A developer with revenues of £83million is looking to take over Derby County FC, which collapsed into administration last year.
Clowes Developments, a Derby-based property investor and developer, has been named as the preferred bidder to take control of the club – just a week after the group bought Rams’ Pride Park stadium.
The developer, which launched a bid this week, made £83m in revenue in 2021. This is down 22% from the previous year, when it had reported revenue of £106.5 million. Its pre-tax profit fell from £25.1m to £22.3m over the same period.
In its accounts for the year ending March 2021, Clowes Developments revealed that it was struggling to deliver completed buildings within normal timeframes due to supply chain issues. He explained that contractors cost 50% more to complete units.
That doesn’t seem to have deterred the group from buying the League One club, however, with the sale set to be finalized today. The value of the sale remains unknown.
Clowes Developments granted the club an interim loan last week, so they could start the next football season and continue to negotiate while the purchase deal was finalised. League One is due to start on July 30.
— Clowes Developments (@Clowes_UK) June 24, 2022
Clowes Developments chairman David Clowes said the company stepped in to buy the club because it was “inconceivable” that the 137-year-old organization would fall.
“With a deadline looming and the start of the next season approaching, we had to do something. As a local and established property company, buying the stadium seemed the obvious first step,” added Clowes.
The developer says that as soon as the deal is done, the club will be able to start the process of rebuilding a full squad, confirming contracts, preparing fixtures and starting to generate revenue.
Derby County took office in September 2021. Andrew Andronikou, Carl Jackson and Andrew Hosking of financial consultancy firm Quantuma have been appointed as directors of the club. They revealed that the club’s finances were hit hard by the pandemic and they would not be able to sustain themselves for the long term.
The administrators said in a statement: “All parties are now working hard to complete what remains a complex legal transaction at a very short notice. Once completed, the transaction will allow the club to move forward and prepare for the upcoming season outside of administration. It will also ensure that Pride Park Stadium and the club are under the control of a new local owner with the commitment and resources to allow the club to move forward with a clean slate.