Is this the end for Derby County Football Club?

The EFL have given Derby County FC until 1 February to prove they can fund themselves until the end of the 2021-22 Championship season or they face expulsion from the Football League entirely.

Administrators Quantuma have struggled to negotiate any deal with the EFL to help keep the club’s Football League status and fans are worried at the poor handling of the club and fear for its future. The administrators had said they would name a preferred bidder before Christmas, but we are now heading into the back end of January and still no name has been announced.

Derby have already been handed a 12-point and 9-point deductions over the course of the season and earlier this month were handed a transfer embargo that prevented them from even extending the contracts of Phil Jagielka and Sam Baldock, who were forced to walkaway from the club as a result.

Last season’s Player of the Year, Graeme Shinnie, has been sold to League One side Wigan Athletic, in a deal reportedly worth a measly £30,000. One could say the Latics have made the signing of the decade at that fee. Derby have reportedly been receiving embarrassingly low bids for a number of other stars.

Manager Wayne Rooney has been doing a fantastic job, just getting the historic club within eight points of safety despite everything that has been thrown against him. However, it looks like even England’s record goalscorer won’t be able to keep the club in the Championship next season.

Former Derby County owner Mel Morris was gambling happy with the club’s finances during his seven years at the club. During this time, the Rams broke their club record transfer fee four times and took a gamble on many young, inexperienced managers.

Although the East Midlands club did make one playoff final and two further semi-final appearances, they never reached their ultimate goal: back to the Premier League. And financially it cost them… severely.

Former Newcastle United Mike Ashley, former Derby chairman Andy Appleby, and a couple of American businessman have all been linked with taking over the Rams. But one would have to assume how slow the developments have been, that they simply will not have time to come in and save the club now.

Derby County travel to rivals Nottingham Forest this weekend in what could be one of the club’s final games in the Football League for the foreseeable future, which would mean it’s one of their final games of the Championship season.

The two-time champions of England need a miracle, a hero to step in and save the club financially. But is anyone willing to purchase a club heavily in debt, losing millions each month, with few assets and set for third tier football at best next season? The only attraction they have is a passionate 30,000 fan base that many neutral fans rank in the top 5 for atmosphere in England. The club doesn’t even own their own stadium anymore…

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