Derby County owner completes initial phase of £60m Derby . . .
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Derby County owner completes initial phase of £60m Derby County rebuild.

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David Clowes could scarcely have imagined it. He was a regular Derby County fan two years ago, but now he is the promotion-winning owner of the team he loves so much.

The applause in the 55th minute of the Rams’ 2-0 victory over Carlisle United to clinch promotion back to the Championship was memorable. The image of a beaming Clowes marching out of the Pride Park tunnel with a trophy for Derby captain Conor Hourihane to hoist in the air signaled the start of an extraordinary day of celebration in the city.

Now it’s down to business. Returning to the Championship will result in improved sponsorship and publicity for the team, thanks to a new television agreement with Sky.

It’s all part of Clowes’ plan for the club, which is owned by Clowes Developments, an Ashbourne-based property firm that also purchased Pride Park in a deal to preserve the Rams from liquidation in July 2022, and of which he is chairman. Indeed, while Clowes does not say much in public, Clowes Developments plainly revealed their plans for the club in the November 2022 release of their 2021/22 accounts.

They stated: “As a major investor and property owner in the East Midlands, the directors believed that the potential liquidation of the local city football club was not in the best interests of the group or the city of Derby itself.” The firm believed it had a corporate social obligation to the local economy of Derby and could not afford to let the football team perish.

The directors believe that this is a medium-term investment that will return the football club to stability while adding significant value to the initial cost of approximately £60 million.” Clowes has previously stated that he could not stand by and watch the team fail, but the choice to buy the club was both pragmatic and emotional.

Clowes Developments has fulfilled the first element of their plan for the club: bringing it to stability. Now it’s interesting to watch how the ownership intends to add value to their investment, which has already began with a return to the Championship and a considerably bigger profile.

 

 

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