4th February 2022
Dear Mr Gibson,
We’re writing to you on behalf of our Derby County Supporters’ Club and a city that stands united, but fearful of losing our club.
Derby County is more than just a football club, it’s the heartbeat of the city - the glue that brings different communities together. This was illustrated on Sunday 30th January when 10,000 people of all ages, sections of the community and religions took to the streets in an emotional march of solidarity.
Based on the information available to fans we are led to believe the dispute between your club Middlesbrough FC and ours is one of the main reasons Derby are struggling to secure a new buyer - putting Derby County’s very existence in danger.
In your statement on the 18th January you state that: “MFC allege Derby County and its directors systematically cheated under the P&S Rules and that such cheating affects the integrity of the competition.”
Mr Gibson we’re aligned with you in not wanting clubs to cheat for an unfair advantage and go against the integrity of the EFL.
As fans we also feel cheated by the actions of Mel Morris and Stephen Pearce. We have been let down by the people who were supposed to be custodians of our club and now we are facing the prospect of being without Derby County, an entity that has existed in this community since 1884 - long before Mel Morris took an interest in it.
It is right that clubs found in breach of Profit & Sustainability rules are punished, and after receiving a 21-point deduction there is no denying that Derby County have been punished. The fans can accept the prospect of playing football in League One next season as a result - but the idea of being without a club due to liquidation is something we just cannot stomach.
That’s why we’re writing to you. As things stand it looks like you have a big role to play in the survival of our club and consequently the wellbeing of our community.
Those suffering now aren’t the former custodians but the fans who pump hard-earned money into the club, miss family occasions to ensure they don’t miss a game - who can’t imagine Saturdays without Derby County.
So we want to ask - have you considered directing your claims at the individuals responsible, instead of at the club?
We’re sure you understand our stance and appreciate the value of the club to its city and community, who are hurting. Derby and Middlesbrough are not so different: industrial cities with football at their heart. Your city gave ours one of its favourite sons, Brian Clough - a man whose statue stands in both of our communities. It’s this shared history that makes football so important.
We appeal to your personal nature to drop the claims against our club, and take it up with those personally responsible for breaching Profit & Sustainability rules.