Friday, August 1, 2008

Derby's Eleven

Derby County were a fun distraction in the EPL last season, mainly due to their commitment to futility. 11 points from their 38 games saw them return swiftly to the untelevised comfort of the Colaship, and it saw their manager get fined for a tirade against Phil Dowd, as well as being caught in a sex tape scandal!

And now, they're enjoying some interesting times once again, as their ex-owner is fighting with the newly-installed American Investment Group! Oh, and they've signed 11 new players since the end of the season.

Remarkable times ahead at Pride Park, that's for sure.

First up, the business business.

It appears that their former chairman, Peter Gadsby, was terminated on Friday. This morning, he made a statement showing his anger at the manner in which he was terminated (perhaps something to do with the persistence he showed in trying to get some investment numbers from the new Yank overlords, and even hinted at possible legal action:

"Following my appointment as a non-executive director at the time of the club’s takeover by GS&E in January this year, I repeatedly sought confirmation that public pledges of an investment of £50m – £18m to purchase shares, £22m to clear debts and £10m for new signings – were being honoured... Right up to the moment I discovered that my position had been terminated, no answers were forthcoming.

Nor was there a single official board meeting at which these crucial matters could be raised, an astounding state of affairs for any company, let alone one facing up to serious challenges in a difficult business climate."

Not particularly inspiring, is it?

His statement continued:

“On several occasions after the takeover, Adam Pearson [Rams’ chairman of football] maintained publicly that the club would go forward “free of debt” as the result of the investment of “substantial new monies” and it was announced that a takeover worth £50m included £10m for new signings.

From the outset, I expressed my unhappiness that such were being made without corroboration and was told that corrected figures would be forthcoming later, when all possible sources of new investment had been explored."

So we're looking at possible grounds for unfair dismissal, or some deviation from that if Gadsby himself could only provide evidence that proves what he's saying.

However, the weird turn here is that he also offered to buy back the club from General Sport and Entertainment!

“I sincerely hope that, in making my doubts about an unhappy situation public, I may help to exert pressure on the owners to produce a full and precisely detailed account of the terms of their takeover, of the amount of new monies invested, the current financial position and the identity of the investors, as well as future financial intentions.

Such is my disappointment and sense of frustration about the situation that I now contend that the current owners should either make good their financial commitments to Derby County and provide the supporters with proof that their initial promises have been honoured or give me the opportunity to buy the club back and return it to local ownership more atuned to the needs and expectations of its outstandingly loyal supporters.”

A rather bizarre game of He-Said, She-Said, isn't it?

Meanwhile, the club has been out spending money like Charles Barkley in Vegas, bringing in eleven (!) new faces recently. A week ago, the club added Polish loaner Przemyslaw Kazmierczak (Don't ask me how to pronounce that) to their haul of faces and names who will all need to get acquainted rather quickly:

- former Plymouth Argyle defender Paul Connolly
- midfielder Paul Green (from Doncaster Rovers)
- Watford left-back Jordan Stewart
- winger Kris Commons (from Nottingham Forest)
- Watford striker Nathan Ellington (loan)
- Ex-Sheffield United striker Rob "f*cking useless" Hulse
- Striker Steve Davies from Tranmere Rovers
- Midfielder Ruben Zadkovich from Sydney FC
- Ex-West Brom defender Martin Albrechtsen
- Striker Liam Dickinson from Stockport County

It's a lot of new faces, and almost enough for a brand-new starting XI! (and they just got turned down by a possible 12th signing, Welsh international midfielder John Oster)

Considering the talent of some players still with the Rams, like Giles Barnes, it's fair to assume that they'll bounce back up, but who can say? Let's just hope for their sake that the ownership situation gets sorted before it becomes too distracting. You get the impression that it's going to take a lot to keep Gadsby quiet.


strong like bull smart like tractor said...

I can't help but think that they're going to struggle to integrate that many new players into the squad. They'll probably underachieve early, but they should at least be in the top six by the end of the Colaship season.

I'll always have a little bit of a soft spot for the Rams, as they were Chelsea's opponents in the first EPL game I ever attended.

Mike Georger said...

idk if hes still there or still alive, but fuck robbie savage