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Derby owner Mel Morris and Steve Gibson reach agreement as Wayne Rooney hails “big step”


The two clubs are set to meet in the Championship on Saturday and in the build-up to that game has been dominated by off-the-field talk involving the lengthy saga over compensation

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Derby County are in administration – video with voiceover

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Derby County say their former owner Mel Morris has reached a “resolution” with Middlesbrough regarding a long-running dispute between the two clubs.

The two clubs have been embroiled in an off-field matter with Boro chairman Steve Gibson launching a compensation claim of more than £40million against the Rams.

Now, there appears to have been a breakthrough – just a day before the two sides are set to meet in a crunch Championship clash.

Saturday sees the two sides meet at the Riverside Stadium with a number of measures set to be implemented in a bid to minimise the threat of matters escalating.

Can Derby pull off a memorable escape this season? Let us know in the comments

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Former Derby County owner, Mel Morris
Derby fans held a protest against Morris and the EFL last month

Derby, who have been in administration since last September, sold out their allocation of more than 2,000 tickets and Gibson is likely to receive a hostile reception from the away end.

Now, on the eve of the game, Derby have announced a thawing in the relations.

A statement on Derby’s website, published on Friday, said: “As a direct result of private conversations between Mel Morris and Steve Gibson both parties are pleased to announce that they have reached an accord on a resolution of the claims by Middlesbrough Football Club against Derby County Football Club, and others.

“The basis of that accord will remain private but details have been shared with Quantuma the Administrators for Derby County who will urgently prepare the legal documentation to ratify the accord.

“Gibson and Morris were keen to develop an accord ahead of the Middlesbrough vs Derby County fixture to be played at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow.

“The claim has clearly been the source of much concern to both sets of fans, and especially those of Derby County. The fact that a resolution has been discussed and agreed should be comforting to both sets of supporters.

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“Details of the accord shall remain private. However, it is important for all interested parties, including potential bidders, to be confident that the Middlesbrough claim will not be an impediment to Derby County progressing its plans for a sale of the club.”

Derby boss Wayne Rooney has welcome the breakthrough in talks between the Rams and Middlesbrough

Carl Jackson, from administrators Quantuma, said: “We are pleased to see that an acceptable resolution has been identified which allows us to push forward with our plans for the sale of the club.”

The news has been welcomed by Derby manager Wayne Rooney, who hopes it can pave the way for a much-anticipated takeover of the club.

County are just four points from safety despite being hit with a 21-point deduction this season.

He said: “Obviously, that’s been the main stumbling block in moving forward. I’ve been pushing and pushing about getting new owners in and this is a big step to allow that to happen.

“So now the next step is obviously the administrators engaging with the preferred bidders and getting the right one in.”

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