Rooney’s Derby could be hit with another points deduction even if new owners are revealed on Friday

Derby face the prospect of further points deductions this year if a new owner does not settle all outstanding debts under EFL rules.

Derby boss Wayne Rooney expects to find out who the club’s new owner is likely to be on Friday as he believes administrators Quantuma are ready to announce a preferred bidder.

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is one of two parties showing an interest in buying the troubled Championship club, along with a group headed by former Rams chairman Andy Appleby.

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Derby boss Wayne Rooney expects to know who the club’s new owner is likely to be on Friday

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‘I think we all should know by Friday,’ said Rooney. ‘I am saying that with some confidence. I know there have been meetings and the EFL are making decisions. My understanding is that at some point on Friday we should know who the preferred bidder is.’ 

Derby are 11 points adrift of safety after being docked a total of 21 points this season, 12 for entering administration in September and nine for historical financial breaches. 

But a potential buyer must agree this year to pay unsecured football creditors at least 25 per cent of what they are owed, otherwise the club would lose a minimum of 15 points. Unsecured creditors can include smaller local businesses who rely on matchday income, or other services such as St John’s Ambulance.

Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is one of two parties showing an interest in Derby

A penalty of that nature would likely be more damaging to Derby next season than this. Rooney has done a fine job to keep Derby’s hopes of survival alive, yet staying up remains a very tall order.

If they were to suffer a 15-point penalty in League One next season, it would be a huge blow to their chances of an immediate return to the Championship – or of staying in it if they somehow manage to avoid the drop this season.

Meanwhile, reports emerged on Thursday that Quantuma had been asked to provide evidence they have the funds to operate for the remainder of the campaign, in order to fulfil the club’s fixtures.

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