Championship New Boys: Derby County
Derby County are the third and final relegated team to feature in Vital QPR`s round-up of next seasons new boys.
Facts and Figures
Nickname: The Rams
Ground: Pride Park - 33,597
Manager: Paul Jewell
Football League First Division: Champions - 1972, 1975
Football League First Division: Runners Up - 1896, 1930, 1936
Football League Second Division: Champions - 1912, 1915, 1969, 1987
Football League Second Division: Runners Up - 1926
Football League Division One: Runners Up - 1996
Football League Division One: Playoff Winners - 2007
Football Association Cup: Winners - 1946
European Cup: Semi Finalists - 1973
All time attendance record: 41,826 v Tottenham Hotspur, at The Baseball Ground (First Division, 1969)
Record league victory: 9-0 v Wolves at the Racecourse Ground (First Division, 1891)
Record defeat 2-11 v Everton (FA Cup First Round, 1890)
Record Buy: Robert Earnshaw - £3,500,000 from Norwich City.
Record Sale: Seth Johnson - £7,000,000 to Leeds United.
Derby County have been vilified all season for their humbling dealings in the Premier League, but lest us forget how they got there. Manager Billy Davies brought in from Preston North End guided his newly formed Derby County side, spear-headed by man mountain striker Steve Howard to an unexpected promotion.
They had to do it the hard way through the playoffs, due to the Rams fading form, and the late resurgence of Champions Sunderland and Runners Up Birmingham City. Third placed County, would play Southampton.
It was that man Howard, Derby`s player of the year, who fired them to a victory in the first leg of the playoffs at St Mary's Stadium against Southampton
Following a stunning 3-2 victory for the Saints at Pride Park, where the game ebbed and flowed one way then another, with Grzegorz Rasiak coming back to haunt his former club, to get the third. The game went to penalties, and another ex-Ram and QPR loanee, Inigo Idiakez missed his spot kick, and Derby went to Wembley.
At Wembley, we all saw the ultimate lessons in continuing your season to its fruition. Derby displayed the character to succeed and beat their more fancied opposition West Brom.
Stephen Pearson converted a cross from Giles Barnes and the rest as they say was history, as Derby County had reached the promise land.
Derby then splashed the cash in a bid to stay in the Premier League, spending £3.5m on Norwich City striker Robert Earnshaw, breaking the clubs record transfer fee.
In a season of transition there were several changes in the boardroom also.
Jill and Peter Marples left during the summer, at the same time as Trevor Birch was appointed as chief executive having held similar roles at Everton, Chelsea and Leeds United.
Birch departed in October and by the end of the month there was a change at the top with former Hull City owner Adam Pearson taking over as executive chairman, with previous incumbent Peter Gadsby remaining on the board of directors.
With Derby finding life in the Premier League increasingly difficult, with only one win to their name against Newcastle United, they terminated the contract of manager Billy Davies by mutual consent.
They must have had a move in the pipeline as barely two days later, ex Wigan and Bradford manager Paul Jewell was appointed as manager in a bid to fight the un-fightable - avoiding the drop from the Premier League
In came United States-based General Sports and Entertainment as the club's new owners after agreeing an investment partnership that aims to establish the Rams as a Premier League force of the future.
The cash and management expertise invested in the club was in the form of cash, not debt, and the financial future of the club was under-pinned. A far cry from the crippling debt of their and Rangers common foe - the ABC corporation.
It all meant a new look to the board made up of Andy Appleby (chairman of GSE and club chairman), Lionel Margolick (vice-chairman of GSE and club vice-chairman), Tom Glick (club president and chief executive), Adam Pearson (chairman of football), Martin Ridgeway (company secretary and vice-president, finance), John Vicars (vice-president, operations), Timothy Hinchey (vice-president, commercial), and non-executive directors Peter Gadsby, Don Amott and Roger Faulkner.
One of the earliest relegation`s ensued with Derby being relegated on March 29th 2008, and the club facing up to their life in the Championship once again.
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