I wrote an article earlier this week saying enough is enough. I find myself writing the same words at the end of the week.
Two lengthy statements emerged yesterday, one from Derby County trustees and the other from the EFL, in the latest twist in fate and the Rams’ battle to survive.
The combined word count of the two statements was just over 2,000 and yet the feeling was that the picture was not clearer. We seem to be no closer to a resolution.
There have been enough words, enough talk, enough reproaches. As the front page of today’s Derby Telegraph says, the blame game must stop and an endgame must be found.
Two questions emerge from this mess, one for each side.
To the EFL: Are Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers, as things stand, football creditors or not?
The EFL addressed the subject in its statement without answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
They said: “At this time the EFL is unable to determine the status of Middlesbrough and Wycombe’s compensation claims under the terms of the EFL’s statutes and/or insolvency policy. , as this could lead to further action by parties already interested and by the club membership as a whole.”
The question for Derby’s directors is: can you acquire enough funds to prove to the EFL that the club can complete the season?
In their statement, the directors said: “We have provided the EFL with 3 scenarios on how this funding gap can be bridged and the EFL is awaiting further confirmation from us as to which scenario we plan to deliver. This will be addressed over the next few days.”
So what are the three scenarios? Is it a potential new owner? Is it a loan? Is it a crowdfunding measure? Is it a combination of these?
The figure needed for Derby to complete the season has been reported to be between £5-7m or around £1.25-1.75m per month.
If the funds are in place, is there anything preventing a preferred bidder from being named and, if no decision has been made as to whether or not Middlesbrough and Wycombe are football creditors, so can’t this issue be dealt with at a later date?
There will be criticism from the EFL in this case and there will be criticism from the administrators, but the arguments and counter-arguments that drag the issue through the mud day by day must stop.
This is the future of a 138 year old football club we are talking about, the heart of the community. It means so much to so many people and affects the lives and livelihoods of so many people.
Middlesbrough and Wycombe said they did not want Derby County liquidated and were prepared to meet with administrators to find a solution.
The EFL said it is looking to work proactively with all parties involved to find appropriate and swift solutions which will ultimately see the club emerge from administration and prosper under new ownership. The Derby administrators also want a successful conclusion to this situation.
So to all concerned, get into a room, or zoom in as is the case these days, lock the door and don’t come out until a solution is found because time is running out and every passing day is another worrying day for fans.