Derby’s administrators have been asked to provide a funding plan to the EFL to demonstrate how the club can fulfil their fixtures through to the end of the season.
The Rams entered administration last September and are yet to find a buyer. Their financial problems have led to them being docked 21 points and they are 11 points from safety in the Sky Bet Championship.
Derby confirmed on Friday that veteran defender Phil Jagielka, one of their best performers this season, has left the club, who are now effectively under an embargo on signing or registering players until the EFL is shown evidence of how any new deals would be funded.
The EFL said in a statement: “Following its board meeting on Thursday, January 13, the EFL has written to the administrators reiterating that it needs confirmation as a matter of urgency of how they intend to trade whilst Derby County remains in administration, including a funding plan that will enable the club to fulfil its fixture obligations until the end of the current season.
“Without this visibility the league is unable to approve any player signings or renew existing registrations and this position had been communicated to the club prior to yesterday’s meeting.”
Derby’s administrators Quantuma subsequently released a statement saying there were three parties who had made offers for the club and that, while not currently able to finalise things regarding funding over the months ahead or until a sale is completed, they believed that would be the case “in the coming weeks”.
The statement on Derby’s official website read: “As we have previously reported there has been considerable interest from a number of credible parties. There are currently three parties who have made offers.
“One of the joint administrators’ duties is to act in the interest of all creditors, and this includes secured creditors, preferential creditors and the unsecured (“ordinary”) creditors owed monies by the club. In relation to a football insolvency this duty is further compounded by dealing with those creditors known as “football creditors” which need to be dealt with in order to protect the club’s ongoing membership of the English Football League.
“The joint administrators have an exit plan ready to implement and be approved by creditors and this is with a view to adjusting offers received to accommodate the EFL insolvency policy and their requirements to creditors.
“The difficulty and currently, in our view, the last remaining significant obstacle is to deal with certain claims that are very much disputed but which we are being advised by the EFL cannot be currently compromised notwithstanding statute says otherwise. Whilst we accept this is frustrating for all, none of the interested parties are able to progress matters further until such time that an agreement can be reached.
“Linked to the above is the need to ensure the club can be funded, if needs be, over the coming months or until we have successfully completed a sale.
“The EFL have demanded that we prove adequate funding is in place and until as such time as we are able to do that, they will not progress player registrations – this includes some players where contracts needed to be extended this month. Whilst we have a number of options as to how that funding can be delivered, we are not, today, in a position to finalise this funding however we do believe this will be finalised in the coming weeks.
“The position is not straightforward bearing in mind the position of other stakeholders. We are urgently seeking clarification from the EFL as to why these disputed claims cannot be compromised.”
Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and a consortium headed by former Derby chairman Andy Appleby are reportedly separate parties interested in buying the Pride Park outfit.
Supporters’ group The Rams Trust released a statement saying it was “shocked and dismayed” by Jagielka’s departure and added: “The time for supporters to be kept in the dark is over, especially with what seems to be a dire threat to the very existence of Derby County FC.”