BBC Radio Derby has learned that Derby County were forced to sell Grzegorz Rasiak after pressure from Co-Op bank - even though the chairman and chief executive said that wasn't the case.
The club is £40m in debt - much of which is owed to Co-op - and was told by the bank early in August it had until the end of the month to raise a million pounds toward paying off the debt.
After discussions, the board came up with a first option of selling England Under-21 goalkeeper Lee Camp.
Murdo Mackay was instructed to find a buyer for the keeper but in the end, he wasn't sold.
With pressure still being put on the club to raise the million, the sale of Derby's player of the season, Inigo Idiakez, was an option.
However director of football Murdo Mackay took the view that in the short to medium term, Idiakez was irreplaceable.
The club needed an alternative and finance director Andrew Mackenzie instead recommended selling Polish striker Grzegorz Rasiak.
It now appears when Rasiak signed for the Rams, the intention was to keep the striker at the club for a short period and that any transfer fee they could get for him would be a bonus.
It became clear that he could be the player who would bring in the £1m the club needed and Andrew Mackenzie recommended to the board that they should seek to get at least £2m for Rasiak and try to 'engineer' an offer of around that sort of figure.
As we now know, Rasiak was sold to Tottenham Hotspur on the evening of transfer deadline day for a fee said to be up to £2m.
But when questioned after the move both chairman John Sleightholme and chief executive Jeremy Keith denied that the sale had been down to financial pressure.
They said the player wanted to leave - particularly after he got wind of potential interest from Spurs and a move to the Premiership.
But it now seems a lot clearer that the reason other clubs had become interested in Rasiak was because, with the full knowledge of Derby County, they were being made aware that he was up for sale.
Co-Op's desperation to get the money back was down to the fact that the club had made promises to the bank which they had then failed to deliver on.
- A tax scheme which was supposedly going to raise £7m.
- a promise that the club would live with player wages of £5m last year.
- a promise that the club would live with player wages of £3m this year - though that figure was subsequently changed to £5m.
- a promise of £2m from the sale of players last year which, despite the sale of Tom Huddlestone to Tottenham, didn't happen.
It's difficult to see what lies ahead for the club, though a payment of £1m doesn't get anywhere near paying off the club's overall debt.
Idiakez has signed a new extended deal but it's believed by at least one of the board members that he may well ask for further improved contract terms before Christmas -a belief accompanied by a frank assessment of the Spaniard's motivation.
Speaking on BBC Radio Derby, chief executive Jeremy Keith defended himself against allegations he had misled supporters after the sale.
He said: "The line of questioning was that the bank had told the football club to sell a player and I was not prepared to make the bank be seen to be the villain of the piece.
"The board went to the bank last season and asked for support in our push for promotion.
"We assured the bank that we would bring our house in order over the summer so the bank were well within their rights to remind us of the undertaking we had made to them.
"The bank left it to the board to decide how we chose to raise the money."
we all know money is always the quick fix for everything at club level and sometimes it is not the answer. Stability and strong belief is all that Derby has to do, Whilst players are coming and going we will be always in debt, so come Derby show some honest true grit for the game at this level
when will the board show that they mean to get the fans on side?By being honestwith us the only souce of revune. far away but still a fan
Good that rasiak went because he wasn't loyal to derby anyway but we have signed some good players so all you derby fans lets get behind the lads on sunday and the rest of the season COME ON YOU RAMS!!!!!!!!!!!
james harrison from south normanton
so when the bank need more money, who do we sell ! how about the board putting money in, instead of the supporters all of the time
Most of us appreciate the financial position the club is in and that the sale of players is always going to be a possibility. However the Rasiak sale which the bank demanded seems to have arisen because of the boards failure to deliver previous promises made to the bank. Mr Keith and his board appear to be out of their depth with all this. The most worrying feature for me is that he has failed to give us a truthful account of the facts behind the sale in the first place. How can we have any trust in a board that lies to us about relatively simple issues such as this? The fans deserve better. Phil Brown must wonder what he has come to. We need someone on the board who really understands the running of a football club - If they've got £40m to spare that would be good too! Not too many of these around though so until someone comes along we are stuck with Mr Keith and his £1 pals. Up the Rams!!!
Dave Coop, does this mean that you have a vested interest in this board?? With your "handle" I would say yes. We pay our money each season and get ripped off each season. Time for someone to take on this responsibility and sort out the mess. We will never clear the debts with the assests still within the club.
Just for the record, I don't own the bank, I just have the same surname!!!!! Just trying to keep the party spirit up with a bit of light hearted banter!!!!!!!
We've never trusted this board and after the sale of rasiak we've got good reason not to trust them!!!
I agree with Ted ,if this board go , who is there to take the club on. If indeed these people do exist , Webb , Gadsby and the latest one I have heard is Igor Stimach why don't they come in and get on with it. It is because no one in their right mind will take on a £40m debt unless of course they are mad and have limitless funds . Got to say though that Andy Whittakers interview was brilliant you can hear Mr Keith squirm. Lets get behind Phil Brown and roar on the lads . Always a ram
i would just like to use a few cliches 1. the blind leading the blind 2.there is none so blind as them who wont see 3. the three wise monkeys 4. the three blind mice lets take a ten point penalty get rid of the board who are good at one thing "mushroom management" and we all know what that consists of
The situation at derby is ridiculous at the moment and needs to be sorted out quick. The best thing for the board to do would be to put in a couple of million pounds to get promotion and then wipe out £25 million pounds of the debt. The co-op should let them do this as it is both practical and will generate alot more money than the sale of a player would. Those who keep asking for the board out and are protesting at the matches need to realise that if the board did resign, there's no one who's going to want to buy derby county. They say we should have taken peter gadsby's offer, but wasnt he one of those responsible for the mess that we're in. Rather than protesting they should be putting all their effort into supporting the rams and start to think rationally
Does anybody know if there is a medium / long term plan? Would the board tell us if there was one? Would anybody believe them if they did? Banking £1million from the sale of arguably our most valuable asset is hardly going to touch the interest let alone dent the capital. I for one can see no hope.
Big Steve the Iron Man
DCFC must avoid administration at all costs.With such huge debts the Administrator is unlikely to find a buyer, and that means the club would go into liquidation and therefore become non-existant (as per Accrington Stanley, Barrow, southport in tha past). Thanks a lot Sleightholme, Keith and Harding!!
rasiak will always be a ram!! so will the board...lets get behind them and roar the lads on to the top 6!!!
These three men are gamblers... it is a game of bluff, invest nothing loose nothing. They have issues with the truth and that alone renders them unfit to be part of this establishment. The COOP are a professional financial organisation. I am aware that we do have people prepared to invest in the RAMS, however they will wait until we have gone into administration.... the sooner the better.
I fully support the only viable policy for a club in Derby's position of buying players cheaply from the lower leagues or abroad and in tandem nurturing academy players improving them if possible and selling them on for a profit. However, that takes some capital and bottle and to convince the fans complete honesty from the board. The policy fails completely when the average age of the players we actually sign is over 30 and the rest arrive on loan. Couple that with a board that thinks the average Derby fan does not understand that the bank wants its money back and we have a recipe for disaster. Why anyone would want to invest (well actually pay off the debt) is beyond me. Mr Webb and Mr Gadsby did not get where they are today by investing money in organistions that immediately swallowed £40million of your capital investment. Get Real !!!!
libby and all, Jeremy Keith was on the radio for 25 mins this am explaining all the points raised in the report, so they clearly are all true ! thank you to the person who made them public and lets hope this will force everyone's hand in this sorry saga.
Derby County supporters must be very naive if they had not already realised just who is running the club, the departure of Rasiak on deadline day was abviously forced on the club by the Coop Bank, and that organisation is clearly going to have more and more to say about the running of the football club and the board will sadly have less and less say. It seems to me that Derby County going into administration is inevitable and unless there is a Savior somewhere with cash to spare, which I doubt, The board and club may just as well act now and get it over with, it is depressing to have to watch the impending demise of what was once a great football Club who I have been supporting over 65 years, better to take the medicine now and hope that it works and offers a remedy to make the club great again.
Why has this just gone public? Was the debt worse or better before? I would like to think Derby County will remain on its feet despite losing key players. As long as they have a program going to find young talent like wayne rooney I dont think Derby can go wrong.
it gives me no pleasure to witness the decline of the sheep after there overachievement this past season. hope you can stay up, id rather see you up than the sad trees
lloyd, great glen
I think it's fair enough that we've had to sell our best players. We're in huge debt after all. What annoys me is the sophistry of Jeremy Keith and his petulance at being asked perfectly reasonable questions. Derby fans have the right to have the information. It's our club, our money and support that has been mistreated over the last three decades by poor decisions by boards. So please Jeremy. Some transparency, humility and honesty when being asked questions from Radio Derby.
Justin, Muswell Hill
Ty Ramsden :: you obviously have absolutly no grasp of this situation at all. Why would Tesco or Morrisons buy a football ground? Why would we go all the way to Chesterfields dump of a ground? Administration is the only way forward now.
The answer is easy really - sell Pride Park to Tesco or Morrisons or suchlike thereby cutting the debt substantially and then groundshare with Chesterfield.
Ty Ramsden (Derby)
The only thing Mr Keith could quote as proof the club is going forward under his reign was the new kit and concourses?? the kit is the poorest quality i have ever seen and i've returned it twice already and whats happening in the concourses ? i've yet to see the topless waitresses and free beer. The deals for Tom and Gregorz are all done but we still dont know the fee, so much for transparency. Spurs have quoted the fees for all the other 50+ players they've signed recently.
As a life long supporter, I have never been so concerned for the future of the club I love so dearly. It is understandable with a £40M debt that players need to be sold to service that debt. The youth acadamy has been championed as the future of the club, let's face it our future, if things continue as they are, is as a lower division small club with the sole purpose of breeding youngsters for the larger clubs to snap up at discount prices. Our only hope of survival, other than an ultra rich beneifactor, is administration - take the pain and rebuild. Worked for Le****ter and Leeds, we are just going to have to do it too late.
I'll give the board a tenner to go away and not come back. I expect change.
It seems from my leafy view of proceedings that times are hard for the average Derby fan. Just like to say that you will get through it, we here in Leicester have been through the hard times too Best wishes from a empathetic FOX.
At last! The majority of apathetic Derby people are beginning to take note of something and might finally get off their backsides to say something about our football team. The board sympathisers are fewer and fewer by the day. BBC Radio Derby, what right do your reporters have to criticise the protests (Ross, Ted etc)? when they were condemning the board at will last season?
The club is in a mess but as usual the fat cat players will be OK. It'll be the poor cleaners who lose their jobs first.
B Crab (Nott'm)
£40 Million Debt is a lot of cash, but are the Co-op Bank being a bit short sighted, Rasiak would have been the only player to give us the slightest chance of reaching the play offs or top two positions, and if we did reach 'the promised land' a season in there would have re paid a good chunk of the debt. Now that they have forced the club into selling Rasiak I cannot see DCFC finishing in the top half this season in fact we could be battling to stop the drop to the division of the red dogs across the A52. I would gladly give the board their £3 back and pay for a taxi for them from PPS to the railway station so they could go back to wherever they came from. Come on Mr Gadsby help the Rams!!!!!!
Once again we are the laughing stock in the league.Its obviously a case of these 3 directors biting off more than they can chew.They came in with big ideas and were going to reduce the debt from 32 million " SO " what do they do ...they have 2 loans of 16 million ...now im no accountant but surely 2 x 16 still add up to 32 million..We have all once again been conned big time and everything at the club is being done on the cheap hence the appointments of Brown and Holdsworth...no one else would come !!!! Didnt anyone else smell a rat when we were turned down by Gary Johnson at Yeovil ??? prefaring to stay at a club like that as apposed to joining a club like ours with its marvellous facillities ..i;m afraid we have a long winter ahead !!!!!!!!!!!
I am completely fed up with all the gossip and rumour surrounding Derby at the moment. I was asked to protest at Crewe on Sunday and so asked the young man giving out posters to convince me why I should. He couldn't. I have since e-mailed Rams Trust for their views and they don't even have the decency to reply. I don't think anyone actually has any facts and if this report is true why can't sources be named? I do believe the board should let us know how the debt is to be payed off as it is most worrying, but I think that if there was a group of people out to cause so much mischief about me then I'd keep quiet too! We shouldn't judge without real FACTS.
Couldn't agree more with Robert Smith. However, I feel aggrieved with the Co-op Bank. They were more than happy to be an irresponsible lender during the Smith/Pickering years, when any fan could see we were living beyond our means. I'm no fan of the three stooges, but the Co-op are dictating how this club is being run. One moment we're £32m in debt, the next it's £40m despite players sales/wage cuts. After we've sold Camp, who else do they think they can make a profit on? Look forward to seeing a Co-op bank manager giving us advice on tactics next. In League One.
Shep the Sheep
It seem someone is not telling the truth,I am not a season ticket holder but I am a Derby lad who does want to see The Rams do well,but you cannot work with a board or a manager who does not tell the truth,I find it hard to know who is telling the truth.
not an ideal board agreed, but what is the alternative. i cannot see anybody else interested can you and after poor lionel who can blame them. i am not saying they are a board to be proud of at the moment but do feel they are trying there best in a near impossible situation.they seem to be working hard to resolve the debt and remember alot of that work is going unpaid. they did thankfully make the right decision over murdo, who is a must to the future of our club.they or murdo were not in any way to blame for burleys departure as for those in the know can confirm the reasons were nothing to do with the club. that truth will come out soon and surprise alot.
paul long eaton
Exactly how long are Derby fans and the local media going to let this farce go on. Our club is being run into the ground and no one seems to care.
can we stay up with 10 points deducted and losing key players i hope i dont have a date at the city ground next year! but hard to see any other solution take the 10 point penalty now and start the season again cause i only see one outcome administration and relegation cause we are not all lucky like the crafty foxes getting there debt wiped out and no penalty for them and look at them now without the 10 point penalty!! it looks very bleak but come on DERBY we can survive this we dont need them so come on derby fans lets carry our team through this season with our great support.
chris c derby
I think they should sell the club to me for what they paid: £3 Then when I get a job, I will clear the debt.
Personally I think the board are doing a wonderful job. See you down here next season.
In the end we will run out of players sell and then where do the bank get there money then
Let's face it £40 million is a ridiculous debt for any business to try and carry - I'm amazed this has been allowed to happen in the first place, but from where we are now God alone knows how we can possibly retain a credible football club in our city for much longer!
The board should go. This isn't the first time they have failed to be upfront and it is not in the best interest of the football club to keep a board in that cannot be forthcoming with the truth.
I think the main issue is how the current Board are going to get the debt reduced .The club has a limited number of saleable assets in respect of players and is anyway not going to reduce the interest payments on the debt by any significant amount never mind the £40 million debt never .The limited squad means that the club will not progress this season and is infact going backwards.
Would one of the so -called supporters calling for the board to be sacked please tell the rest of us who is going to do the sacking? Unless there is someone around with millions to spare to take over from the current board there is no-one to sack them anyway. Could Radio Derby tell us the source of this story so that we may judge its authenticity.
Time to wake up Derby fans. The club is being bled dry by small time oppurtunists. Let's fill the stands on Sunday and let them know that we aren't going to take it.
I have £3 in my pocket now and am willing to give back the board there investment if it means they will leave Derby.
This board have got to be honest with us, if we are in dire straits, then tell us. They must prove to us that there objectives fall in line with ours. If not, communicate the scenario. If we are sell all our assets to balance the books so be it, but be open and honest with us. We need a saviour to help us get out of this pathetic postion. Up the rams.
Absolutley Sickening. LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES. No exactly the best impression of a 'family' club. It seems nothing suprises anymore.
For over 70 years between us we have watched the rise and fall of Derby County. This is the most worrying time due to the continued silence from the Board! The inconsistency of the Board who obviously have not got the Footbal Club at heart as we have is fundermentally damaging our pride and passion. LEAVE NOW because at the end of the day we will still be here long after you've left.
Peter Gerrard & Chris Cox
Enough is enough. BOARD OUT!
Prove what you say or is this just more nudge nudge wink wink I know a man. Prove it is the reporter one of the minority of fans that supports RT. Where is your proof
get the board out. why couldn't they tell us the truth i am disgusted with them i knew they were not tellin the truth.
If this story is true then its an absolute disgrace. Its begs some huge questions: 1. Why did the Co op bank allow the club to fall into the hands of people who clearly did not have the resources to be able to run it and take it further forward ? 2.Why on earth did the current owners get involved with the club in the first place.They clearly aren't football people - let alone Derby County people ? The board should all resign now and allow the club to fall into the hands of those with the resources and interest in Derby County to take it further forward - rather than into decline. The whole thing stinks, right from the initial takeover, through Burley's resignation right through to these latest revelations. Its been obvious to anyone that something has been going off. Its time the board did the right and honourable thing and resigned now.