Derby County, un milagro en Pride Park

Derby County, un milagro en Pride Park

La historia se remonta a 1888, año de creación de la Football League. 12 clubes de toda Inglaterra se unirían para dar vida a una liga que años más tarde sería conocida en el mundo entero. Entre esos equipos se encontraba el Derby County.

Los carneros, tras 138 años de existencia, pasan por uno de los momentos más delicados de toda su historia. Uno de los padres fundadores del fútbol inglés se encuentra al borde de la desaparición tras gestiones económicas nefastas, incumplimiento del fair-play financiero y unas deudas que parecen imposibles de liquidar.

Tanto la afición como los jugadores están demostrando que rendirse no es una opción, y tras la deducción de 21 puntos que sufrieron, están luchando por la salvación plantando cara a los demás. Wayne Rooney capitanea un barco que ya parecía hundido, ¿pero como llegó el Derby County hasta esta situación?

Deudas, fair-play y concurso de acreedores

Todo comienza en 2015, cuando Mel Morris decidió comprar el club. En tres años inyectó muchísimo dinero con el objetivo de devolver al Derby County a la élite, algo que no funcionó ya que se quedaron en dos ocasiones muy cerca del objetivo.

Tras los constantes fracasos del club y el all-in fallido por parte de Morris, el dueño comenzó a recortar en gastos, despidió a 50 empleados y perdió más de 200 millones justo antes de la pandemia, un revés que desencadenó el infierno que viven hoy en día en Pride Park. Comenzó la temporada 20/21, con un dueño queriendo vender el equipo y un entrenador que acabó destituido tras dejar al equipo colista.

Wayne Rooney se convertiría en entrenador-jugador y la situación financiera del club solo iría a peor, la Football League multó al equipo con más de 100.000€ y se libró de una deducción de puntos que los hubiera condenado al descenso. El infierno acababa de comenzar.

Ya inmersos en la siguiente campaña, llega la noticia de que el club entraba en concurso de acreedores, tras haber cometido irregularidades con el fair-play financiero y haber acumulado deudas. El equipo se enteró de la noticia por televisión, y por si fuera poco, la Football League les restó 12 puntos a los que más tarde se les sumarían otros 9 por infracciones en las cuentas presentadas.

Durante un periodo se pudo ver a un Derby County con -3 puntos en la cola de la tabla de la EFL Championship, pero con el apoyo de la afición y con la garra de sus jugadores han logrado un ápice de esperanza y aunque sea borrosa, han logrado ver algo de luz al final del túnel.

Derby County, con el agua al cuello

Es complicado no prestar un mínimo de atención a la situación que viven los «rams», todos los días aparece una noticia nueva que para el mal del aficionado, pocas veces suele ser positiva. La EFL no se ha mostrado de acuerdo con el club en su defensa sobre las denuncia conjunta de Wycombe y Middlesbrough, al considerar que son temas que deberían tratarse fuera del mundo del fútbol, y dejando claro que es algo que deben solucionar los propios clubes.

La razón de la denuncia es el haberse saltado las reglas del fair-play financiero y haber sacado partido de ellas, provocando el descenso del Wycombe y la eliminación del Middlesbrough en la lucha por el play-off de ascenso. Tras ello, el ex-dueño Mel Morris rompió su silencio y pidió a los dos clubes que lo denunciaran solo a él y no a la entidad, en un intento de proteger al club que aún intenta salvar su futuro.

De aceptarse las demandas impuestas por los clubes, el Derby debería pagar cerca de 6 millones al Wycombe. El ex-dueño Mel Morris y el Middlesbrough han llegado a un acuerdo para que la denuncia al club sea retirada, las negociaciones se están llevando en un ámbito privado, un alivio para el Derby County.

En los últimos días también ha existido algo de optimismo en torno al futuro más inmediato del club, ya que existen varios compradores interesados en comprarlo pese a las deudas que tiene. Entre los interesados se encontraba hasta hace poco Mike Ashley, que hace poco vendió el Newcastle y reiteró su deseo de comprar otro club del país. La oferta ha sido retirada y la búsqueda de un nuevo dueño continúa.

¿Es posible lograr el milagro?

Ha sido un mercado invernal difícil en Pride Park. Wayne Rooney ha tenido que dejar de contar con dos de sus mejores jugadores, Phil Jagielka y Graeme Shinnie, ya que sus contratos de 6 meses no han podido ser renovados.  También han vendido a Dylan Williams, que pone rumbo a Stamford Bridge para recalar en el Chelsea. Y otro que también se marchará a la capital tras acabar la temporada será el delantero Luke Plange, que jugará en el Crystal Palace. La forma actual del club invita a creer en el milagro, 2 derrotas, 1 empate y 2 victorias en los últimos 5 partidos y una salvación que se encuentra a 4 puntos.

Pero no todo ha sido malo en el Derby County, su actual capitán y máximo goleador Tom Lawrence, ha decidido quedarse a pesar de tener ofertas de otros clubes. También han podido mantener a los prometedores Jason Knight y Max Bird, que junto a la gran temporada de Curtis Davies y la vuelta de Krystian Bielik le dan un plus de confianza por seguir luchando al club.

Con 16 partidos restantes y 48 puntos aún en juego, el Derby County no va a dejar de luchar a pesar de tenerlo todo en contra. Han devuelto la esperanza a una afición que la había perdido, y no van a abandonar esta lucha por obrar el milagro.

 

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