Derby County entertains old rivals Nottingham Forest in Pride Park on Friday with a spring in step

Wayne Rooney’s appointment as permanent manager on Jan. January triggered a revival of luck that brought the Rams six wins in nine championship games, which they never achieved under former boss Phillip Cocu and only managed once in 2018/19 when Frank Lampard brought them to the play-off final

If that form had been repeated throughout the campaign, Derby would now be runner-up, following the automatic promotion and return to the Premier League, which has been so elusive since relegation with a record low of 11 in 2008 Proven period that includes four failed play-off campaigns between 2014 and 2019

Despite the optimism on the field, there is acute concern about what is going on off the field About £ 60million outstanding, loans of unknown size creating unease about how it’s going to be paid back and uncertainty about where the club is going

On 6 November Derby announced that owner Mel Morris and Derventio Holdings (UK) Ltd had reached an agreement in principle to sell the club. A submission to the Test of Owners and Directors of the Football League has been approved and the transaction will be “very soon” completed

Morris, who had spent £ 200 million without promotion, had spent several months trying to find a buyer In Derventio’s last owner, Sheikh Khaled and his Bin Zayed Group, Derby fans would become a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour get

Although it was stressed that Sheikh Khaled would not be spending as much as his relative had spent on City, Derby appeared to be in good shape to move forward

There have been rumors as to why Sheikh Khaled had previously tried to buy Liverpool and a very public attempt to buy Newcastle United failed to complete in the summer of 2019 when owner Mike Ashley questioned the true extent of his fortune presented

A recent suggestion is that Sheikh Khaled is trying to find alternative sources of funding

If correct, another filing would need to be made to the English Football League (EFL) to ensure that both the source of the new funding and the actual funder pass the test of owners and directors

No official reason was given for the delay – or whether there is a deadline for closing the deal

A source close to the sheikh refused to go into detail or confidentiality upon request. Derby also declined to comment

BBC Sport has been advised that due to the way the agreement is being made, neither party will be able to leave

Although Sheikh Khaled was the potential owner rather than the actual owner, he was involved in the discussions that led to Rooney’s being opened on Jan. January was finally appointed manager

He was also part of the discussions about the loan of five players as of the deadline, including Manchester United defender Teden Mengi and Manchester City forward Patrick Roberts

Now 65 and not in the best of health, he assured fans in a recent interview-external link that he would keep the club afloat until the takeover is complete

The problem arises from the intricacy of the club’s ownership structure, concerns about its financial situation, loans around Pride Park, and the on-off nature of discussions with other potential buyers

BBC Sport has been informed of other parties interested in buying the club

But when a prospective buyer spoke briefly to club leaders, he was not encouraged to continue – a buyer, this person was told, had already been found in Sheikh Khaled

Given the due diligence required, buying from scratch at this point wouldn’t be a quick process

Then there is the Swiss-Turkish financier Henry Gabay, who through his private equity firm agreed a deal last year to lend Derby money to buy the club – and then withdraw his interest

Various rumors of Gabay’s continued involvement have surfaced, but BBC Sport has been told that none are true and that, although he left his loan at the club for a short period, it was later repaid; was nowhere near the proposed £ 81m, external link and that he is not involved in Derby

Gabay, BBC Sport has been informed, has not completely turned down the idea of ​​making another offer for its investors, but would like much more clarity on the club’s affairs

In August 2020, Morris took out the first of at least two loans with MSD Holdings, the same company that loaned Premier League duo Burnley and Southampton money for the stadium

The total amount owed is uncertain and estimates vary widely, but the stadium is owned by Morris after buying it from Derby for £ 81m in 2018 to ensure the club does not violate the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules / p>

Derby has been charged but cleared of all major spending rules allegations, despite the EFL appealing the lesser appeal, and BBC Sport has been told a final decision could be made next month

The appeal was cited – to the knowledge of Companies House – as the reason that the accounts for the football club were still outstanding until June 2020

A confusing picture emerges in the 2017-18 accounts and the written reasons for the EFL case

The amount owed to Morris was increased by 60 million GBP to 49 million GBP reduced, but he provided an additional GBP 229m

A loss of £ 3873 million is projected for the 2018-19 external annual link, but fans won’t know if this has become a reality until the accounts are released

On 5 February, the “Rams Group” of concerned supporters issued a statement calling for the current impasse in the takeover to be “ended one way or another before it continues to seriously damage the future of the club”

You have not received a response, although the club understands the fear that has arisen and intends to respond at some point

In the meantime, the takeover of Sheikh Khaled is incomplete and there is no evidence of a plan B.

Rooney has made an encouraging start to his life as a derby manager. It is far less clear whether the club can offer him the solid financial basis he needs for a promotion spurt

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