Blackpool Supporters’ Trust column: we fully understand the pain of Derby

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Blackpool boss Neil Critchley backs new football regulator

So, on the eve of our match at Pride Park, we must have a thought for the supporters of Derby County, who face an existential threat which is, in its own way, just as serious as the crisis we have been in. trapped during the 2015-2019 period.

How would you feel if you supported a club that:

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Derby fans have had to deal with point deductions and the worst may be yet to come

is blocked at the bottom of the championship following a deduction of 21 points

isn’t just in administration, but always tries to sort out the financial irregularities that got him into trouble (and an extra points penalty) in the first place.

is trying to find a new owner for a club which is not only heading towards Ligue 1 but also struggling with debts estimated at over £ 50million – knowing that if no buyer is found, liquidation of a proud institution remains a real possibility?

This is the situation Derby fans find themselves in.

How did it come to this? Every misfortune has many authors but in this case it’s hard to look past the club’s former owner Mel Morris and the EFL.

At BST, we’ve long said that the massively unfair way money flows through the football pyramid encourages reckless behavior, as league owners in particular pursue the pot of gold that comes with promotion.

From our perspective, Derby is a model case study of how it can go wrong. Mr Morris spent lavishly on salaries which brought Derby to the brink of financial fair play, effectively sold the stadium to boost turnover (mortgaging it in the process), adopted a new approach to EFL accounting rules and has been less than diligent in timely publication of accounts.

That he chose to put the club under administration and effectively walk away from the chaos is causing genuine anger among Derby fans and is impossible to justify.

The EFL didn’t cover itself in fame while this was all going on.

It remains a mystery to us that clubs selling their stadiums to independent companies are not only acceptable, but do not appear to be raising red flags among those supposed to regulate the game.

When it comes to how clubs depreciate players’ book value for accounting purposes (known as depreciation), again, Derby can be forgiven for feeling they’ve received mixed messages from the EFL.

At first this was rejected and the EFL only belatedly revisited the matter to change their mind after representations were made by other clubs.

Worst of all, however, is the pace at which this saga has unfolded. Like Sheffield Wednesday before them, Derby had to endure an often opaque and excessively lengthy investigative process that spanned more than one football season.

And, for the second season in a row, it seems almost certain that the EFL’s point deductions will be crucial in determining who gets relegated from the championship.

So much for “managing the integrity of the competition”, a kind of hollow vanity for an organization which this year went to great lengths to publish provisional fixtures for Derby and Wycombe Wanderers because they could not know which division the clubs would choose. end up in it.

It is no wonder that Tracey Crouch and her panel have concluded that the football authorities can no longer credibly hope to have a role in regulating the English game, a job for which they are clearly unfit.

As always, those who suffer the most are the least to blame. Some accuse Derby fans of living the high life while Morris was on his way to disaster, but there was no such thing as a high life.

The club flirted with promotion to the Promised Land but failed to do so.

Now fans find themselves trying to raise money to pay off creditors who have been left behind after providing goods and services that have not been paid.

The fact that fans are willing to do this gives them huge credit – but the fact that they feel compelled to do it leaves a very sour taste.

Saturday is an opportunity for our supporters to show solidarity.

We, of all people, know how that feels. We of all people are determined that this does not happen to anyone else and are campaigning intensely at the national level to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.

Not that long ago, a few hundred of us stood at the far end of Pride Park and listened to three sides of the pitch continually chanting “Oyston Out” in a remarkably generous display of support.

They could have laughed at us as we were clearly on the way down. They could have reveled in our unease when their team crushed ours.

Instead, they chose to embrace our cause. Hopefully on Saturday the away team will reward this kindness.

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