Derby County Football Club are in advanced talks with Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan of the Bin Zayed Group, as the EFL Championship club nears a takeover.
The takeover was a topic of discussion at the English Football League (EFL) board meeting yesterday, and it is being reported that they have given their approval.
Chairman and owner of Derby, Mel Morris, who bought the club outright five years ago, is set to vacate his position, however is expected to remain involved with the club in a consultancy role.
Morris has had a transparent position of looking for investment or a takeover for the past two years.
Sheikh Khaled is a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour. Although Sheikh Khaled’s personal wealth is unclear, the family fortune amounts to around £150 billion.
Having failed with attempts to takeover Liverpool and Newcastle, the 62-year-old who formed the Bin Zayed Group in 1988, has interests in construction and energy, real estate, technology and financial services.
With some formalities still to be negotiated, the deal looks imminent.
Philip Cocu, Derby County manager was asked if the takeover is having an effect on himself and the team, he said: "It is hard to say because I think it is a long time that Mr Morris has been looking for an investor or support in a way, so it is not like it is something completely new.
"I don't try to think too much because we have to focus on the team and the players who are available, and that part of the club I leave to Mel Morris and (CEO) Stephen Pearce.
"It is hard to say if it affects players, you should ask them maybe."
Author: Charlie Farmer