Derby supporters’ group turns to Tracey Crouch in bid to resolve dispute

Derby’s future remains in the balance

Former sports minister Tracey Crouch has been asked by a Derby County supporters’ group to act as an independent mediator in a bid to resolve a dispute which threatens the club’s future.

Buyers interested in taking Derby out of administration are understood to be wary of the legal claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe which hang over the club, which could mean significant extra liabilities landing in their lap.

At the same time, administrators have been asked to provide a funding plan by the EFL by 1 February to demonstrate they have sufficient finances to fulfil the rest of their fixtures this season.

The Rams Trust has approached Crouch – a Conservative MP and the chair of the fan-led review of football governance – “to bang the heads together” of the parties involved and break the deadlock.

Trust chair Jim Wheeler said the EFL had given the Trust a commitment to be involved in such dialogue in a meeting on Wednesday night, and so have the administrators.

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Wheeler told the PA news agency: “It needs to be thrashed out and it needs somebody independent to probably lead that and get them all together and banging their heads together.

“And we have been approaching MPs including Tracey Crouch herself to say: ‘Would you be able to do this? Could you call them all together and just bang their heads together?’

“I noticed in the debate (in Parliament) the other day, she kind of distanced herself a little bit and said, ‘well, that that’s not my daily role, you should be going to the Sports Minister’, which is the other avenue that we could approach.

“I think there is a view though that actually having a woman in there might just sort of get a bit more sense from otherwise potentially very entrenched views from a group of guys around the table, especially when they’re all multi-millionaires and all want don’t want to lose face.”

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