Derby County Football Club have announced that the Club, the ultimate holding company of the group, and all of the subsidiary companies have filed notices of intention to appoint administrators.
The club say it became clear that the process to identify a purchaser for the Rams was unlikely to be productive over the near term, despite a number of negotiations with credible parties.
They say the pandemic has had a severe impact on the revenues and profits of all of its businesses, having taken a cash flow hit of more than £20 million, and that the club has been unable to service its day-to-day financial obligations.
The club say the directors had no choice but to make the tough decision to take this action and protect the club.
In a statement the club said:
"We wish to thank our supporters, staff and especially our creditors who have sought to help through the pandemic while we have worked to find a purchaser. The Club’s owner has provided substantial funding throughout this period, even as the process has been underway since June 2019 to find a purchaser.
We are especially grateful to MSD Partners, who have been hugely supportive and have provided additional financial assistance this year, going far beyond the original loan it provided in August 2020.
We know this situation will raise concerns among our supporters. The Club respectfully asks that our supporters continue to show their support, especially to the playing staff under Wayne Rooney and our employees who have all been outstanding during these difficult times. This ongoing support in turn will be instrumental as we seek to find a new owner to take the Club forward.
We appeal to the EFL to now assist the Club and the Administrators in any way they can in the effort to find a purchaser."
One fan told ITV News Central that supporters are upset and feel powerless.
Meanwhile, football expert Kieran Maguire says the impact of this latest crisis is likely to be felt by not only by suppliers to the club, but also by staff:
As a result of the club going into administration the Rams now face a 12-point deduction.
That could rise to 21 if the English Football League hit them with a further 9-point deduction for breaching financial rules after being asked to re-submit 3 years' worth of accounts.
In a statement the EFL said it was disappointed with the comments made by Derby in respect of Covid lending facilities: