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David Clowes has completed first phase of Derby County rebuild promised in £60m reveal

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It was almost beyond David Clowes’s imagination. He used to regularly attend Derby County games two years ago, but now he’s the owner of the team he loves so much, having won a promotion.

When the Rams defeated Carlisle United 2-0 to earn promotion back to the Championship, there was a unique ovation in the 55th minute. The image of a beaming Clowes coming out of the Pride Park tunnel with a trophy in hand for Derby captain Conor Hourihane to raise into the air to mark the beginning of a historic day of festivities in the city was as momentous.

It’s all business now. A new television agreement with Sky will result in more interest in the team from sponsorship and visibility as they return to the Championship.

Max Bird of Derby County scores the 1st goal and celebrates

All of this is a part of Clowes’ vision for the team, which is owned by Clowes Developments, the Ashbourne-based real estate company he chairs and which also purchased Pride Park after an agreement was reached to keep the Rams from going bankrupt in July 2022. Clowes Developments did, in fact, explicitly lay out their intentions for the club in the November 2022 release of their finances for 2021/22, despite Clowes’s general lack of public commentary.

“The directors believed that the possible liquidation of the local city football club was not in the best interests of the group or those in the city of Derby itself,” the statement read. “The directors are prominent investors and property owners in the East Midlands.” The firm believed that it owed it to Derby’s local economy as a corporate social duty and that it could not allow the football team to fail.

The directors believe that this is a medium-term investment that will stabilize the football team and significantly increase its initial investment, which was around £60 million.” Although Clowes has previously stated that he could not watch the team fail, his decision to purchase the team was motivated by both sentiment and logic.

Restoring stability to the club was the first step of Clowes Developments’ plan, which is now accomplished. It is now fascinating to observe how the ownership intends to increase the value of their investment; this has already started with the Championship’s return and the increased visibility that comes with it.

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