Derby County fans give club huge boost with 12 supporters willing to inject at least £10K each

Derby County supporters have stepped up their efforts to keep the club going with 30,000 expected at Pride Park on Sunday for the home game with Birmingham.

And in a response to an appeal from fan groups, Sportsmail understands a dozen benefactors have come forward and offered cash injections of at least £10,000 each.

The City of Derby has rallied round to give the Rams the best chance of survival, with MPs, local politicians and officials also playing a prominent role.

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Derby has a deadline of February 1 from the EFL to show it has enough money this season

Derby MPs have demanded the EFL and the administrators in charge of Derby County end their ‘radio silence’ and issue an update on the club’s immediate future.

The Rams have just six days before the February 1 deadline when they have to tell the Football League how the club will be funded going forwards.

It is believed £5M is needed to see out this term, but those campaigning to save the club now believe as long as there is ‘money in the meter’, the EFL will allow Derby to limp along while any takeover is finalised.

In those circumstances, the extra revenue the club can muster could make all the difference. 

The supporters’ groups have coordinated a campaign to channel more money into the club, urging supporters to buy tickets and merchandise, as well as asking wealthy people to make large one-off donations.

Derby’s supporters’ groups have mobilised fans to back club and channel much needed  cash

The 12 people to have come forward in response to that request stand ready to inject five-figure sums, or possibly more, if needed.

The supporters groups and administrators are only asking for cash donations of very large sums and are urging other fans to spend money with the club.

Derby is on track for an attendance of 30,000 fans for their home game against Birmingham City on Sunday, with tickets selling at a rate of 600 per day. That would be the highest attendance in the Championship this season.

Shirt sales are booming with the usual supply selling out, but new stock is available for supporters hoping it will not be a final memento.

The club has seen a sharp rise in the sale of hospitality packages and last month secured a six-figure sponsorship deal with the car dealer, Bristol Street Motors, which has a significant presence in the city.

Manager Wayne Rooney has done a fantastic job to deliver good performances on the pitch

Supporters plan to march in support of the club ahead of Sundays fixture from the city’s Assembly Rooms to Pride Park, starting at 11.30am.

There were ‘positive developments’ over the weekend, which included the emergence of a new bidder, US brothers Adam and Colin Binnie, who joined other interested parties, the consortium led by former Rams chairman Andy Appleby and ex-Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley.

But since Monday political stakeholders and fans have had no update and now their patience has snapped.

‘I am worried at the continued silence from EFL and DCFC administrators, at this crucial moment,’ said Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham, in a tweet in which she demanded a new meeting on Friday.

‘This is to identify the remaining problems between the EFL and the club, and to ensure that solutions are found which work for Derby’s fans. I continue to urge the parties towards a swift solution which works for the club and for its fans.’

It was thought Derby could be kicked out of the league if they failed to show proof of funds for the season on February 1, but that now looks less likely with sources saying it is not a guillotine

Politicians in Derby want the EFL and Quantuma in the same room, or at least virtual meeting space, so they can be clear exactly what the outstanding problems are.

There is currently a ‘frustration’ over what are seen as mixed messages from the two parties.

However, those involved would say it is better for them to focus of finding a solution, rather than giving a running commentary on proceedings.

The first issue the politicians will want to understand is likely to be short-term funding. The EFL has said that on Quantuma’s own account the money runs out at the end of January and hence it demanded proof of funds for the whole season by February 1.

While that has been seen as a hard deadline, sources insist it is ‘not a guillotine’ that will see Derby liquidated, as long as the club can provide some financial reassurance, even if it only buys a bit of time to finalise a sale.

The Rams are already reducing their cost base having let six players, Sam Baldock, David Marshall, Dylan Williams, Jordan Brown, Graeme Shinnie and Phil Jagielka, leave this month.

A further option would be to sell their top scorer, Tom Lawrence, who has been linked with Bournemouth and QPR, before the transfer window closes on January 31. Not only is he the club’s highest earner, he could also command a significant fee.

Lawrence has eight goals so far this season, has been in excellent form and is crucial to Derby’s heroic battle against relegation after receiving a 21-point deduction for going into administration and financial rule breaches.

In addition, there are the compensation claims lodged by Middlesbrough and Wycombe, who insist Derby’s breach of financial rules disadvantaged them. A key question here is whether the EFL will consider the rival clubs to be football creditors, in which case their claims would have to be paid in full, if successful. This has been a sticking point for interested parties and the politicians want an answer.

Derby captain Tom Lawrence is one of the highest wage earners at the cash-strapped club

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And finally, everyone wants to know who Quantuma is nominating as the preferred bidder, since only then can the takeover proceed and a long-term solution be secured.

In the meantime, Derby fans, who have come into their own in the crisis, are not hanging around hoping for the best. 

Fundraising efforts are being organised by Black and White Together, one of the Derby County fan groups. Contact BAWT for more information.

Nottingham Forest beat Derby 2-1 in their 100th league meeting on Saturday

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