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Sport Derby County confirm takeover deal with Spaniard Erik Alonso is dead

15:15  20 may  2021
15:15  20 may  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Colin Kazim-Richards standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Derby County have confirmed that the proposed takeover of the club by Spanish boxing promoter Erik Alonso has failed.

Alonso agreed a deal to buy the Rams' with owner Mel Morris in April, with the club insisting it had seen proof of funds.

However, as revealed by Sportsmail a week ago, Morris was forced to finally accept defeat in this latest attempt to sell the club to Alonso's No Limits Sports and an EFL source confirmed it was 'dead in the water'.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Derby County owner Mel Morris admitted defeat in his attempts to sell the club to Erik Alonso © Provided by Daily Mail Derby County owner Mel Morris admitted defeat in his attempts to sell the club to Erik Alonso

Now, Stephen Pearce, the club's chief executive officer has written to supporters on behalf of the directors, to confirm Derby are looking elsewhere for a buyer.

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Pearce also revealed that Derby have lost £20 million as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

'In respect to the agreement with No Limits Sports Limited, this transaction is no longer under consideration,' said Pearce.

'An announcement was made in April that a deal was agreed between Mel Morris and No Limits Sports Limited, but subsequent developments mean the deal is no longer an option.

'However, Mel Morris is in touch with a number of credible parties in respect to purchasing both the football club and Pride Park Stadium.

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'Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot expand on this information at this time in terms of the identities and complexities of the discussions, but should we be in a position to share more details then we will do so.'

The official confirmation that Derby had moved on from Alonso seemed inevitable.

Morris held on for over a month in the hope of the Spaniard producing the funds to complete a takeover, despite repeated warnings that he was wasting his time.

Sportsmail understands the EFL found no grounds to deny Alonso as part of their owners and directors test, had he produced the money to do the deal. They asked him to deposit £35million in a holding account three weeks ago but then heard nothing.

a group of people standing next to a football ball: Derby retained Championship status on final day of the season against Sheffield Wednesday © Provided by Daily Mail Derby retained Championship status on final day of the season against Sheffield Wednesday

There were also concerns within the EFL about Alonso’s business plan and there were doubts over the credibility of the takeover, especially as the League were unable to determine if he even had a lawyer.

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The source of Alonso's wealth had been a topic of discussion in the media and among fans.

Sky reported funds to purchase Derby would come from wealth Alonso and his family earned in the hotel industry and through a vineyard in the famous La Rioja region of Spain.

The Athletic said Alonso had also run footballing businesses in marketing and consultancy and there are 'several investors in a consortium'.

graphical user interface, text, application: Alonso's Twitter profile featured a picture of himself and Oktohari on the Indonesian's jet © Provided by Daily Mail Alonso's Twitter profile featured a picture of himself and Oktohari on the Indonesian's jet

Alonso was quoted by Spanish website El Confidencial.

'Most of my businesses are in Indonesia,' he was quoted as saying. 'Whether it is a coal mine, hotel complexes ...'

He added: 'I will not say the money that I have or that I do not have, but I am able to acquire it and to take it forward.'

The Indonesian connection, where Alonso had been a boxer and boxing promoter, led to speculation that a backer of the takeover may be Raja Sapta Oktohari, who is based in Jakarta.

On his Twitter feed, Alonso featured a picture of himself and Oktohari on the Indonesian's private jet.

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Oktohari is the president of the Indonesian International Olympic Committee, an entrepreneur, and an associate of Alonso from his time in the Far East, but any involvement in the Derby deal was denied.

a group of people posing for the camera: Derby players celebrated their survival in the Championship outside the ground with fans © Provided by Daily Mail Derby players celebrated their survival in the Championship outside the ground with fans a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Fans gathered outside Pride Park relieved that their club avoided relegation to League One © Provided by Daily Mail Fans gathered outside Pride Park relieved that their club avoided relegation to League One

Morris has had a month of relief and pain. His club, managed by England and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, retained its Championship status on the final day of the season in a nail-biting 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. However, as well as the failed takeover, Derby were also found in breach of EFL financial fair play rules concerning accountancy practices.

Derby are likely to be hit with a points deduction next season, although the EFL are pushing for the sanction to be imposed as soon as possible, a move that could relegate Wayne Rooney’s side to League One.

Morris remains desperate to sell the club and there has been mention in recent days of an American consortium being in talks.

Meanwhile, fans are looking nervously ahead to next season, despite attempts by the club's directors to reassure them.

a crane next to a sign: Derby County says it is seeking 'a balance of quality, experience, energy, and youth' © Provided by Daily Mail Derby County says it is seeking 'a balance of quality, experience, energy, and youth'

In his letter Pearce acknowledged there was 'significant work to be done' to prepare the squad for next season, with players out of contract. And he suggested Derby would continue to develop young players.

'Wayne Rooney has clearly outlined his plans to make improvements to the first team squad during the summer transfer window, and we will work closely with him to find the right balance of quality, experience, energy, determination, and youth development to again be competitive,' he added.

But that has not reassured some of those supporters who have taken to Twitter to express their views.

'Load of waffle. Heard it all before,' said James White from Oakwood, Derby.

'Did these open letters not question the competency of our recruitment department? And there absolute failure over the last 7 odd seasons? Or have the club just chose not to address this serious issue once again?' said Gareth @gcw047

The Alonso deal is the second failed takeover at Pride Park this year after Morris also called off the sale of the club to Derventio Holdings in March.

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