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Derby County: Dungannon Swifts and another Northern Ireland company owed money by club in administration

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Darren Robinson (inset) transferred to Derby County in May from Dungannon Swifts, who are still waiting to receive the transfer fee. Pics: Getty (main), Dungannon Swifts (inset)

Darren Robinson (inset) transferred to Derby County in May from Dungannon Swifts, who are still waiting to receive the transfer fee. Pics: Getty (main), Dungannon Swifts (inset)

Darren Robinson (inset) transferred to Derby County in May from Dungannon Swifts, who are still waiting to receive the transfer fee. Pics: Getty (main), Dungannon Swifts (inset)

Dungannon Swifts and one other Northern Irish business have been named on the list of Derby County’s creditors.

The English Championship club entered administration in September and earlier this week, it was revealed that it is hoped a preferred buyer will be identified “within two to three weeks”.

Joint administrator Carl Jackson also said he hopes that a takeover deal will be approved by the end of January.

Among those waiting to receive the money they are owed are both the Swifts and Newry firm Statsports Technology, who were named on the list of creditors as part of the Rams’ Statement of affairs released by Companies House on Friday.

Danske Bank Premiership club Dungannon are owed £36,000, the fee they agreed for the transfer of teenage prospect Darren Robinson last summer.

Statsports, who provide performance analysis tracking devices and software to a host of clubs including Liverpool and Manchester United, are owed £18,000.

Those are relatively small amounts compared to the club’s largest creditors, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs owed more than £26m and finance firm MSD Holdings owed £20m.

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Regardless of the amounts, however, Dungannon Swifts will be amongst those at the top of the list when it comes to repayments.

That’s thanks to the Football League’s controversial Football Creditors Rule, which states that football related debts, such as wages to players and managers and transfer fees to other clubs, must be paid in full and as a priority.

It’s for that reason that the Swifts are relaxed about the situation, knowing that they will get the full moneys they are owed, regardless of how long that should take.

The rule in general is in place to protect against a knock-on effect among smaller clubs as, should any significant transfer fee not be paid in full, it could force another club into financial difficulties.

Although they also have preferential status in Derby County’s situation, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have taken issue with the Football Creditors’ Rule in the past. In 2011, they brought a challenge to the High Court, which found that the rule was not a deliberate evasion of insolvency law.

As they are not covered by the Football Creditors Rule, Statsports will not similarly jump to the top of the queue.

US businessman Chris Kirchner is the only interested party to public announce his intention to buy Derby County.

The subject of Derby’s debt to Dungannon, midfielder Robinson, 16, signed a three-year professional deal with the English club in May, just days after making his senior debut for the Swifts in the final game of last season against Glenavon.

He had also attracted interest from Fleetwood Town and Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City.

“It’s all I’ve wanted to do ever since I started playing football, to get over the water, I’m over the moon to sign for Derby,” he said.

"I’ve loved every minute of my time here at Dungannon. Dixie (Robinson – Head of Youth Development), Keith (Boyd – chairman) and everyone else have treated me so well. It’s been a great experience training with the first team."

“I chose Derby firstly because the facilities are excellent and the place itself is nice too. I felt more at home there.”

Robinson has already played two league games for Derby’s Under 23s, including coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

He’s the latest in a long line of Dungannon graduates to make it across the water, following the likes of Northern Ireland international and Liverpool full-back Conor Bradley, Sean McAllister (Everton), Aaron Donnelly (Nottingham Forest) and Vicky Saldanha (Birmingham City).


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