The Derby County owner, Mel Morris, is poised to scrap a deal with the Spanish businessman Erik Alonso to buy the Championship club – less than a week after the manager, Wayne Rooney, warned they could afford no more mess-ups following a season of off-field uncertainty.
A protracted £60m takeover by Bin Zayed International, a Dubai-based consortium, was called off in March and now the Derby chairman is expected to abandon talks with Alonso, a former adviser to the Sheffield Wednesday owner, Dejphon Chansiri, amid doubts over whether a deal can be finalised. Alonso said his long-term goal was to lead Derby into the Champions League.
Derby announced last month that they had agreed a takeover with Alonso via his company, No Limits Sport Ltd, subject to ratification from the English Football League which had been investigating the source of funds.
Last Saturday, after avoiding relegation to League One by a single point, Rooney suggested a deal was close but called for clarity either way. “We cannot have any more mess-ups,” he said. “It [the takeover] has to happen quickly.”
Derby are facing a possible points deduction after the English Football League confirmed they won an appeal over a charge for breaching financial rules. The charge relates to the amortisation of intangible assets – how the purchase price of a player is spread across a contract – but it is unclear whether any sanctions would be applied this season.
Meanwhile the former Derby captain Richard Keogh has secured a payout of about £2.3m from Derby after winning his long-running compensation claim against the club.