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Mike Ashley ‘ramps up his bid to buy Derby County after depositing £50m to acquire League One club’

Mike Ashley ‘raises his offer to buy Derby County after depositing £50million to acquire and save League One club from liquidation’, with ex- Newcastle owner ‘contradicting Rams’ bid ‘former chairman Andrew Appleby’

  • Mike Ashley reportedly deposited £50m to buy Derby County
  • Derby of League One has been in administration since September last year
  • US businessman Chris Kirchner’s bid to buy the club collapsed this month
  • Andrew Appleby made a bid to rescue the crisis-ridden club earlier in June
  • Ex-Newcastle owner Ashley is ready to compete with former Rams chairman Appleby

Mike Ashley has reportedly taken the next step in his bid to buy crisis-ridden Derby County by depositing £50million to acquire the club and Pride Park Stadium.

The former Newcastle United owner and his group will inform Derby’s trustees, Quantuma, of their plans to take over the club and rival Andrew Appleby’s bid to save the club from liquidation.

According to The TelegraphAshley’s lawyers, RPC, have set aside £50million to buy the League One club, which has been under management since September last year.

The report claims the deal to buy the League One club – managed by Wayne Rooney – includes the club and stadium, which is still owned by previous chairman Mel Morris.

The Telegraph went on to say that Ashley is “incredibly serious” about buying the club, but was concerned it might be too little too late, as Quantuma is keen to have a takeover and dusted off.

Part of Ashley’s deal to buy Derby will reportedly include no charges for the Pride Park rental. He will also not take any money from the club for the next ten years to help the Rams get back on their feet.

Ex-Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has reportedly deposited £50m to buy Derby County

Ex-Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has reportedly deposited £50m to buy Derby County

Ashley’s offer comes a week after Appleby, who was chairman of Derby from 2008 to 2015, made an official offer to buy the club after Chris Kirchner’s withdrawal cast doubt on the future of the Rams.

Appleby had struck a deal in January to buy the Rams before talks broke down. The Telegraph also reported last week. He had already expressed an interest in buying Derby in October.

Quantuma is struggling to find a buyer after Kirchner formally withdrew his offer on Monday, leaving the Rams in a potentially dangerous situation with the new League One season starting on July 30.

Kirchner’s camp was still talking about his prospects of closing a deal until the weekend, although there were serious doubts about his ability to do so.

The crisis-ravaged Derby at League One has been in charge since September last year

The crisis-ravaged Derby at League One has been in charge since September last year

The consortium led by former Rams chairman Andrew Appleby has made a bid to save the club

The consortium led by former Rams chairman Andrew Appleby has made a bid to save the club

Earlier this week, Derby’s managers sought short-term funding to ensure Derby can kick off the new campaign, but Ashley and Appleby’s bids have raised the stakes on completing a full-scale takeover.

A statement from Quantuma said: “Before a sale is completed, there is an immediate requirement to secure the short-term future of the club, to get players signed, to issue season tickets for sale and to enter into commercial agreements, as well as our best intentions to end uncertainty for employees and supporters as soon as possible.

“We are engaged in extremely positive and productive discussions with interested parties regarding the near term requirements and we are confident that those discussions will lead to a subsequent sale that will secure the long term future of the club.

“The club does not have the luxury of time, so even without hard deadlines, the future of the club must be secured very quickly.”

Wayne Rooney's side has just five senior players for their return to pre-season training

Wayne Rooney’s side has just five senior players for their return to pre-season training

The Rooney men will return on Monday for season preparation, with just five senior players under contract.

Football League leaders pledged to play a greater role in the sale negotiations but have so far been frustrated by confidentiality agreements attached to the various bids.

Unless the successful bidder agrees to pay creditors at least 25 pence in the pound, Derby will face a 15-point penalty next season.

They were relegated from the championship last season after scoring a total of 21 points – 12 for entering administration and nine for historic financial breaches.

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