Derby County owner David Clowes expressed confidence in the newly-promoted club’s financial standing, stating they have “a good Championship budget” to stay competitive in their return to the second tier.

The Rams ended a two-season stint in League One by finishing as runners-up last season, after being relegated from the Championship during the 2021-22 season while in administration.

Clowes’ acquisition of the club secured its future, and the property developer noted that their promotion “closes the book on administration.” He added, “That is now history. It’s done and now we can really push on.” A lifelong Rams fan, Clowes believes the Championship has improved since Derby last competed in it.

“I think with the budget we have got, it’s a good Championship budget and I think we will be competitive,” Clowes said, with his full interview set to air on BBC Radio Derby on Monday night.

During his two-year tenure as owner, Derby has mainly relied on free transfers and loans to rebuild the team. In the first year, the club faced restrictions on transfer dealings following their exit from administration.

When asked about the club’s goals for the upcoming season, Clowes was both realistic and hopeful. “I can’t tell you where we will finish in the league, but you want to finish in first place,” he remarked. “That is what you always try to aim for.

“I remember an interview with [English title-winning former Rams boss] Brian Clough at the beginning of the 1969-70 season when we just won the Second Division, and Brian was asked the same question and he said ‘well, we are going to try to finish in first place, obviously’. There is no other answer.

“But where are we going to finish? We want to maintain our position in the Championship and go from there.”

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