Mike Ashley has spoken to Derby’s administrators and is readying a bid worth as much as $67 million to buy Derby County. Ashley has sold his stake in Newcastle United to a Saudi-led consortium in October for $415 million, ending a 14-year reign at St. James’ Park.
The $67 million planned bid by Ashley is believed to be the highest received so far by Derby’s administrators, Quantuma. Ashley’s valuation is bigger than the one put forward by General Sports Worldwide, a consortium that includes former Derby chairman Andrew Appleby, former chief executive Sam Rush and Wolves’ former CEO Jez Moxey. According to Sky Sports, the formal announcement of the bid is expected over the next 48 hours. If he succeeds in his attempt of acquiring Derby County, Ashley is expected to attempt to purchase the Pride Park stadium as well from the club’s former owner Mel Morris. The company owned by Ashley, Sports Direct, owns a large distribution center close to the stadium.
Derby now sit bottom of the Championship table on just 11 points after being deducted 21 points because of their financial problems. Wayne Rooney’s team are on a four games unbeaten run, after winning three consecutive games and drawing 2-2 against Reading on Monday. Reading, who are the first to sit above the relegation zone, are 11 points away.
Derby are at -500 to get relegated at the end of the season, the same as Barnsley. Peterborough follow at -120. Derby managing to pull off a great escape would really be a shock as things stand right now. The club has last lost its Premier League status in 2008 after finishing last in the English top flight.