Middlesbough chairman Steve Gibson says his club are not looking to force Derby County out of existence

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has claimed that he does not want to see Derby County “cease to exist” after writing an open letter to the club’s administrators in a bid to “clarify” the position around the Rams’ sale.

In the spotlight: Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says it is not his club's intention to force Derby County out of business.   (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
In the spotlight: Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says it is not his club's intention to force Derby County out of business. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Derby have yet to be sold to a new owner, with the clock ticking regarding the club’s future.

Both Boro and Wycombe are chasing compensation from the Rams over FFP breaches that is reportedly worth £45m. It has been reported that the dispute is stopping Derby from being sold, with the EFL releasing a statement stating they have written to all parties to find a solution via independent legal mediation.

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But Gibson has now disputed that a sale of Derby is being prevented due to Boro and Wycombe’s compensation claims.

In an open letter to Derby’s joint administrators, Gibson said: “We repeat that we have no wish to see Derby County cease to exist. We only want to be dealt with fairly and can only conclude that you are currently choosing to use ourselves, the EFL and Wycombe Wanderers as scapegoats for your failure to conclude what should have been a relatively simple task of bringing Derby County out of administration.

“We hope that you will have the courtesy to respond to this open letter unlike our previous correspondence which remains unanswered.”

Boro return to action on Monday night with a key game at promotion-chasing Blackburn Rovers, managed by ex-manager and captain Tony Mowbray.

Rovers, beaten 2-0 at Hull in midweek, will be without talismanic forward Ben Brereton-Diaz, who is on international duty with Chile in World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Bolivia.

His absence may well aid Boro, but Boro defender Dael Fry is disappointed not to pit his wits against the 22-goal forward.

He said: “It should be a good game. Blackburn have been really good, although they lost in the week, so they will be on a bit of a downer about that.

“We have been doing well, and they have just lost their striker to international duty and actually I was a bit gutted about that.

“I wanted to play against him and test myself against the best in the division, but I am sure they will still have threats. It is a tough place to go, and the manager is obviously good, as well as being an ex-Boro legend.”