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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Derby tight-lipped over backers
New Derby chairman John Sleightholme said the club is now owned by a group of mystery backers.

Sleightholme fronted the 15m takeover of the club and said the group helped the Rams come out of receivership.

But he added that former Coventry chairman Bryan Richardson was not among the members, nor were they previous members of Derby County Limited.

"They are a mixture of persons at home and abroad, all of whom are interested in supporting this club," he said.

Derby County Limited was forced into receivership by the Co-operative Bank on Monday.

Sleightholme added: "We were able to arrange the finance through a group of individuals who wish to remain anonymous but who wish to support the current board and Derby County."

Sleightholme said of the 15m package, which has been secured against Pride Park Stadium, 4.75m had gone to repay financial institution Lombard who had loaned money for the building of the club's 5m state-of-the-art training complex at Moor Farm.

Another 26million had been owed to the Co-operative Bank, of which 10m has now been repaid.

Sleightholme confirmed that left no money in the kitty for manager George Burley to invest in players.

"What we're intending to do over the next month is to appraise every single aspect of this club, every sphere and area of operation, and it's only when we've conducted our full and careful appraisal we can put forward a strategy," added Sleightholme.

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