Our Derby County columnist says Rams' financial results give cause for optimism

Mel Morris is keeping finances in check at Pride Park.
Mel Morris is keeping finances in check at Pride Park.

This week saw Derby County announce that they had made a profit of £14.6m during the 2017/18 season.

This was achieved by the sale of Pride Park to another of Mel Morris’s companies. So Derby County don’t own their own stadium, but the owner owns it, if you can get your head round that! It looks like Morris has found a way of getting round Profit and Sustainability rules set by the EFL.

The announcement has received a mixed response, especially from fans of other clubs. What is certain is the fact that the club must still attempt to get its wage bill down. The sale though has given The Rams some much needed breathing space as it considers offer for extra investment or indeed a change of ownership. Currently £1.25m is spent monthly paying players that have little or no contribution towards the first team although the majority of these will be off the books in the summer.

One of the players who will be out of contract in the summer is Kelle Roos. The goalkeeper is in discussions about a new contract, but other clubs have shown an interest in signing the Dutchman for next season.

Another announcement has been that over 18,000 season tickets have been sold for next season. The early bird renewal period ended on Sunday and the figure is up on the same period of time for last season.

On Saturday we travel to Griffin Park to face Brentford, a club that has discovered some really talented players over the past few years and sold them on to make a good profit. They currently have several players that will no doubt be on the shopping lists of bigger clubs. Maupay, Benrahma and Watkins are amongst their star men.

The Bees are very strong in attack but can be vulnerable too. They do struggle when teams hit them on the counter attack as was evident at Pride Park earlier this season. After taking the lead very early in the game, they went down 3-1.

It was a very good performance from the Rams that day and similar will be needed to bring home any points on Saturday. Last weekend's 6-1 thrashing of Rotherham was a good return to form, but obviously any good work can be quickly undone if we don’t build on it.