George Clooney admits to being Derby County fan as Championship club edge closer to new ownership

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George Clooney has admitted to being a Derby County fan as the Championship club edge closer to a change in ownership.

The Rams have endured a turbulent 2021-22 campaign and currently sit rock bottom of the Championship, having been docked a total of 21 points after entering into administration.

Bidders are currently being identified to complete a takeover at Pride Park, with club administrators Quantum set to analyse the proposals on the table before the end of the month, and A-list Hollywood actor Clooney could be among those in the running.

What has George Clooney said about Derby?

The 60-year-old, who has starred in popular films such as Ocean's Eleven and Gravity, says he has been following Derby ever since being given a crash course on the club by fellow actor Jack O'Connell while on the set of 'Money Monster' in 2016.

"I was introduced to the Rams by Jack O'Connell a few years ago when we were making a movie together. He was so passionate about his team and has followed Derby County all his life," Clooney said in an exclusive interview with Derbyshire Life.

"I asked him a few questions and there was no stopping him - he really loves the club and knows so much about it. I had to admire that and listening to the club's history was quite intriguing and fired my imagination. 

"I watched a few games on TV and gradually I began to understand soccer better and began to look out for Derby County's games and results. I have been watching ever since."

The American film icon has also been keeping a close eye on the Rams' off-field issues amid reports that he is interested in buying the club.

Clooney stopped short of confirming those rumours, but expressed his belief that Derby have a bright future ahead of them once their financial situation is resolved.

"Derby has a great football club with a fantastic history and I am sure there is a great future too," he added.

"I know that there have been problems in recent times but nothing that cannot be fixed and under the circumstances, the team has been working really hard and playing well.  

"It’s obvious to me looking on that as well as the players on the pitch, the fans have played their part too."

Clooney on English football

Clooney's interest in football has stemmed from his admiration for the huge following the sport generates in England.

He admits that the United States cannot match their cousins across the pond for "passion" with regards to following their chosen teams.

"I love the passion of sport," said Clooney. "In the States there is a great following for all sports, whether that be (American) football, baseball, ice hockey or anything else.  

"The crowds are big and make a lot of noise but the passion of British soccer fans takes loyalty to a club onto a higher level. I think, in part, that is what made me start to take notice of soccer. 

"I have worked with quite a few British football fans and their moods were often dependent on how well their favourite soccer team had performed in their latest game.  

"I found it quite curious and wanted to know what made that happen. Nobody wants to see their team lose but it seemed that British football fans were much more involved in the importance of the result."

Whether or not Clooney formalises his interest in Derby will become clear in the coming days, with the club having released a statement confirming that they are now reaching the end of their process to select a preferred bidder.

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"The joint administrators will assess the merits of all bids received over the weekend of 26/27 March and will identify their preferred bidder," the statement released on Friday reads. "This will be the bid which we feel best secures the long term future of the Club.

"Early next week the joint administrators will commence discussions with the EFL. Further to their approval to proceed, we will then be in a position to publicly name the preferred bidder."

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