Derby County set for Abu Dhabi royal family takeover

Derby County could soon have new owners Source: Getty Images

Derby County have announced that a deal has been agreed "in principle" for the sale of the Championship club to a company owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family.

The Rams are currently owned by Mel Morris, who became their sole owner in September 2015, but the Derby businessman has recently been seeking to sell up to bring greater investment into the club.

Derby issued a statement on Friday which said that negotiations between Morris and Derventio Holdings, which is owned by Sheikh Khaled Zayed Bin Saquer Zayed Al Nayhan, had now reached a favourable outcome.

Sheikh Khaled is the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Derby claim his proposed takeover has been approved by the EFL.

A statement from the Rams said: "Derby County owner and executive chairman Mel Morris has been in discussion with Derventio Holdings since May in relation to taking over the ownership the club.

"These talks progressed to the point where a deal has, in principle, been agreed between the two parties. The club's submission under the owners' and directors' test for Derventio was approved by the EFL board on Thursday.

"Derventio Holdings may now proceed with the transaction, which is expected to close very soon."

Derby, who are managed by former Netherlands international Phillip Cocu and have ex-England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney in their squad, are currently 23rd in the Championship table.

The Rams have reached the Championship play-offs four times in the previous seven seasons but have missed out on promotion to the top flight on each occasion.

Derby were last in the Premier League in 2007-08 when they were relegated after just one season with a record low 11 points.

Source Omnisport