David Clowes' property group confirms bid to buy Derby County after purchasing Pride Park

David Clowes
Derbyshire property businessman David Clowes. Credit: Clowes Development Limited

A Derby County breakthrough could be on the cards after a Derbyshire business bought the company that owns Pride Park Stadium and confirmed its bid for the club.

The Rams have been in administration since September, and the search for a new owner continues to rumble on.

Rams fans' hopes were lifted when American businessman Chris Kirchner stepped forward.

However, he pulled out of a deal to buy the football club earlier this month.

With the new season just weeks away, fans were becoming anxious about the future of their club.

Now, Derbyshire businessman David Clowes has announced his property group, Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd has successfully purchased the company that owned Pride Park Stadium from businessman Mel Morris.

Clowes has also issued an interim loan to the club which will allow Derby County to startthe next season and trade whilst a deal to purchase the club is concluded.

They have also confirmed that they will submit a bid to purchase Derby County Football Club today (Friday, 24 June).

Pride Park Stadium

David Clowes, chairman of Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd, led the negotiations.

He said: “With a deadline looming and the start of the next season getting closer, we needed to do something.

"As a local and established property company, purchasing the stadium seemed the obvious first step.

"Secondly, as a proud Derby supporter, it was inconceivable to me that the club was at risk of falling away.

"We’ve worked tirelessly behind the scenes on the stadium purchase and loan agreement to be able to get the club going again in time for the next season.

"Players, staff and fans needed some good news, and we are delighted to play a part in delivering that.”

It is intended that this step forward will help to alleviate some of the growing pressure, allowing more time to make the right decisions for the future of the club.

Pride Park Stadium

The acceptance of the offer and completion of a deal will also allow the club to get ready for the upcoming season.

Derby County can then start rebuilding a full team, confirm contracts, prepare for fixtures and allow the commercial aspects of the business to get going and start bringing in the much-needed income for the club.

Staff can plan for the next season and fans can purchase their tickets.

The purchase of the Pride Park Stadium was completed on Friday, 17 June.

All parties agreed to keep the transaction confidential until the loan agreement was complete and announce recent developments at the same time.

The loan agreement has now been formalised which has enabled the announcements to be made.

All parties have officially confirmed the purchase of Pride Park Stadium, announced the interim loan and the submission of a bid for the club by Clowes Developments.

The negotiation of agreements were conducted privately between all parties concerned. Mel Morris, Clowes Developments, Quantuma and the EFL have worked collaboratively to agree the deals which will help to secure the future viability of Derby County Football Club.

A Clowes Developments representative said: “Clowes Developments would like to formally thank all parties involved in the dealsto date.

"Collectively we have paved the way for a positive outcome for the future of Derby County Football Club.

"We would like to take the opportunity to thank our respective teams of professional advisors who have helped us to successfully purchase the Company that owned Pride Park Stadium, secure the loan agreement and confirm the submission of a bid to purchase the Club.

"It must be recognised that great business comes from handling transactions with respect and an open mind.

"We are very happy to have been able to resolve the issues relating to the ground and are pleased to be in a unique position to help get the Club get ready for the next season.

"We have made sound professional relationships to date which we hope will continue to prosper from here on out.

"Derby County Football Club are now a few steps closer to exiting administration with the hope of a new owner for the club just around the corner, an opportunity to move forward with a clean slate.”