Prospective buyers of Championship strugglers Derby County are said to believe that the club are in 'serious danger of liquidation' ahead of crunch talks with the taxman.
The Rams have so far been docked 21 points and sit a mammoth 19 points from safety in the second tier despite losing only six of their 20 league fixtures so far this term.
Business advisory firm Quantuma, who are serving as the club's administrators, are set to meet with tax officials this week which will have a large impact on survival prospects at Pride Park.
While other parties have distanced themselves from a takeover, US businessman Chris Kirchner has declared an interest in buying the club despite them owning £29m to HMRC and their total debt amounting to £60m.
The Daily Mail report that prospective buyers believe that unless HMRC agrees to quarter the £29million they are owed, then the club is in 'serious danger' of being liquidated.
The report adds that some of those in the know fear that Derby are 'sleepwalking' towards oblivion, despite the optimism of the administrators.
It is also said that HMRC would need to reduce the debt to £7.5m for a takeover to make business sense in regards to the club value, but that it could set a dangerous precedent with other clubs going forward.
Has Wayne Rooney done a good job as Derby manager? Tell us in the comments section
With Wayne Rooney saying when asked about the prospect of managing the club in League One next season: “I think that would be naive and stupid of me to think that I’m better than that league.
“Right now, we’re in the Championship and we’ll give everything we can to stay in it. If we end up in League One – which of course is a possibility – I’m more than prepared to help us get out of that league.
“I’m committed to this club. It was a gamble to put me in charge and I want to repay that faith.
"Difficult moments are part of football and part of life but I’m not a person who at the first sign of trouble will walk away.
"I am committed to this club and I am ready to fight
"No-one is expecting us to stay in this division, it is not impossible because this league can change very quickly. So we will keep fighting."
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