Derby County have entered administration and been deducted 12 points by the English Football League amid ongoing financial problems at the club.
Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou, managing directors at business advisory firm Quantuma, have been appointed joint administrators of the Sky Bet Championship club, who according to owner Mel Morris are losing between £1.3m and £1.5m per month.
Derby, managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney had taken 10 points from eight games so far, but now
drop to the foot of the table, six points adrift of rivals Nottingham Forest, who were previously bottom.
Hosking said: « Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the finances of the club and its long-term ability to continue in its current form.
« We recognise that with the commencement of the 2021/22 season last month, this news will be of concern to stakeholders and fans, in addition to the city of Derby and the wider football community.
« We are in the early stages of assessing the options available to the club and would invite any interested parties to come forward.
« Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures in the Championship this season and finding interested parties to safeguard the club and its employees. »
In a statement, the EFL said the league had held initial discussions with the administrators and would contact representatives of Rams Trust, DCMS, MPs from the Derby area and other relevant stakeholders in a bid to discuss the club’s position.
EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: « I appreciate that this is a challenging and concerning period for everyone associated with the club, particularly the staff and supporters, and it is our intention to work proactively with the administrators and all relevant parties with the objective of securing a long-term and viable future for Derby County.
« We will endeavour to provide timely and relevant updates as appropriate and as and when events unfold over the coming weeks. »
Derby are already under a transfer embargo with the club in talks with the EFL for an additional points deduction over an alleged breaking of financial fair play rules.
Morris claims he has spent over £200m of his own money in trying to get Derby into the Premier League but admits he has failed and apologised to staff and supporters.
The owner also previously told Sky Sports News he was « devastated » over the situation and cited the financial impact of Covid-19 and a string of failed takeover attempts as the cause of the mess.
There is widespread concern among staff members over job losses with manager Rooney, speaking after Saturday’s win over Stoke City, saying the situation for all at risk was « heart-breaking ».