Date: 22nd January 2021 at 6:50pm
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Middle East journalist Salam Hafez joined host Simon Long on the most recent edition of The Ramswriter Podcast to discuss all of the latest news surrounding Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s Derby County takeover bid. 

One topic that Long asked the Middle East expert about during the show was the possibility that Sheikh Khaled is waiting for Derby County to enter administration before completing his takeover, in order to buy the East Midlands club on the cheap. 

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An easy one to kick off our quiz on the 2020 summer transfer window in the EFL, which player left Birmingham City to join Borussia Dortmund?

This comes after it emerged that the Rams failed to pay some players’ wages for December earlier this month following uncertainty over Sheikh Khaled’s takeover, and it was more recently reported that the threat of administration is ‘genuine’ for Derby. 

However, after he was asked if this is Sheikh Khaled’s intention, with the deal yet to reach completion – despite it having been reported on 10th January that the takeover would be done at the end of that week – Hafez cast some doubt on that rumour, saying: “If that’s the case, then everyone would be interested, wouldn’t they? I really, honestly don’t think so.”

Do you think Derby will enter administration?

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TIF Thoughts on what Hafez said about the possibility of Sheikh Khaled waiting for Derby to enter administration…

While Sheikh Khaled’s takeover clearly hasn’t gone entirely according to plan, given that last month Derby claimed the deal, which received the EFL’s approval back in November, was on track to be done by Christmas, perhaps Hafez’s claim that the would-be Rams owner is not trying to get the club for cheaper due to it entering administration is one positive for fans of the East Midlands club to take from this drawn-out takeover saga, as that would suggest that Sheikh Khaled is trying to put the best interests of the club first to some extent, at least. 

If what the Middle East expert said is true, then it will be interesting to see if Sheikh Khaled can complete his takeover before this ‘genuine’ threat of administration – and the points deduction that would come with it for the relegation-battling side – becomes a harsh reality.