Derby have budget to be competitive - owner Clowes

Derby County owner David Clowes says the newly-promoted club have "a good Championship budget" to keep them competitive on their second-tier return.

The Rams finished runners-up in League One last season to end a two-season stay in the third tier, having been relegated from Championship while in administration in the 2021-22 season.

Clowes' takeover ensured the future of the club and the property developer says promotion "closes the book on administration".

"That is now history," he continued. "It's done and now we can really push on."

Clowes, a lifelong Rams fan, feels the Championship "has certainly improved" since the East Midlands club last played in it.

"I think with the budget we have got, it's a good Championship budget and I think we will be competitive," said Clowes, whose full interview with BBC Radio Derby will be broadcast on Monday night.

In his two years as owner, however, Derby have largely relied on free transfers and loans to rebuild the Rams.

For much of Clowes' first year of ownership, though, there were restrictions on Derby's transfer dealings after coming out of administration.

When asked what the club would be aiming to achieve this season, Clowes was both pragmatic and optimistic.

"I can't tell you where we will finish in the league, but you want to finish in first place," he said. "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 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."