According to the Telegraph, Mike Ashley is now preparing to launch a £50m bid to save Derby County amid the ongoing takeover saga.
The Lowdown: Appleby the first to bid
After it was announced earlier this month that preferred bidder Chris Kirchner had officially withdrawn his offer to buy the Rams due to not being able to meet the financial deadline, there have been numerous names circulating with regards to who the League One side’s new owner could be.
Steve Morgan and the former County chairman himself Andy Appleby, who was the first to submit a new offer, have both been in the mix, but it now sounds like the former Tyneside tycoon is ready to go head-to-head in an attempt to fend off his competitors.
The Latest: Ashley plotting £50m move
In a new column published by The Telegraph (via Derbyshire Live), it’s claimed that Ashley has ‘£50m at the ready’ as he ‘intensifies his bid’ to take over at Pride Park.
The report states that the 57 year-old ex-Newcastle owner has already ‘deposited the sum to acquire both the club and the stadium’, and is set to inform Quantuma that he is ‘ready to proceed with a deal’.
The source continues to say that the former Magpies man has ‘no intention’ of charging rent for the stadium and is said to be ‘all in’ on getting the deal complete.
The Verdict: Long-term stability
After spending nine months in administration, everyone associated with Derby will now just be desperate to see this takeover business come to an end, albeit with the right bid and owner.
It will be difficult for Ashley to compete with the likes of Appleby, who got in before him and already has an existing connection to the club, but after a 14-year reign at St. James’ Park, he is definitely able to offer long-term stability, whether supporters will like him or not.
Wayne Rooney’s men will report back for pre-season training next week as the boss prepares his squad for life in the third tier, and the gaffer will be praying the off-field matters are sorted as soon as possible.
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