Sam Rush: Rams won't be a soft touch
NEW chief executive Sam Rush has warned clubs that Derby County will not be a soft touch in the transfer market.
Transfer talk has already surrounded talented young midfielder Will Hughes and defender John Brayford.
Hughes is attracting interest from a number of big clubs in the Premier League.
He has been linked with Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, while Fulham boss Martin Jol said recently that as many as 10 top-flight clubs are watching the 17-year-old.
The January transfer window is open and speculation is rife but Rush is in a defiant mood as he takes up his role at Derby.
"I can assure everyone that there is no way any players will be leaving this club in any way unless we decide so," he said.
"I am not joining a club that needs to sell its best assets.
"I think there is perhaps a view about Derby, that Derby could be a soft touch, that Derby is a club that has sold its assets in the past cheaply.
"If ever Derby County has been perceived to have been a soft touch before in the transfer market, those days have finished.
"Derby County is not going to be a soft touch."
Rush is the successor to Tom Glick, who left Derby in the summer to become chief commercial and operating officer at Manchester City.
Rush, who played rugby for Saracens, was previously president of the Wasserman Media Group's football division, based in London.
His role involved overseeing the management of "more than 400 of the sport's biggest stars from the US, UK and across Europe".
He is a trained lawyer, who has worked in the sports business industry for more than 15 years.
He officially started his new job earlier this week but he has been attending Derby's matches this season on a regular basis and is excited by the challenge ahead.
"It is an honour to be offered the chance to join Derby," he said.
"A huge number of things about the club appealed to me. I have had long discussions with the ownership and, for me, I am joining a club that is going forward."
On the subject of transfer speculation and reports in recent weeks saying that the club needs to raise £1.8m, Rush said: "That is absolute nonsense.
"I think it has been some years since Derby have had assets that have been courted by teams in the Premier League and other big clubs.
"It strikes me as perhaps an opportunity to look to unsettle Derby but that certainly won't be happening on my watch."
Manager Nigel Clough said there have been no bids for any of his players.
Asked after the victory over Middlesbrough if there had been a lot of scouts from other clubs at the game, Clough smiled: "Not sure. I didn't see the list but there has been at our games so far this season.
"We'll turn our phones off for a few days!"
Rush has confirmed that former chief executive of the Rams and Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Keith Loring, will spend time working with Derby in a consultancy role.