Sunday, June 26, 2022

Derby County deal falls through

The deal to take Derby County Football Club out of administration and under the ownership of American businessman Chris Kirchner has fallen through.

The joint administrators of Derby County, Quantuma, named Kirchner as the preferred bidder for the club in April, after he had initially expressed an interest in acquiring the club in late 2021.

Now, however, Kirchner has withdrawn his offer.

A spokesperson on behalf of the joint administrators of Derby County said: “The joint administrators can confirm that today, Mr Kirchner has withdrawn his offer to acquire the business and assets of The Club.

“We are aware that some will be concerned by this news, however, the joint administrators wish to reassure The Club’s staff, players and supporters that they are continuing to actively engage with a growing number of interested parties, each of whom have a real willingness to complete a deal as soon as possible.

“The joint administrators would remind all stakeholders of the process in place for those parties who wish to acquire The Club. The joint administrators are running a competitive bidding process.

“Bids should be best and final and not contain any referential element. Clearly, any bid is subject to interested parties entering into an NDA, accessing the data room, and undertaking their own due diligence. Of the parties we are engaging with, some are more progressed in this process than others.”

East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles said: “The saga surrounding Derby County has already gone on for far too long and this latest chapter only serves to compound the misery felt by many people across Derby and the surrounding area.

“The football club is an integral component of the city’s heritage, make-up and economy, with the prosperity of both intrinsically linked.

“A successful team competing at the top of the sport creates a healthy atmosphere across the whole area and this will always have positive economic consequences.

“Companies located in and around the city benefit from the tens of thousands of people who turn up every match to support their club – pubs, cafés, restaurants and shops will be packed before each game, while local transport networks rely on the increased number of passengers to remain viable.

“But it’s also much more than that. Derby County is a part of the city and county’s fabric.

“So fans, communities and businesses alike have understandably been hoping for a positive update from the joint administrators. This latest takeover setback creates more uncertainty for an area that is desperate for some good news on securing the future of a sporting institution they rely on.

“It’s vital the football authorities and administrators work together to finally put an end to this sour episode and find a positive resolution that secures the long-term future of Derby County Football Club.”

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