Derby County confirm arrival of new American owners
Struggling Premier League side Derby County have confirmed the club is to be taken over by new American owners.
The buyout of the East Midlands club by General Sports and Entertainment (GSE) will make the Rams the fourth club to be put under US-ownership.
They follow Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa in becoming American-owned but insist the deal will not lead to Derby becoming saddled with debt.
"This is a significant day in the history of this club and the takeover adds new financial firepower, underpinning a long-term plan to establish Derby County as a major player in the Premier League and as an international club brand," said Rams chairman Adam Pearson.
"The long-term aim is to establish the Derby County brand worldwide through successful alliances with sporting teams in the USA, Far East and other continents.
"The immediate aim though is to continue to build the infrastructure of the club at Pride Park and obviously develop a squad which over the coming seasons is renowned as a Premier League force."
Pearson added that the takeover of Villa by Randy Lerner, which has led to a revitalisation of the team's performances, will be a "key model" the club hopes to emulate.
Derby are currently eight points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League having won just once all season and are firm favourites for relegation.
But GSE founder and chairman Andy Appleby, who will become a board member at Pride Park as well as Pearson and soon-to-be-appointed president and chief executive Tom Glick, insisted the investment is a long-term one.
"We are excited about the opportunity to make a significant impact at Derby County with our collective sports industry knowledge of best practices in management, sales and marketing," Appleby said.
"We have visited Derby County over the last six months and experienced a match day at Pride Park Stadium, where we were impressed with the incredible potential of the club and the loyalty of the fan-base."
The club is holding a press conference this afternoon where more details will be announced.