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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 28, 2008

Derby's new owners won't repeat Liverpool mess

Derby's new American owners have promised not to drag the club into the same financial turmoil that has engulfed Liverpool after securing the club in a £50million takeover.

The General Sports and Entertainment (GSE) group have bought 93% of Derby, and say they aim to make the club a 'global brand', but insist the identity of the consortium who have put up the money for the purchase must remain secret for the time being.

GSE looked at the possibility of taking over a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester City, before settling on the Rams.

Derby chairman Adam Pearson, who will retain a seven per cent shareholding and position as chairman of football operations, said they were using Aston Villa - now owned by American tycoon Randy Lerner - as the model rather than Liverpool where Tom Hicks and George Gillett have just taken on £350million debts.

Pearson said: 'You have a situation at Aston Villa and you have a situation at Liverpool. One has been remarkably successful in revolutionising the club, the other is going down a different route.

'When you are injecting debt into an institution that is Liverpool football club you are going to have problems. This is a completely contrary route to that.

'This is a cash deal injected into the football club, some will be spent on the team and some on the club. It's a positive deal and very different to the Liverpool deal.'

GSE president Andrew Appleby insisted they had every intention of being transparent for the fans but could not reveal his backers at the moment.

He also said they would not follow the Glazers' lead at Manchester United and push up ticket prices.

Appleby, who has been heavily involved with Detroit Pistons NBA team in the past, said: 'In time we may chose to do so but the deal has been put together over the last few months and at this point the investors wish to remain confidential.

'I hope we don't have anything to worry about in relation to the supporters. One of the things that has made us successful as a company is being transparent.

'We have the backing and the relationships and the marketing expertise to take this club to a new level.

'If we build this Derby brand to become a global, iconic brand it will open up new revenue streams and make this club even more successful.'

Tom Glick, a former chief marketing officer for the New Jersey Nets basketball team is to be brought in as a new president and chief executive and is moving his family from the USA to Derby.

Another GSE affiliate, Tim Hinchey, will move to Pride Park as an executive vice-president. He is a former vice-president of the Charlotte Bobcats, another NBA franchise.

Appleby accepted Derby faced a tough task to avoid relegation but said they were taking a long-term view.

He added: 'If we can build on its strong foundations there's no reason why Derby cannot be a perennial Premier League club.

'We are excited about this opportunity and impressed by the club's potential.'

Derby manager Paul Jewell said the prospect of the takeover had persuaded him to accept the post back in November.

Jewell said: 'One of the reasons I came here was this deal hopefully happening.

'This club has come a long way in a short space of time, and if we build from the bottom up correctly we're hoping it will become great again.

'The people who have come in have the same ambition and excitement as I have to build Derby into a top 10 Premier League team.'