Following the financial mismanagement under former owner, Mel Morris, Derby County were deducted 21 points for this season. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was the end and that this would consign Derby to relegation. But on the halfway stage of the season somehow the dream is still alive; thanks to the Derby County staff, players and fans putting on heroic shows in their own ways.
At the start of the season, Derby were under a transfer embargo however this ban was lightened considering that Derby did not even have a full squad and did not have any senior goalkeepers. The fact they even had a squad was a miracle within itself. The threat of liquidation has loomed over the club throughout the whole season. Meaning the players, staff or fans don’t even know if the club will exist beyond this season. While the fact that they have remained concentrated at the job on hand is superb.
The fact they even had a squad was a miracle within itself
A squad comprised of free transfers and youth products being blended to work as an impressive unit is nothing short of incredible with Wayne Rooney doing an immense job. Having a better goal difference than the nine teams above them. Built upon a brilliant defence only conceding 35 goals in 31 games. This has gained them 39 points overall enough for mid-table mediocrity. These defiant performances have led to fans flocking back to the stadium averaging 26,000 for the second half of the season compared to 11,000 (approximately) for the first half of the season. This has helped alleviate their financial problem according to administrators. Through an extra burst of revenue, the club has been allowed to go on functioning without an owner.
Through an extra burst of revenue, the club has been allowed to go on functioning without an owner
Although recent results have been far from ideal with one wine in the last five the poor form of Peterborough, Reading and Barnsley poor form is still giving Derby the chance to dream. With an easy run of fixtures coming up with only QPR, Bournemouth and Blackburn as truly difficult games left this season, Derby’s chances – although still not great – were possible.
Even if Derby fail to survive the drop, every individual can take great pride in what they have achieved. It would have been easy to go down with a whimper considering the circumstances. But the Rams have come out fighting. What I find most impressive is Wayne Rooney sticking around although he could have easily left. The job he has done continues to astound everyone with the perception surrounding him being less than positive. The fact he continues to fight on with the whole club is admirable.
In conclusion, even if Derby go down or don’t continue to exist, the job they have done so far has put the Pride in Pride Park. Without a doubt, Derby’s story is simply the most compelling in English football having despair, hope and grit in abundance. I for one hope they can pull off the greatest escape in the history of football.
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