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Government demands ‘urgent pragmatism’ to resolve issues and save Derby County

Government demands ‘urgent pragmatism’ to resolve issues and save Derby County
MPs heard sports minister Nigel Huddleston has been in ‘close contact’ with the EFL to stress the need for progress to be made.

The English Football League (EFL) must work “rapidly” to resolve issues that threaten the future of Derby County the Government has said.

Culture minister Chris Philp insisted “urgent pragmatism” is required from the governing body, the administrators and the Rams to find a solution and “save this fantastic club”.

MPs heard sports minister Nigel Huddleston has been in “close contact” with the EFL to stress the need for progress to be made.

Derby went into administration last September and have been docked 21 points for breaching EFL financial rules.

The Sky Bet Championship club’s administrators are understood to be in talks with three potential buyers.

But they have been unable to name a preferred bidder due to the threat of legal action against Derby by two other clubs.

A general view outside of Pride Park Stadium, home of Derby County (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Middlesbrough and Wycombe are seeking compensation for loss of earnings in relation to Derby’s financial breaches and potential new owners are reluctant to commit themselves to further liabilities.

Derby’s administrators have been set an extended deadline of February to provide updated financial details on how the club plans to fulfil their remaining fixtures this season.

Mr Philp, responding to an urgent question in the House of Commons, disse: “We do want to see the English Football League work urgently and pragmatically and rapidly to resolve these outstanding issues which are in the way of a takeover by a new owner, who we hope can invest the money needed to turn the club around.

“(Mr Huddleston) is pressing the English Football League very hard on these points and I’m sure he’ll do so again, and I’m sure the English Football League will be listening to our proceedings this afternoon and hear the message coming from this House and will act accordingly.”

Crystal Palace supporter Mr Philp earlier highlighted the revival of the Eagles after their own struggles, anotando: “There’s always hope in the darkest hours.”

Derby County’s Alan Hinton (fifth left) celebrates prematurely as Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff (diving) pushes his shot around the post (PA)

The minister added on Derby: “The current situation is a worrying one for fans, the local community and football alike.

“No-one wants to see one of the founding members of the Football League in administration and facing threats to its survival.”

He praised Rams boss Wayne Rooney for his “sterling work” in difficult circumstances, adicionando: “We should be clear that governance surrounding the administration of Derby County Football Club is a matter for the English Football League, the administrator and the club.

“But the Government takes a very close interest in this and is receiving regular updates.”

Conservative MP Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire), who secured the urgent question, disse: “Derby County Football Club cannot be allowed to be removed by the EFL on February 1.

“If this can happen to Derby, one of the founder clubs of the Football League in 1888, it can happen to any of the other 71 clubs.”

The EFL has said it is “keen to try and resolve the current impasse” and is reviewing submissions made by the relevant parties.