Derby County owner Mel Morris has told the Daily Mail how the takeover involving Sheikh Khaled is still ongoing and there remains a contractual obligation to buy the club.
News first broke of the potential Derby takeover last October.
The EFL later approved of the deal by Sheikh Khaled, a proclaimed Emirati royal who is reportedly second cousin to wealthy Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour.
But after months of delays, some Derby supporters fear the deal is dead while there has been a notable prolonged silence from the very top at Pride Park.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, however, Morris claims there is a contract and obligation to buy the club while he continues to have dialogue with the prospective new owner.
“I can’t really talk about it because it’s under a very strict non-disclosure agreement so I can’t give you details on it. But it’s not finished… I don’t like to put percentages on it. There’s a contract between the two of us. That’s in the public domain. There’s a contractual obligation to sell and a contractual obligation to buy. You continue to have dialogue as much as you need to,” Morris explained.
Morris became the sole owner of Derby back in 2014.
Under his ownership, the Rams have reached the playoffs three times with their last ending in a 2-1 final defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley with Frank Lampard in charge.
Morris has hired Paul Clement, Steve McClaren, Nigel Pearson, Gary Rowett, Lampard and Phillip Cocu during his time as Derby owner but promotion has eluded him.
Now, current manager Wayne Rooney has been tasked with keeping Derby in the Championship after a poor start to the season has left the Rams fighting relegation.
Morris certainly can’t be accused of not financially supporting Derby. However, poor recruitment and a clear strategy has taken its toll and a fresh direction is now needed.