Frank Lampard DEFENDS under-fire Derby owner Mel Morris after Rams entered administration this week, as former boss claims he ‘cares deeply about the club’
- Derby County entered administration on Wednesday as their crisis continues
- The Rams got a 12-point deduction which could rise to 21 due to financial woes
- Frank Lampard has defended Rams owner Mel Morris who is under fire from fans
- Lampard coached Derby for a year and says Morris cares deeply about the club
Frank Lampard has defended Derby owner Mel Morris after the Rams went into administration this week, saying the businessman is ‘brilliant on the human side of things’ and ‘cares deeply about the club’.
The crisis Championship club announced on Wednesday they have entered into administration and were given an automatic 12-point deduction under EFL rules, sending them to the bottom of the table.
A statement from the club said that Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou of business advisory firm Quantuma would serve as joint administrators.
Frank Lampard (right) has defended Derby owner Mel Morris (left) after the Rams’ administration was announced this week
Lampard managed Derby during the 2018-19 season and nearly took them to the top flight
Sportsmail understands the Rams could face an additional points deduction from the EFL due to an investigation into financial irregularities at the club and while criticism is growing on owner Morris, former Derby manager Lampard has jumped to the defence of the businessman.
‘I don’t know the current circumstances but Mel Morris cares deeply about the club,’ Lampard told Coral. ‘He has invested a fortune into it and I can only speak so highly of him and how he treated me.
‘People will have different stories about Mel but he was amazing for me during my time there. He was brilliant on the human side of things.
Lampard (right) claims Morris (left) cares deeply about the club and is good on a human level
‘He looked after me, the people who worked there and all the players. I really hope that they find the right solutions because I had a great time there.’
Lampard was in charge of Derby for the 2018-19 season, which was the 43-year-old’s first managerial job since retiring as a player before he was snapped up by former club Chelsea a year later.
The former Blues and England midfielder guided the Rams to the Championship play-off final, beating Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds in the process, but Derby were beaten 2-1 in the Wembley showpiece event by Aston Villa, who are now a fixed Premier League club again.
Derby, managed by former England striker Wayne Rooney, now face an uphill struggle to stay in the second tier after their EFL deduction took them to minus two points and nine points from safety after eight matches.
Lampard helped Derby reach the Championship play-off final in his first season in coaching
Owner Morris has plunged the club into administration which was confirmed on Wednesday
Morris has faced intense criticism from Rams supporters on social media after their administration was confirmed on Wednesday.
One fan said: ‘I hate what Mel has done to this club. That we trusted him so blindly. That his decisions have lead us to this. On the precipice of existence. Abysmal.’
Another added: ‘I don’t know how Mel Morris can put the whole of the problems solely on covid. He has over spent (sic) for years. I know covid hasn’t helped football in general but still.’
Yet many fans told of their emotional state at having to see their beloved club enter administration, with one describing it as ‘one of the lowest points a fan can feel when supporting a club.’
Many Rams fans expressed their anger and disgust at the Derby owner in the current plight
He continues: ‘None of this boll**** about losing to your local rival or whatever. That’s nothing compared to this. Genuinely wonder whether we’ll have a club to support in a years time.’
One fan hoped a buyer – who will reportedly need £50m just to pay off the club’s debt – could be found: ‘Gutting for a team very close to my heart. I refuse to believe there isn’t somebody out there wanting to buy the club and genuinely invest into the club. Hopefully a good buyer is found soon.’
Another pointed towards the punishment, in comparison to the Premier League top-six and the failed European Super League breakaway in April: ‘Meanwhile the big 6 and the proposed Super League idea get away with a fine. Go figure. Double standards.’
Lampard has paid tribute to the city of Derby whilst reflecting on his season there
Lampard, meanwhile, paid tribute to the city of Derby whilst reminiscing on his one season at the club and lifted the lid on how much the football club means to the people there.
‘The attachment I built up with Derby in one year, the fans, the city, everybody so welcoming, it was a good year.
‘We didn’t quite get to where we wanted to get to but I had an amazing time there and the thing that struck me when I read the news about what is happening there at the moment was for the people that work at the club behind the scenes.
‘It is a club with so much history and the way that there is only the one club in the city, so everybody there supports Derby. Most of the people who work at the club support Derby, have done for years, care so much and put so much effort into the community.’