‘It’s devastating, it’s another blow. We’ve got to STOP this happening’: Gary Neville urges rules change after Derby go into administration, saying owners’ desperation to join the Premier League is killing off clubs
Gary Neville has pleaded with the UK government and football authorities to make sweeping changes to club ownership rules as Derby became the latest club to fall into administration.
The Rams, managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney, announced the shock news on Friday, with Derby potentially facing a 21-point deduction for their financial collapse.
Various reports suggest that the deduction could total up to 21 points – nine for Derby’s financial irregularities and 12 for entering administration – although it is within the EFL’s discretion to determine the appropriate sanction.
Gary Neville has said news of Derby going into administration is a ‘devastating blow’ to football
Derby, managed by England legend Wayne Rooney, could be facing up to a 21-point deduction
Neville said it is time for change to avoid yet another storied old club potentially ceasing to exist.
‘It’s devastating, it’s another blow. We’ve got to stop this happening,’ he said on Sky Sports’ Friday Night Football programme following Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Leeds.
‘When owners come into football clubs, there should be an obligation to be able to cover their obligations that they sign up to.
‘Until we have that in place we’re going to have big trouble and examples like Derby are going to keep coming forward.’
Neville said the issue lay with unscrupulous owners spending far beyond their means to gain the ultimate prize of becoming a Premier League team and securing all the wealth that comes with that status.
Neville said the government must change the club ownership rules to stop this happening
‘It’s this desperation to be part of the Premier League,’ he said. ‘It’s amazing, the Premier League, I think this is the best Premier League start to a season I’ve ever seen.
‘But there is a desperation and an urgency that goes beyond what’s sporting. You should be disappointed if you go down or if you don’t go up, but not to the point where you lose your club.
‘That’s what’s happening. Derby have chased and chased, and chased and chased, and they’ve not got the golden ticket and now they may go out of business. That cannot happen to a football club and institution like Derby County.’
The Championship club have been plunged into crisis having just survived the drop last season
Neville called on the government to swiftly implement the findings of the government’s fan-led review into football club governance, led by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch – chiefly that an independent regulator be appointed to oversee issues such as football club purchases.
‘She (Crouch) has put recommendations forward, (former culture secretary) Oliver Dowden said he was going to support those recommendations,’ Neville said. ‘Nadine Dorries has just taken over from Oliver Dowden.
‘We need to hear from Nadine Dorries that she’s going to support the recommendations of the fan-led review to put an independent regulator in place to change rules in English football to stop this happening.
‘Derby are now in a perilous position. My hometown club have been there three or four years ago. It has to stop.’