The Rams reportedly owe £60,000,000 to various clubs and financial backers, having failed to repay loans, taxes, and player transfer fees. If the club fails to provide The EFL with proof of funding by March 1, they could face liquidation.
A sale; however, will not be easy given the club’s present state of affairs, their crushing debt a significant stumbling block for most prospective buyers. £30million is reportedly owed to HMRC, while a sizable loan from New York based banking firm MSD also goes unpaid.
Despite this, three candidates are known to be interested in taking over the struggling club. Leading these is the Carlisle Capital Corporation, an American private investment firm owned by Colin and Adam Binnie. Carlisle Capital is the only candidate known to have made a formal offer, bidding £28,000,000 in late January.
Also in the running are a group of investors headed by Andy Appleby, who served as the club’s chairman from 2008 to 2015, and Mike Ashley, CEO of Sports Direct and famously frugal ex-owner of Newcastle United.
While the club have reportedly raised £1 million in the January transfer window through the departures of Phil Jagielka (Stoke City), Dylan Williams (Chelsea FC), and Sam Baldock (Oxford United), plenty of work is still to be done to rescue the Rams.
The side’s financial struggles are also impacting the team’s league position. The EFL have deducted a total of 21 points from the Rams over the course of the season for their breaches of Profitability and Sustainability Rules. This leaves the team sat 23rd in the Championship, ahead of only Barnsley and seven points adrift of relegation safety.
The club has also been hit with a transfer embargo, further hindering manager Wayne Rooney’s survival fight. The Rams’ relegation battle will continue on Tuesday evening as they host 19th placed Hull City.