Football fans have raised over £12,000 for St John Ambulance in the last 72 hours, to pay off their club’s debt to the charity.
St John Ambulance is one of several dozen creditors owed money by Derby County, known as The Rams, after the club went into administration in September with debts totalling more than £80m.
A fan started fundraising on JustGiving after seeing that the club owed the local St John Ambulance £8,300. Andy Mitchell said he was “embarrassed” when he realised that Derby County had not paid the charity.
Setting up the fundraising page on the weekend, Mitchell wrote that when he looked at the details of Derby County’s debts “the £8,000 we owe to the St John Ambulance” had “really disappointed me”.
Mitchell added: “Wouldn’t it be satisfying to raise £8,000 and just show what we are capable of as a group of genuine Rams fans?”
The campaign had raised £12,045 by midday today, from around 900 individual donations.
SJA: Donations demonstrate fans’ ‘affection and gratitude’
Craig Harman, ambulance and community response director at St John Ambulance, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of fans from Derby County FC and beyond, in response to Andy Mitchell’s thoughtful appeal.
“The fact that the target was reached and exceeded so quickly is testament to the affection and gratitude fans feel towards our volunteers, who attend matches all over the country every week to keep people safe with their first aid skills.”
Derby County Community Trust
Documents published last week by the administrator Quantuma showed that Derby County owed over £135,000 to another charity, the Derby County Community Trust, which describes itself as the club’s “charitable arm”.
Neither charity is listed as a preferential creditor, meaning that they will not a be a priority when the club’s available assets are used to pay off outstanding debts.
However, Quantuma did confirm yesterday that the charity would receive a dividend in line with English Football League rules if the club was successfully restructured.