Giants of industry back city’s efforts to save Derby County

Published on: Monday, 24th January 2022
The communal effort to save Derby County gathers momentum

Major employers in Derby have given their backing to efforts by the city to ensure the survival of Derby County.

Its three manufacturing giants – Alstom, Rolls-Royce and Toyota – all of whom employ several thousand Rams fans – have added their support to those battling to save the club.

Last week, Team Derby, which includes Marketing Derby, Derby City Council and local MPs, was established with the aim of working with Quantuma – the club’s administrators - and the English Football League (EFL) to find a solution to the Rams crisis.

There are now just days left before the club faces expulsion from the league if it cannot prove to the EFL it has the funds to complete the season. Team Derby have been in contact with the EFL and Quantuma today to discuss this and other issues.

In the meantime, Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of the city council, has welcomed the messages of support from the city’s employers.

He said: “It's just as unthinkable to imagine our city without Derby County as it would to be without our major companies - they are all massive contributors to the heartbeat of the city and our communities.

“It's so great to see that our iconic employers are supporting the campaign to save the Rams.”

Efforts to save the club have so far received overwhelming support, both locally and nationally, with a petition calling on the Sports Minister to intervene recently exceeding 60,000 signatures.

Backing those efforts, in a statement, Rolls-Royce said: “Rolls-Royce has been based in Derby for more than a century and generations of our employees have passionately supported Derby County Football Club.

“Today, we share the concern of all fans over the fate of Derby County and support efforts to ensure its survival.

“We are continuing to follow developments and Team Derby’s work to ensure the club can continue to be a cornerstone of our community.”

In its statement, Alstom, which has its train-building site in Litchurch Lane, said: “Derby County is of huge importance to the city and to many of us personally at Alstom.  We support all efforts to ensure the club has a bright future., and in a statement, Toyota said: “Toyota has been proud to be a Derby County sponsor over the past 30 years. We are incredibly supportive of the team and all the personnel that work there to make each match a fantastic event.

“We realise that Derby County is extremely important to our members and the city as a whole and that they are a keystone within the local community, not only through the club but also through the community work that they carry out.  

“We sincerely hope that the current situation can be resolved quickly and that their focus can get back onto the field.”

These messages join a chorus of support, which also includes famous fans, such as One Direction star Niall Horan and actors Jack O’Connell and Ilkeston-born Robert Lindsay.

Big names in the world of football have also called for Derby County to be saved, including high-profile pundits such as Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Gary Neville.

The campaign to save the club has also received support from politicians – and not just local MPs.

The matter was raised in Parliament last week and the political momentum could be set to continue this week in the House of Lords, with Lord Ravensdale seeking to raise a question about Derby’s plight.

This week is a critical week in terms of the future of the club and progress needs to be made on the preferred bidder in the next few days.

Administrators have been set a deadline of 1st February to prove it has the funds in place to complete the season.

The club is up for sale, with three serious bids on the table. The EFL has called for “urgent clarification” from the administrators as to the identity of its preferred bidder, and the EFL also wants to know how the Rams intend to deal with claims made against the club by Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers, which is one of the factors holding up the takeover.

Last week, Team Derby had separate meetings with Quantuma and the EFL to establish their positions – and how the city could help bring about a solution.

The group was due to meet with Quantuma on 24th January on how it intends to respond to the EFL’s demands.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “Since the campaign was launched last week, the future of Derby County has become a national story attracting tremendous support from across the UK.

“This week, we focus on the solutions. Team Derby will continue to put pressure on all the key players, including the administrators and the EFL, to find a solution and we will hope to meet the preferred bidders to give them confidence that investing in the club and in the wider community will be one of the most exciting deals they will ever have done."

Last week, John wrote an exclusive piece for the Daily Mail about the personal angle in the fight to save the Rams.

To read that piece click here.

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