President & Chief Executive Sam Rush and Chief Operating Officer John Vicars opened the floor up to Derby County supporters yesterday.
Just days after being left stunned at Wembley following Queens Park Rangers' snatch and grab promotion, Derby County fans were given the chance to meet and greet Sam Rush and John Vicars regarding any questions they have for the upcoming season. In fairness, it is a format that has been previously done before and not a desperate attempt to keep supporters onside and sell season tickets.
During the course of the forum, it was evident that the Derby County decision makers had big plans for next season and in the end, divulged eight key talking points.
They're as follows:
Out of the three key loan signings at Derby this season, the West Bromwich Albion man undoubtedly made the biggest impact. The Rams won nine out of the 12 league games the 21-year-old started in and fast became a favourite of many Derby County fans. The news that talks are underway with West Brom will be encouraging for Derby fans; however, Sam Rush did ask for patience regarding this deal.
Rush: academy has been recategorised. We hear in June whether we achieve category 1 status.— Martin Broadhurst (@MPBroadhurst) May 28, 2014
The news of the recategorisation of the academy, whilst fantastic news for the future of the club, will probably not come as a surprise to many Derby fans who were perplexed they didn't attempt to achieve it in the past. Nevertheless, supporters will now be hopeful of seeing more players in the same mould as Jeff Hendrick, Will Hughes and Mason Bennett.
John Vicars, the Derby County CEO, confirmed the club have finished their partnership with their kit-maker Kappa. A relief to a lot of bigger Derby County fans who were dreading the skin-tight football shirt with new shirt sponsor JustEat printed on the front. Unconfirmed rumours suggest Umbro are the manufacturer to takeover but, as of yet, nothing is official.
Expected revenues this season of around £20m with the play off contribution. #dcfcfans— Martin Broadhurst (@MPBroadhurst) May 28, 2014
Another piece of great news for the club is the expected revenue of next season is roughly going to equate to £20m. Which for a team like Derby who are trying to abide by the FFP regulations is a huge boost to their allowed operational costs.
We expect one player from abroad to come in over the summer. Steve wants players who understand what the Championship is all about though.— Martin Broadhurst (@MPBroadhurst) May 28, 2014
Another piece of transfer news is that Derby County are expecting just one player to come in from overseas, whereas the rest are said to be reputable British-based players with Championship experience or higher. A signal of intent, especially for a club not guaranteed to windfall payments.
.@johnrvicars: season tickets just passed 19k mark. Would expect it to pass 20k before season kicks off.— Martin Broadhurst (@MPBroadhurst) May 28, 2014
John Vicars also announced that he expects the number of season ticket holders next season to go beyond the 20,000 mark, which for a Championship club would be almost unprecedented. Only Brighton and Hove Albion, who lost to Derby in the play-off semi-final, can boast similar numbers in the division.
Shaun Barker, the Derby County captain, has been said to expect to play in at least one pre-season game this summer which, given his injury, would be a staggering achievement. It would definitely be a game not to miss for Derby fans waiting to see their captain after more than two-years out.
Rush: Steve sees loans being ideal for young PL players. Permanent signings will be a blend.— Martin Broadhurst (@MPBroadhurst) May 28, 2014
And finally, the last key point was based on more young Premier League players expected to come in for next season. As Sam Rush eluded to in the Q&A, after the success of Bamford, Wisdom and Thorne, Premier League clubs will be looking at Steve McClaren's Derby County as a destination for their starlets to get first-team football. It's a reputation which could aid Derby County hugely in their promotion bid next season.