IAN Evatt hopes his old club Derby County can bounce back from administration, just as Wanderers have done in the last couple of years.

The Rams are poised to officially announce administration, which will carry with it an instant 12-point deduction from the EFL.

Further points penalties hang over the club’s head as a result of an ongoing dispute with the league.

Evatt spent his formative football years with Derby, signing his first professional contract in 1998, 12 months after they had moved from the old Baseball Ground to Pride Park.

He spent four seasons with the club and briefly played for them in the Premier League before moving on to Chesterfield, QPR and Blackpool.

Asked his thoughts on Derby’s situation, the Wanderers boss is hopeful that someone will find the money to buy the club out of administration – settling debts reportedly worth around £50million – and take them forward again.

The Bolton News:

“It is a very, very sad situation,” he said. “Derby County is a fantastic football club which gave me a brilliant education from the age of 11 until 21.

“I have got fond memories of a wonderful club with great fans and I just hope someone comes and takes it on and saves them because that’s a football club that is underachieving and shouldn’t be where it is.”

Wanderers were in a similar situation in May 2019. As attempts to sell the club solvent proved futile, bills escalated, and both the club and the Whites Hotel were put into administration by separate parties.

Months of hardship followed but a buyer was finally found in late August 2019, with the Football Ventures consortium finally getting a deal over the line.

Since then, there has been a relegation to League Two, a global pandemic and a huge turnover of staff and players before the club found success under Evatt and promotion last May.

Evatt hopes his former club can find the same sort of new owners as Bolton.

“I hope people at Derby can look at what Sharon Brittan’s done here and hope and pray for the same,” he said. “It’s going to be a rough couple of years for them but hopefully they’ll turn it around.”

Derby boss Wayne Rooney learned that club owner Mel Morris was putting the club into administration on Friday as he settled down in front of the TV.

"It was a tough moment, a tough evening," he told the Derby Telegraph.

"I sat down with my kids to watch the Newcastle [v Leeds] game. I was looking forward to it — I felt it would be a good game.

"To see it [the news] just before the game, I knew it was going to be a long night.

"I spoke to my staff and my coaches, and we started planning for the morning, with the players, with the staff. I'll keep trying to get as much information as I can, be as honest as I can with everyone."

Wycombe Wanderers are said to be considering legal action against their relegation from the Championship last season, following Morris’s admission that the club could have been deducted points had they submitted accounts for 2017/18 in the normalised manner.

Derby used controversial ‘amortisation’ methods in their book-keeping, which was eventually ruled invalid by the EFL.

Morris conceded that a four-point deduction could have been applied last season – which would have spared Wycombe relegation, which the club’s chairman Rob Couhig claims has cost the club between £5-10m.

Morris has apologised to the Derby fans for what has transpired, claiming he has ploughed in close to £200m in pursuit of promotion to the Premier League.

The Midlands club reached the play-offs three times since 2016 but Couhig claims the timing of the decision to go into administration has cost his own club dearly.

"He feels terrible because his pride got ahead of himself, thought he was doing something good for his team and then he couldn't stop himself," he said. "But representing Wycombe, I am furious.

"He knew last summer, when all this was going on, where this was going to end up, that he would end up with a points deduction and they made a deliberate policy to fight it until the end so they could get to this season, keep themselves in the Championship and keep the Championship money and put us back into League One."