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Derby County Football Club

This may be a little difficult for some of you to understand.

After all, supporting the likes of Man U. or Liverpool, you get used to mucking in at the top of the Premiership. You come to expect results and are disappointed with failed European title challenges. You relegate the Carling Cup to a B-grade event because you’re oh so busy with all your other games.

But you still have to play in the Premiership which means visiting the likes of Derby County FC. And let me tell you, there is nothing better than being a Derby County fan at the moment. Nothing!

There we sit, comfortably at the bottom of the table, a single but glorious victory to our credit (makes Newcastle look pretty stupid!), laughing at the once mighty Tottenham who are keeping us company, and forever hopeful that the tide will turn in our next game. We’ve got hammered by teams already. And we probably will again.

For when it comes to the Premiership the playing field is not level.

Derby were hours away from collapse just 18 months ago. Mounting debts, payments to former players spiralling out of control, sitting in the relegation zone of the Championship and waiting for the last rites. Our Board were a group of businessmen, called ‘The Three Amigos’, who wanted return on their investments and were keen to sell off the clubs assets. DCFC would have been left with nothing. If you are thinking Leeds United then you’ve got the right idea.

Thankfully the club was taken over by some local business people, funds were injected to stabilize the debts and a plan was put in place to lift the club out of the doldrums.

That plan was a three-year plan. Manager Billy Davies was central to success as was the need to assemble a squad that could develop together, improve for a season or two and finally push for promotion. Young players were brought in – Fagan, Barnes, Leacock – and the results started going our way.

And then it all went pear-shaped because we GOT PROMOTED in the first year!

So now we have Derby County trying to reorganize to cope with the demands of the Premiership. Big money is injected, for us (!), and we break our record transfer by blowing 3.5 million on Earnshaw. The rest of the transfer window is spent trying to invite others to follow for a lot less money. Yes, we did land Kenny Miller, an American player called Eddie Lewis and some other player I’d never heard of. But the fact is, we haven’t got a chance of competing.

But who cares? I don’t. I just love the fact that my club is now safe. And I love the fact that we will nick some points from others. Even away from home. And then there will be a spark of hope that we might, just maybe, get a bit of a roll on and win some more games. Talk of survival will resonate around Pride Park. Can you believe it, we’ll say, we might just survive!

But it’s only the Premiership we are talking about. Because we have already survived.

Go The Rams!!

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  • What’s all this about haves and have nots? It’s not some conspiracy to keep the small teams down it’s simply they are (were?) not very good.

  • Thanks for the comments everyone. And good luck to Blackpool. I am, as you might have guessed, a fan of the underdog. So it is nice to see Blackpool doing better than expected.
    And you mention Norwich, Ed. Only about three or four years ago they were promoted, then relegated the next season. Another yo-yo team that can’t get a footing in the Premier League. I’m sure this scenario repeats itself throughout the different league tables. And as we all know one of the ‘haves’, Tottenham is struggling. So you never know, do you…..

  • First of all good luck to the Rams, and I hope they do manage to grab a few more points soon, particularly against the £100,000 per week earning crowd.

    I don’t think the gulf between haves and have nots is limited to the Premiership though. It’s also present in the Championship.

    As a follower of newly promoted Blackpool I can sympathise with the Derby followers. With a squad that cost next to nothing and a ground which holds 9,000 and only has two sides, it will be a struggle against the likes of Sheff Utd (Beattie £4m), West Brom (Phillips £0.7m), Wolves, Watford, Charlton, Southampton….But then again, it’s Norwich (Huckerby £1m) who are propping up the table at the moment, so you never know.

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