Tag: Derby County

Back To The Eighties: 1980/81, Part Three – The Decline Of Derby County

The third week of September saw Match Of The Day take its cameras to the south coast, the west country and the east Midlands. Sadly – or, for all we know, not – the match between Bristol City and Notts County are not available to us, but highlights, albeit in one case very brief, of the other two matches, between Southampton & Liverpool and Derby County & Wrexham, are. There is little question that Match Of The Day’s main match from the The Dell was the most important match of the weekend, with Southampton second place in the table and Liverpool sitting one point and one place behind them. The other match saw Derby County play Wrexham at The Baseball Ground in the Second Division. Little more than five years earlier Derby had been the champions of England, but the club’s deterioration since then had been rapid. The manager that had guided the club to its second league title in in four years in 1975, Dave Mackay, should have been one of the most secure in England, having taken the club to a league title and two top five finishes, as well as an FA Cup semi-final, in less than three years in charge of the club. However, a poor start to the 1976/77 season ended in Mackay being sacked in November 1976. Following this, the club became increasingly...

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Melancholy In Derby Over The Departure Of Nigel Clough

It’s likely that there will be a sense of melancholy hanging over the city of Derby this afternoon. Its relationship with the Clough family is a long at somehwhat complex one which stretches back to the late 1960s, when an upstart manager arrived at The Baseball Ground from Hartlepool United and started about one of the more dramatic transformations of a football club that has ever been seen. Five years on from Brian Clough’s arrival at a Derby County Football Club that was, at that time, at the wrong end of the Second Division, they were the champions of England, and such events have a tendency to cement a bond even though, within eighteen months of lifting the Football League Championship, Clough senior had left the club amid acrimony after a very public falling out with the club’s then-chairman Sam Longson. It was a bond that even survived the even greater success that he managed at their biggest rivals, Nottingham Forest. We are two and a half weeks away from the fortieth anniversary from the departure of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor from The Baseball Ground, and professional football has changed almost beyond recognition in those intervening four decades. Quite asides from anything else, the club no longer calls its home The Baseball Ground, but this is a mere trifle in comparison with the mere fact that the likelihood...

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100 Owners: Number 74 – The Three Amigos (Derby County)

It is now almost eleven years since ITV Digital collapsed into administration, dragging the clubs of the Football League into a mass financial crisis which took years for its clubs to recover from. When it collapsed in May 2002, the television company owed the Football League £185m from a television deal with two years left to run on it and its loss had a serious effect throughout its member clubs. This wasn’t just about a loss of revenue, either. The suddenly frail condition of so many Football League clubs offered a cheap route into the game for those with less than noble aims, and at one club, Derby County, this quest for new ownership would end in criminality, imprisonment and disgrace for those involved, in particular the three directors who became known as The Three Amigos. Derby County had been relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2001/02 season after six years back in the top division of English football. This was not a good time for a club to be losing its place in the top division, and Derby’s troubles continued throughout the following season, with the club finishing just three places above a second successive relegation position. By October 2003, the club was in administrative receivership, from which it was purchased for £3 by a consortium which included Jeremy Keith, a serial company director...

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Match Of The Past: Derby County

We continue our series of archive videos of the clubs of the Football League Championship this morning with a club that became the champions of England twice in four years during the 1970s, Derby County. Under the managership of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, the club was promoted to the First Division in 1969, and they gave a glimpse of what was to come with the first of our six matches, a mauling of Tottenham Hotspur at The Baseball Ground in September 1969. Our second match comes from the year after their first championship win. With Brian Clough by this time having left the club, Dave McKay was the new manager and his team handed out a hiding of similar proportions to Arsenal in November 1972. Our third match sees the club celebrate its second league championship win of 1975 by beginning the following season with a trip to Wembley for the annual FA Charity Shield curtain-raiser match against that years FA Cup winners, West Ham United. After this, however, the club went into something of a decline and by the time of our fourth match against Fulham from The Baseball Ground in May 1983 the team needed a win against a Fulham team chasing promotion to the First Division just to keep hold of its place in Division Two. Our fifth match sees the club returning to the...

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Match Of The Midweek FA Cup Special: Crawley Town 2-1 Derby County

When the full-time whistle blew at Broadfield Stadium this evening with Steve Evans gesticulating at the referee in the background over the amount of time added on at the end of the match, there was an outpouring of joy and delight that the stadium has probably never seen before. It would probably not, however, be overstating things to say that this joy was only scantly mirrored in the outside world. Non-league football probably hasn’t ever seen a less popular set of “giant-killers” (if, considering everything, that is how this match can really be framed) and, for those of us that love non-league football, the feeling of ambivalence towards Crawley Town on an evening such as this has felt odd, almost unnatural. We’re supposed to love our giant-killers. Instead, tonight felt lop-sided, as if the planets had slipped out of alignment. The Daily Mail chimed in this morning with a hagiography of the club that contained some surprising assertions. It claimed, for example, that “Crawley’s home gate has doubled to around 1,200” this season, which is just plain wrong – their average home crowd this season is 1,694, up from 913 last season but almost identical to their average home attendance – 1,682 – of two seasons ago. In addition to this, it would appear that, according to this report, the selection of lower division footballers that have pitched up...

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