the club to get ready for the upcoming season.”

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