We put the following questions to Derby County administrators at today’s supporters’ groups meeting.
Can you confirm that you received an ‘asking price bid’ of £28m from the Binnie Brothers to buy the club?
As you know our stance throughout has been that we cannot and will not comment on individual interested parties. That remains the case.
Can you confirm that this would therefore satisfy unsecured creditors at a minimum of 25p in the £1 – thereby avoiding any further points penalty?
Again we cannot comment on individual offers. However, we would envisage any offer that is accepted would meet the minimum 25p in the £ to creditors.
Has an agreement been reached with HMRC for the repayment required and likewise with other creditors?
The position with HMRC remains unchanged and has been covered in multiple previous meetings. They have requested an update which we will provide shortly. However, as we have previously advised, we have shared our draft proposal with HMRC which covered various scenarios. They were happy with the principles in that draft proposal. As previously advised, HMRC will not give formal approval to any proposal before it is in final form. We will provide that proposal once the preferred bidder is chosen and the exit strategy is confirmed.
Can you confirm whether you are in a position to accept this bid as it does not include the stadium, when you have always indicated they would be sold as a package?
We have previously stated that we envisaged the stadium as all interested parties had indicated that was their preference. If an interested party decided that they would in fact rather rent the stadium, and the administrators felt that party represented the best offer for the club, then they would consider it. Our job is to get the best deal for the creditors of the companies in administration.
Can you confirm that the offer would also provide sufficient funding immediately in order to satisfy the EFL that we can complete the season?
All offers include funding through to the end of the season and beyond.
If the proposal by Mel Morris re claims from Middlesborough and Wycombe is accepted, are there any other issues holding up announcing a preferred bidder?
Should the Middlesbrough and Wycombe claims be resolved there would be a short period of time before the exit plan is finalised. This is all subject to approval of the parties involved including the EFL.
Will the administrators ask Mel to confirm whether he would indemnify the club against claims if Boro/WW refuse Mel’s offer (or it otherwise appears unworkable)?
Should the proposal be rejected for any reason we would work with the EFL, the other clubs and Mel Morris to try to come to a workable solution.
What is your position on EFL’s proposed meeting with all parties including HMRC?
If the offer to cover legal claims is refused, will you do this? We would be happy to attend meetings with any parties where it would provide constructive progress. It may not be the case that an all-parties meeting would be constructive in the circumstances but it would be considered. Clearly, we were alarmed at confidential discussions being leaked to the press within 2 hours of a prior meeting with various parties despite the importance of confidentiality having been made, at length, at the outset of the meeting.
Is the admins’ understanding that the attempt to broker a £7m out-of-court settlement with bidders on behalf of Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers was made by the EFL?
It would be speculation on our part to answer and we do not want to enter into such speculation about third parties.
Has a cost been agreed for Pride Park Stadium for prospective purchasers?
We have answered the question regarding Pride Park before. The price is confidential but has been reported to us and relayed to interested parties upon request. The price doesn’t change dependent on who puts a bid in but we will not be publicising the price.
Can the administrators confirm that Mel Morris wishes to have no further involvement in Derby County if/ when they exit administration?
There are only two possible roles that he may have going forward. The first would be as landlord in the event that a sale was made that didn’t include the stadium. The second would be in relation to defending the Middlesbrough and Wycombe claims. Mel Morris has no involvement with any of the interested parties. Aside from that, Mel Morris has never indicated that he wishes to have any role in the club going forward.
Can the administrators confirm the reason Stephen Pearce is still involved in the club when he was a major reason we are in this position?
As we have previously stated, we are not prepared to discuss individuals employed by the club.
Why were players that Wayne Rooney didn’t want to leave sold after he was apparently assured by them that this wouldn’t happen?
We have always said we did not wish to sell players and that we endeavoured to keep disruption to the footballing side of the club to a minimum. We have spoken to the manager about the reasons for the transfers. There is not a continuous amount of money we can borrow.
More specifically, why was Graham Shinnie sold given that the reported fee was only £30k?
We are not prepared to talk about specific players. However, there is always more to consider to the economics of a transfer than merely the headline fee.
After sales of youth players, apparently behind the manager’s back, could there still be further sales?
We do not currently envisage further sales, but any approaches would be considered in the usual way and discussed with the manager if they merit further consideration.
Doesn’t selling Derby’s players, particularly those who may be worth millions in future years for much lower sums now, reduce the value of the assets that potential purchasers would be buying and therefore risk jeopardising the sale?
There has to be an element of realism about the dire financial status of the club. Given the immediacy of the difficulties the club faces we can’t sit there and think about what a player may be worth in future. Players wouldn’t have been sold if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. All interested parties are realistic about the possibility of relegation and the status of the squad.
If we do prove funding for the remainder of the season, would we then be able to renew players’ contracts to avoid further players leaving for nothing?
Subject to EFL clearance, any such decisions would be made in conjunction with the Manager and the preferred bidder. We are all trying to get to the position where this is possible.
How would the Boro and Wycombe claims be dealt with in a normal company insolvency where EFL rules don’t exist?
Creditors are invited to submit claims for debts owed. The Insolvency Practitioner would then adjudicate on whether the claims should be accepted in full, rejected in part or rejected in full. The creditors can then challenge the Insolvency Practitioner’s decision through the Court if all or part of their claim has been rejected.
Do you believe Mel Morris’s offer will be allowed from a legal standpoint? And do you think the EFL, Boro and Wycombe will allow it?
We don’t have any input. However, it will be for the clubs to decide whether they are willing to accept the offer.
There has been talk in the press about a possible insurance policy against the claims. Is this correct?
Yes, we have looked into it but currently feel the premiums are prohibitive and the legal costs of defending the claims would also have to be funded.
There was a 3 point penalty that was suspended pending the filing of accounts on 31 Jan. Has there been an extension?
We received a short extension and expect to file the accounts within 2 or 3 days. The EFL has been kept fully aware.
What ability does Quantuma have to take claims against other clubs?
The legal advice received by the administrators states the claims against Derby are legally weak and so we have no current plans to bring claims against other clubs on the same basis.
It appears that there is sufficient money for February. Are you happy we will be able to continue to trade as a football club if this isn’t sorted by then?
Funding has been difficult throughout the administration but we remain optimistic about resolving the issues to enable continued trading and exit from administration.
Can you stop players who are into the last six months of their contracts from signing for other clubs?
Does RamsTV make money for the club?
Yes. Also filling the ground, buying advertising and spending in the concourses or on hospitality. Revenue from the Birmingham game was excellent.
You said you were 95% of the club avoiding liquidation. Is that still the case?
Yes, I am confident. Certain matters have changed dramatically but we continue to address them and remain confident.