24th – Mel Morris
So here it is, window 24. The double doors when you were a kid, the extra large chocolate now. Thanks to everyone has tweeted, re-tweeted, commented or just read the articles, it is all appreciated. Thanks also to Stew, Joel, Jon and Olly for their cracking contributions.
To conclude this campaign there is only one person it can be – Derby County owner, chief investor and all round local hero, Mr Mel Morris.
I am not sure really what I can say about Mel that hasn’t been said or written before, but let’s give it a whirl!
Whilst the tide had definitely turned at Derby following the appointments of Sam Rush and Steve McClaren, it’s the original investment by Mel and his subsequent purchase of the club that have been the game changer.
In fact, rumour has it, that one of the main catalysts to push the deal through was that our previous American owners weren’t prepared to sign off the Butterfield and Johnson deadline deals.
Mel is a seriously rich individual, as we know, but he is also a very shrewd and successful businessman. History is of course littered with successful business men who “lost the plot” when it came to football (Hello Tony Fernandes) but I don’t see any potential in that at all from Mel.
A good comparison would be with Peter Coates at Stoke, the bet365 billionaire. His family have supported Stoke consistently and sensibly within the realms of their progress and now they have a team chock full of players from Europe’s elite clubs. How great would it be to see a Rams team including a healthy dose of ex Barca, Bayern & Real players alongside local elite talent like Will Hughes and Max Lowe?
During years in the doledrums, Rams fans have looked enviously at numerous lesser clubs than us enjoying serious investment. Of course you need to be careful what you wish for in such scenarios but that’s where we have really hit the jackpot with Mel.
What we have here is not someone looking to make money, not someone looking for the prestige of owning a Premier league club and not a clueless buffoon staggering from one fiasco to the next (Hi Fawaz). What we have is a genuine Rams fan, with massive amounts of money and a clear vision of what our club could and should be.
Most of all we have someone who has seen all the era’s of frustration (along with a few fleeting periods of success it must be said) and fundamentally gets Derby County and what it means to the people of our city.
With the unprecedented investment that Mel has made in our first team and training facilities, we now have a genuine chance to push ourselves into the top 10 clubs in England in the next 5 years. Even 18 months ago that would have been unthinkable, now it is a genuine possibility.
And if that’s not a nice thought to finish this campaign with, I don’t know what is.
Happy Christmas to all & Come On You Super Rams!