A timeline of Derby County’s recent disasters

Do you think your club is a piece of shit right now? Save a thought for Derby County fans.

The weather has spent several years threatening to finally break back in the Premier League since their relegation in 2008 – a season that by the way only got a victory and a record low score of 11 – and despite four attempts to advance via the playoffs they are still in the championship.

Still, they should probably be happy about it to be honest considering that they could – and very possibly should – be in League One right now, after years of terrible decision-making by both the club’s hierarchy and squad members left them in an absolute mess.

If you’ve forgotten how bad the last few years have been for Derby County, pamper yourself with a little refresher of the undoubtedly turbulent years that a single football club has ever experienced …

Mel Morris bought Pride Park 2018 / Stu Forster / Getty Images

Probably the catalyst for Derby’s misery was owner Mel Morris’ decision to buy Pride Park back in June 2018.

The move was intended to help balance the books when Morris made sure, to get a better word out, to fudge his club’s accounts.

The acquisition meant that Derby’s bank balance became healthier by £ 80 million, which means that they would technically follow the FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules.

You probably do not have to be a football expert to figure out that the move did not go too well with the rest of the clubs in the championship, and eventually it came back to bite them ia ***.

Marcelo Bielsa Accused of Spying on Derby 2019 / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

How could we forget the infamous “Spygate” story?

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was accused of spying on Derby County training sessions before their January 2019 meeting – yes, we say he was accused, one of his employees was actually caught at Ram’s training complex and the Leeds boss openly admitted to spying on other sites .

While the whole debacle obviously reflected less on Leeds than did the Derby, it only caused the Rams a lot of unnecessary publicity.

Derby was beaten by Villa in the 2018/19 playoffs / Tom Jenkins / Getty Images

Derby would get their own back at Leeds when they came from behind to beat Bielsa’s side out of the semi-finals later that season, but their wait for promotion to the Premier League would continue.

Frank Lampard’s side suffered the final heartbeat in the playoffs when they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa at Wembley.

Still, it is not the case that Derby should definitely have won the game given that their squad was full of borrowers who would continue to secure big money or win the Champions League in just a few seasons.

Frank Lampard was named Chelsea boss in July 2019 / Pool / Getty Images

Right, Derby had come so close to booking their place in the Premier League, all they needed to do was add some more decent players and next season would surely be their time – and then left their manager.

The possibility of managing Chelsea would always prove too tempting for Lampard to stick with Pride Park, and the rookie boss left the club after just one year in the job.

Time to rebuild.

Wayne Rooney signed for Derby / Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

Writing a player like Wayne Rooney should hardly be on a disaster list for a Championship club, but once again Derby was accused of further dubious deals.

The former England captain would not officially move to Pride Park until January 2020, but in August 2019 it was revealed that Derby had reached an agreement to take him to the club.

How could they possibly afford such a valued player? Ahhh the move had obviously been funded by the club’s sponsors.

Rooney was awarded jersey number 32 on arrival, a decision that had nothing to do with the fact that the club is sponsored by 32Red and they paid for the whole thing.

Richard Keogh and Mason Bennett were involved in a car accident / Marc Atkins / Getty Images

Derby’s 2019/20 season looked like a bit of a disaster after new boss Phillip Cocu led his team to just one win in their eight opening league games, but at least things had calmed down – not long ago.

Richard Keogh, Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence were involved in a car crash, with the former left unconscious when his teammates fled the scene.

Bennett and Lawrence were later banned from driving, while Keogh was fired by the club after suffering an injury during the crash that would keep him out for 12 months.

Oh, and by the way, Lawrence has been named club captain …

Phillip Cocus’ side threw away their chance to make the playoffs / Nathan Stirk / Getty Images

After managing to get their season back after a rocky start, Cocus’ men looked good to secure a place in the playoffs with only six games left of the season.

But they went on a shocking end to the season and failed to win a win in any of the next five excursions and then missed out on a place in the top six with six points.

Another season in the second tier was confirmed.

Phillip Cocu fired in November 2020 / Alex Livesey – Danehouse / Getty Images

Cocu were fired just a few months into the 2020/21 campaign, where Derby only won one victory from their first 15 league trips.

The club decided to appoint almost every person who had ever stepped into Pride Park as interim manager, with Rooney, Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker handing over the reins.

Eventually, Rooney got the job, much to the dismay of Rosenior if one is to believe reports.

Mel Morriss players did not get paid in December 2020 / Michael Regan / Getty Images

Back to the turmoil off the field now and after managing to get a couple of victories, the Derby players were beautifully rewarded for not getting paid.

The club’s hierarchy promised that the situation would be resolved and the players would be paid in full, but ongoing cash flow problems meant that owner Morris could not fulfill the said promise.

Derby’s financial woes did not seem to end soon with Morris unable to secure outside investment and a takeover of the club did not look likely.

Derby County Survived The Last Day Of The Season / Alex Pantling / Getty Images

Seems a bit over the top to celebrate survival in the parking lot but given the years they had been through, we can not really dislike them.

Derby somehow secured his place in the championship on the last day of the 2020/21 season, even though he only won one of his last 15 matches.

The Reds survived by one point – and had sunk into the relegation zone at one point halfway through their final game of the season – although they had Sheffield Wednesday’s 12-point deduction earlier in the year to thank for their survival.

Mel Morris has not had many reasons to smile too late / Tony Marshall / Getty Images

Although they apparently retained their place in the second tier, doubts about Derby’s survival remained as an investigation continued to follow FFP rules.

EFL eventually admitted defeat and decided not to appeal the decision to give them a fine of £ 100,000 instead of a point deduction, even though the fallout from the case was not yet over …

Wayne Rooney’s side placed under a transfer embargo earlier this year / Aleksandra Szmigiel – Pool / Getty Images

As part of the case, Derby was asked to submit their accounts for 2016, 2017 and 2018, as EFL continued to investigate their FFP compliance.

Before their accounts were relocated, Derby would be placed under a transfer embargo, which means that Rooney could not sign any new players before the 2021/22 season, something that surprisingly does not go down well with the Rams boss …

Wayne Rooney has admitted that he will fight to put a team / Alex Pantling / Getty Images

Rooney recently admitted in an interview that he would not be able to field a team for Derby’s first match of the championship season against Huddersfield on August 7.

The Rams boss claimed he only had nine senior players available – including only one center-back – so you can imagine he would wrap the nine players in cotton wool before they opened in a few months, right?

Maybe not…

Jason Knight Injured During Training / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images

The latest in our long list of disasters in Derby County came just this week, as Rooney admitted that star midfielder Jason Knight had suffered an injury during training and met for up to 12 weeks on the sidelines.

Seriously, who would be so tough to run into a challenge with one of the nine senior players at the club when they are under a transfer embargo?

It was Rooney.

We no longer know what to say. Derby County ‘joke year’ does not look like it will end soon and who knows what will come next on the list.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More