Derby County chairman Adam Pearson admits he feared the American takeover would fall through because of their poor results this season.
But as talks progressed, the Rams continued to struggle at the foot of the Premier League and Pearson dreaded making phone calls to Appleby after the team had lost again.
"We were unsure, at the time, whether it would have an effect on what they wanted to do," said Pearson, whose title in the new set-up at Pride Park Stadium is chairman of football operations.
"To be fair to Andy, he was really good about it," Pearson told the Derby Telegraph.
"He has obviously seen through the results and seen long term that this could be a great club and, therefore, a great investment.
"Andy left me alone on the Saturday night and he'd just send an e-mail on Sunday. He has a phrase that's so diplomatic, the phrase is 'seemed like a really tough game yesterday, Adam'.
"He describes it as a tough game meaning it was a tough experience getting beaten again.
"I appreciated that because for me to have to phone him every Sunday morning and explain why we've been beaten again would have been soul destroying.
"He obviously made his mind up in middle to late December that he was going to do the deal regardless of results."
Pearson added: "If I were an American investor, I'd look for a top Championship club or a yo-yo club, or a top-25 club, whatever you want to call it, because that's where the value is.
"If Liverpool's £350m and West Ham's £108m, this club is as big as West Ham now on turnover and gates, so I think the new owners have got a fantastic deal."