DERBY, England -- A Detroit consortium became the new owners of Derby County on Monday, the fourth Premier League soccer team to fall into American hands.
General Sports and Entertainment takes control of a club that is last in the 20-team division and facing almost certain relegation to the League Championship next season.
Derby is the latest top division English club to be owned by Americans, joining Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa. Also, New York Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner told The Associated Press he is interested in buying into English soccer.
Five other Premier League clubs have foreign owners: Chelsea (Russia), Portsmouth (Russia), Manchester City (Thailand), Fulham (Egypt) and West Ham (Iceland).
GSE chairman Andy Appleby, a former Detroit Pistons executive, said he wants to "make a significant impact at Derby County with our collective sports industry knowledge of best practices in management, sales and marketing."
"We have visited Derby County over the last six months and experienced a match day at Pride Park Stadium, where we were impressed with the incredible potential of the club and the loyalty of the fan base," he added.
Adam Pearson will remain Derby's chairman. Tom Glick, a former marketing officer with the New Jersey Nets, another GSE affiliate, will be president and chief executive. The executive vice president will be Tim Hinchey, a former vice president of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Derby was promoted to the Premier League this season but has only one victory and seven points from 23 games. Derby was knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday, losing at home to League Championship team Preston 4-1 in the fourth round.
Steinbrenner has said he would be interested in purchasing Tottenham -- or even League One side Nottingham Forest -- for the right price. Steinbrenner regrets not buying a 33 percent interest in Spurs in the 1990s, when his storied baseball team was approached to invest $32 million.
He discussed the renewed interest in English soccer while ruling out adding further American sports franchises to the Steinbrenner family holdings.
"The only thing would be a soccer team, a major soccer team in Europe, probably at this point preferably in the Premier League," he told the AP. "That's always a possibility for me. We'll just have to see what happens."