Derby facing more takeover heartache with Chris Kirchner deal ‘at risk of collapse’

Fears are growing that Chris Kirchner’s proposed takeover of Derby County is set to collapse after an agonising wait.

The American businessman revived his interest in the Rams a few months back but since then a series of deadlines have been continually missed.

A report in the Mail says parties close to the deal are unhappy at the constant delays as well as Kirchner’s seeming inability to provide proof of funding. The BBC also claim that funds promised by the 34-year-old to pay Derby wages for the month of May have not arrived either.

The English Football League (EFL) conditionally approved the takeover when contracts for the sale of the club had been exchanged on May 17 and then said they expected the purchase to be completed by May 31 – but that deadline came and went without any progress.

Derby supporters, understandably, are growing concerned at a lack of news coming out of Kirchner’s camp and will fear that history is repeating itself. Previous proposed takeovers by both the Bin Zayed Group and Erik Alonso broke down after each party failed to provide proof of funding.

Kirchner has been vocal on his Twitter page throughout the process, although his last post relating to the club came last Thursday (June 2) when he wrote: “Nothing to be alarmed about. End of May was chosen because of scheduling for EFL (released in a few weeks) and everyone collectively didn’t think about the 3 combined bank holidays this week.

“Working through it and believe we have it resolved. Enjoy your weekend of celebrations… been working through the day to get this resolved. Not keeping everyone up arbitrarily or for fun. Promise.”

US businessman Chris Kirchner’s deal for Derby looks set to collapse

Will Derby fight for promotion out of League One next season? Let us know in the comments

But the silence is proving to be deafening for Rams’ fans who have been through the mill in the past year. Derby survived relegation by the skin of their teeth in 2020-21 before being placed in administration last September, suffering a 12-point handicap in the process.

They also took a further nine-point hit leaving them with a mountain to climb. Despite a brave fight from a wafer-thin squad, they ultimately fell short and were relegated to the third tier.

Manager Wayne Rooney, who has won plenty of praise for his leadership in testing circumstances, has repeatedly said his desire is to stay put but only if a takeover can be completed.

Mirror Football have contacted Kirchner’s representatives for comment.

Rams’ boss Wayne Rooney faces an uncertain future if yet another takeover collapses

The League One season starts on July 31 – just over seven weeks’ time – whilst pre-season is expected to begin in late June leaving little wiggle room for Rooney to put together a competitive squad. Last month a law firm heavily involved in the negotiations said the deal is among the “most complex” it has ever been privy to.

David Hull, corporate partner at Squire Patton Boggs, said: “This is the most complex, high-stakes football transaction that we have advised on, with the separation of the ownership of Pride Park from the club one of a number of issues to navigate in structuring the deal. The desire and co-operation of all stakeholders who are working hard to get this deal over the line will enable the club to move on and look ahead to next season and its long-term future.”

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