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Premier League

Ex-Derby owner Mel Morris reveals he blew £200M trying to get club into Prem before putting them into administration

MEL MORRIS revealed he blew over £200MILLION trying to take Derby to the Premier League – before putting them into administration.

Ex-owner Morris admitted his time was a ‘failure’ in his own eyes but also warned that football was running out of people like him willing to pay ‘£3m cheques every month’.

Morris spent big in Derby's pursuit of the Premier League


Morris spent big in Derby’s pursuit of the Premier LeagueCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Morris opened up about his shock decision to put Wayne Rooney’s team into admin and said: “It is not something we entered into lightly.

“There wasn’t a long-term sustainable position without a purchase.

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“I was going to run out of money completely, every asset I’ve got. You have got to pick a moment. And we have people interested.

“I wanted to find a purchaser for the club and that continues. Over the weekend we had in the region of 15 inquiries. In terms of serious ones there are two or three, based on reputation, who are very serious.”

Morris feels he came close to promotion a few times, a result that would have let him sell at a profit, before the latest crash came.

He said: “I would have sooner tried and failed than not to try at all. But financially I regret it. I have lost in excess of £200m.

“I won’t make any recovery on the stadium, I will work with the administrators to make sure we get the right purchaser on board.

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“I put a lot of money into the club and we have had some really good times. But ultimately I failed.”

Morris claims that a deal was close in January 2020 before the EFL queried the sale of the stadium and reveals others wanted to buy but did not produce the money.

He warned: “It has been horrendous. At a time of Covid it’s impossible to understand the impact that has. Do I have £30m of revenue or £10m?

“My biggest mistake was to say I would sell the club and not look to make a profit.

“That gave me no room to negotiate. People would come in and wait and hope the price would change.

Morris has praised manager Wayne Rooney for keeping the team competitive


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Morris has praised manager Wayne Rooney for keeping the team competitiveCredit: Getty

“We are running out of owners of football clubs who will write cheques for £1m, £2m or £3m every month.”

Morris hailed boss Rooney for his efforts in the crisis and believes the club has a future.

He said: “This is not the end for the club, it’s an opportunity to get a purchaser on board.

“Wayne is turning out to be an absolutely first class manager. He deserves every credit from being a player who coached to someone who now looks like a boss and is spot on.

“He is getting the best out of a lot of these players. He will be a major asset for this club. The Stoke City game was probably his finest moment.”

Morris also blasted the EFL for treating Derby differently when it came to a potential points penalty for failing to pay their players – and the wrangle over their Financial Fair Play issues.

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