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Maxwell House


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bone idle some folk........................ :ph34r:




The future looked a lot brighter for cash-strapped Derby County as Robert Maxwell was announced as the new chairman.
ON March 1, 1984, the skies over the Baseball Ground appeared to brighten considerably. It was announced that Robert Maxwell, a 60-year-old millionaire head of a publishing empire, was to take over Derby County.
It was claimed that, as soon as the High Court approved the Rams' rescue package on March 12, Maxwell would leave Oxford United, where he was currently chairman, and take up his position at Derby.
"No details are yet available," it was reported, "but it is clear that the club's debts will be wiped out."
Maxwell already had a connection with Derby County. The Rams' current logo had been designed by a company then known as Product Support (Graphics) that had been taken over by Maxwell in October 1981. Now called BPCC Print and Design, it was one of a number of Maxwell's firms based in Derby's Slack Lane.
Maxwell said in a statement: "I am happy to be part of this rescue operation, particularly of a club with such an illustrious tradition and achievements to its credit and about to celebrate its centenary. Furthermore, I feel that Derby County ought to remain in British hands."
Maxwell would take over as the chairman of a reconstructed Derby County with Stuart Webb its salaried managing director, and directors John Kirkland, Fred Fern and Bill Hart "making a substantial financial contribution to the rescue package".
A statement from the club read: "The Board of Derby County announce that Mr Robert Maxwell has accepted in principle their invitation to join them in organising a financial reconstruction and rescue of this club.
"Detailed terms of this rescue are being finalised urgently and will then be put to the court for approval at the earliest opportunity. This, it is expected, will result in Derby County's survival as a club.
"Earlier negotiations for the rescue of the club had to be abandoned following the Inland Revenue's stubborn refusal to withdraw its winding-up petition."
Weeks earlier, Maxwell had pulled out of his attempt to take over Manchester United for £10 million. Clearly, Derby County would cost only a fraction of that.
Webb paid tribute to Derby's fans: "Without our supporters, the rescue package wouldn't have been dead. It wouldn't even have been discussed.
"Derby County's debt to the supporters who have endured disappointments and still turned up is quite immense."
Webb had apparently first approached Maxwell before Christmas 1983 but, at that time, had met with little response.
"We threw our hats into the ring and talked to a lot of other people, including Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council," said Webb, "but the response was limited. Some showed mild interest, others looked at our financial position and said that they could not become involved."
Believing that Maxwell's financial clout was all that was needed to make the winding-up hearing a formality in their favour, the Rams briefed their lawyers to try to bring the High Court hearing forward. That bid failed. Indeed, things were not going to be as cut-and-dried as everyone imagined.
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