US businessman to begin funding Derby County ‘next week’

Chris Kirchner

US businessman Chris Kirchner has said he “will be the next owner” of Derby County after exchanging contracts with administrators Quantuma.

Kirchner, in a series of tweets late on Monday night, said he will begin funding the club next week, but that the deal is conditional on the sale “and some small bits”.

If the deal does go through, it will end one of the most protracted sale processes in English football history. The Rams were placed into administration by former owner Mel Morris, who still owns the Pride Park Stadium.

The club was hit with a 21-point deduction and was relegated to League One at the end of the season, finishing 23rd in the Championship.

Kirchner excitedly Tweeted last night: “I’ve been beyond fortunate and I’ll never forget how lucky I am. I’ve had the opportunity to realize many of my dreams and even a lot of things beyond my dreams. Today is a day I’ll never forget. I’m humbled and excited to share that we’ve exchanged contracts with Quantuma and I will be the next owner of Derby County Football Club. These contracts are conditional on the sale of the stadium and some small bits. I don’t anticipate any issues completing the rest of this process in the coming days. I’ll begin funding the club next week.

“The membership agreement with the EFL is agreed to, we have filed with the FA to recognize the transfer and my team is now moving forward on the process to rebuild this iconic club. This has been a traumatic period for everyone and I can say that I hope this is the most difficult transaction I have to complete for a very long time.

“Thank you to so many of you for the kind words and support through this process. Tomorrow is the first day of a new journey together and I cannot be more excited to be a Ram.”

In a statement, Quantuma said: “During the course of the week since our last update, further significant progress has been made. As a result of this progress, the joint administrators can confirm that they have exchanged contracts for the sale of the business and assets of The Club with preferred bidder, Chris Kirchner. Completion is targeted for on or before 31 May 2022. This is a very significant step towards the completion of a sale of The Club.

“In addition, the joint administrators can confirm that in the interim period between exchange and completion, funding for The Club is being provided by Mr. Kirchner, in a demonstration of his ongoing commitment to securing the long-term future of The Club.

“The exchanging of contracts is conditional on the sale of the stadium, EFL approval and receiving secured creditor consent.

“The period of time between exchange and completion will allow the joint administrators and all relevant stakeholders the time required to work together to meet the conditions required to complete this very complex transaction.

“The joint administrators would like to express their thanks, to all relevant stakeholders for their co-operation and work, towards achieving a successful completion.”

Kirchner was named by Quantuma as preferred bidder at the beginning of April. is the 34-year-old founder of a global logistics chain.

Last week, Kirchner was given extra time as the preferred bidder to try and solve an impasse over the ownership of the Pride Park stadium. He had been in discussion with former Rams owner Mel Morris’s team for most of the previous week, but failed to come to an agreement.

Rams fans will be hoping this deal news brings to an end a saga that has seen the club seemingly on the brink of oblivion more than once this past season.

Squire Patton Boggs advised Kirchner. The firm’s team was led by corporate partner David Hull, supported by the head of the firm’s sports and entertainment industry group Stephen Sampson, restructuring and insolvency partner Devinder Singh and real estate senior associate Andrew Chapman, and restructuring and insolvency associate Emily Davis.

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