GEORGE Clooney has told fellow struggling Derby County fans he would love to help manager Wayne Rooney – by buying the club and sparing them another point deduction.
In the most dramatic football takeover since Roman Abramovich was ousted from Chelsea, the Hollywood legend has said he wants to lead a consortium to buy the Championship Club.
Ocean’s 11 star George, 60, began following the Rams after being introduced to them by Derby-born actor Jack O’Connell.
And after his failed attempt to buy Spanish club Málaga in 2020, George hinted he is eyeing a takeover at Pride Park.
He said: “Derby are a great football club with a fantastic history and I am sure there is a great future too.
“I know there have been issues lately but nothing can be fixed and given the circumstances the team worked really hard and played well.
“While watching, I noticed that not only the players on the pitch but also the fans on the pitch played their part.
“My interest in football has certainly grown in recent years and a couple of years ago I was asked if I would like to join a group of others looking to buy Malaga Football Club in Spain.
“It was quite an exciting prospect, but it ultimately fell through. Perhaps owning a football club is the next best thing to playing for one. Maybe one day …”
The cash-strapped county has been in administration for six months and is desperate for a buyer.
A consortium pulled out earlier this month with no end in sight to the saga and the club facing relegation to League One.
Boss Rooney said the ailing Championship club was left in a “terrible” position.
But Clooney’s comments in local glossy magazine Derbyshire Life may have given Derby die-hards a lifeline.
Derbyshire MP Nigel Mills said: “Wow we are absolutely desperate for a new owner so that would be great.
“It would be fantastic for the local economy and would bring in millions. It would raise the profile enormously. I hope he can get in touch with the admins. It would be tremendous.”
Come and save us, George
By Isaac Crowson
GEORGE Clooney, please come and save us.
Derby has always been a city and a club that has excelled. Many even argue that it shouldn’t be a city.
Get on board and find the best football fans, the best beer and people who are the salt of the earth.
Buy the racquet and we can return to the glory days of Brian Clough in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Please help bring this great club back to their prime and get us back into the Premier League.
Come on board and you will have the ride of a lifetime.
Derby North MP Amanda Solloway also welcomed Clooney’s interest.
She said: “This situation has been going on for way too long and it would be great if George Clooney who loves football and is passionate about it would buy it.
“IT WOULD BE AMAZING”
“I am very committed to overcoming the current problems. Derby fans have a strong passion for Derby and George is right when he says Derbyshire is a beautiful county.
“Like all fans, I await when a preferred bidder can be announced and our beloved club saved.”
Clooney said he became a fan after working on the 2016 film Money Monster with British actor Jack O’Connell, 31.
He said: “I’ve worked with a few British football fans and their mood often depended on how well their favorite football team did in their last game.
“I found it quite odd and wanted to know what led to it. Nobody wants their team to lose but it seemed that British football fans were much more involved in the meaning of the result.
“I met the Rams from Jack O’Connell a few years ago when we were doing a movie together. He was so passionate about his team and has followed Derby County his whole life.
“I asked him a few questions and he couldn’t stop him – he really loves the club and knows so much about them. I had to admire that and hearing the history of the club was quite fascinating and captured my imagination.
“I watched a few games on TV and gradually I started to understand football better and started keeping an eye out for Derby County games and results. I’ve been watching ever since.”
“Derbyshire is a very beautiful place. I was and admired the whole area, nice people too.
“I think most of them also like the football team and if Derby comes back to the Premier League one day it will make a lot of people very happy – myself included.
“It’s going to be nice to see people like they’re proud to go to Pride Park now.”
Clooney, who lives in Sonning, Berks with wife Amal, also spoke of his hopes that Derby can return to the Premier League, from which they were relegated in 2008 – without a single win.
The star, who broke into From Dusk Till Dawn, said the passion of UK football fans trumps that of US football lovers.
He said: “I love the passion of the sport. There’s a huge following in the States for all sports, be it that [American] Football, baseball, ice hockey or anything else.
“The crowds are big and make a lot of noise, but the passion of British football fans takes club loyalty to a higher level. I think part of that got me interested in football.”
“I LOVE PASSION”
Clooney’s interest in the club has given renewed hope to Derby fans who are struggling to remain optimistic about the side’s future.
Supporter Nicola Allen, 39, said the idea of Clooney owning the club was “absolutely amazing”.
The head of marketing and mother-of-two said: “Clooney and Rooney would be the perfect combination.
“George Clooney would be the dream owner. I’m buzzing with excitement at the thought of this happening. It’s absolutely amazing.
“The situation with the club is bad at the moment. It’s a huge worry. Everyone in the city is very afraid of the future. Anything he could do to help would be great. It would be a lifeline.
Thomas Ludman, 28, said Clooney would be “sensational” to own.
The engineer, who lives in the city, said: “This is exactly what we need. It would be great. We’re in an absolute mess right now and it doesn’t feel like there’s a way out.
“I really hope he pulls through. We need a miracle and that would be him. It would be incredible. He would bring so much to the club, not just the money. A true Hollywood legend.”
Matthew Porter, 32, said Clooney’s comments left him “stunned”.
The officer manager said, “I’m speechless. Little did I know he had such a passion for football and knew the county so well. It’s incredible. But it’s also absolutely terrific. I am shocked.
“It’s great that he recognizes our proud history. We are in real danger and need a lifeline.”
Clooney isn’t the first Hollywood star to fall in love with the English game. In November 2020, actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought National League side Wrexham AFC.
Castaway actor Tom Hanks is a staunch Aston Villa fan, while Cameron Diaz is set to follow West London club Brentford.
By James Summer
CLOONEY would be the latest Superstar fan to get involved with his favorite team.
Hollywood couple Ryan Reynolds, 45, and Rob McElhenney, 44, bought the National League Wrexham in 2020.
Their takeover was agreed by the Supporters Trust on condition that they invest £2million. Reynolds said of the deal, “We love telling the story of a working-class club and town because it’s a story that people can relate to.”
Music legend Sir Elton John, 75, bought Watford FC and became chairman and president in 1976.
He sold the club in 1990 but bought it back in 1997. In 2014, the club unveiled Sir Elton John’s booth.
TV chef Delia Smith, 80, shopped in Norwich City and is a joint controlling shareholder with husband Michael.
Last year singer Ed Sheehan became Ipswich Town’s main shirt sponsor and was included in the squad list.
Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, 73, became vice president of his youth club Wolves in 2009. And Tom Hanks, Woody actor from Toy Story, is a devoted Aston Villa fan.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4980118/george-clooney-wayne-rooney-derby-county-takeover/ Hollywood star George Clooney has claimed he would like to buy Wayne Rooney’s Derby County squad