Derby left resigned to losing key men Jason Knight and Max Bird

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Derby are left resigned to losing key men and academy products Jason Knight and Max Bird this month as the Rams desperately look to raise £5m needed to show EFL they can complete the season

  • Derby have until February 1 to show the EFL they have enough funds in place
  • Player sales are the simplest way for the club to bridge the gap in cashflow
  • Phil Jagielka and Graeme Shinnie have already left Wayne Rooney’s squad


Derby are resigned to losing top prospects Jason Knight and Max Bird this month unless they can find a route out of the crisis threatening their existence.

The Rams, who have been in administration since September, need to show the EFL by February 1 they have the funds to complete the season, with £5million the sum required.

With the clock ticking, Derbyshire MPs met administrators Quantuma this week in an attempt to safeguard the club’s future yet in the short-term, player sales are the simplest way to bridge the gap.

Derby are resigned to losing the likes of Jason Knight in the January transfer window

Derby are resigned to losing the likes of Jason Knight in the January transfer window

Knight, 20, has been a key man for Derby for the last two seasons and is already a senior Ireland international, while Bird – another midfielder – has been tipped for England Under-21 honours by manager Wayne Rooney.

Both have attracted Premier League interest.

Rooney has done a remarkable job in lifting Derby, docked 21 points this season, off the bottom of the Championship and is reluctant to lose any of his best players, but the situation is largely out of his hands until a preferred bidder can be named. 

Derby were unable to renew the short-term deal of Phil Jagielka, who left for Stoke, while Graeme Shinnie was sold to Wigan.

Max Bird is another player who could depart as Derby desperately look to raise funds

Max Bird is another player who could depart as Derby desperately look to raise funds

Three parties, including former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, have expressed interest in buying the club but have so far been unwilling to push ahead, partly due to unresolved compensation claims from Middlesbrough and Wycombe relating to the 2018-19 and 2020-21 seasons respectively.

The pair argue that Derby’s breach of EFL spending rules played a part in stopping Boro from reaching the play-offs, and in Wycombe’s relegation.

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