US entrepreneur given urgent deadline to complete Derby County takeover

Chris Kirchner

In another twist to the seemingly endless Derby County sale saga, the club’s administrators have confirmed that they are now talking to other interested parties after “certain logistical reasons” have meant that a sale to US businessman Chris Kirchner has failed to complete.

An update on Thursday evening (June 9) said that administrators from Quantuma are now speaking to other buyers after Kirchner’s exclusivity period was ended. In a another of a long series of deadlines issued by Quantuma – most of which has been missed or extended – Kirchner now has until 5pm today (June 10) to prove he can and will but The Rams.

A spokesperson on behalf of Quantuma said: “As previously reported, the joint administrators exchanged contracts with Mr Kirchner on 16 May 2022. At the time there were a number of outstanding issues, which have now been resolved. However, certain logistical issues mean that completion has still not taken place. Accordingly, the joint administrators have taken the decision to engage with other interested parties as a contingency measure.

“The sale and purchase agreement with Mr Kirchner currently remains in place and Mr Kirchner has been given until 5 pm on 10 June 2022 to provide satisfactory evidence to the administrators that he is in a position to complete, subject to EFL approval.

“We are aware that fans and stakeholders are concerned at the lack of official communications. It is, however, not appropriate for us to comment further on the current position as there is commercial confidentiality which needs to be protected. We can, however, confirm that there is a real willingness amongst all parties to complete a deal as soon as possible.”

Responding, the EFL said it was “disappointed” that the deal had not yet been finalised. In a statement, the league said: “The EFL is incredinly disappointed with this announcement by Derby County’s administrators that Chris Kirchner has failed to complete the purchase of the Club. It is imperative that this issue is resolved as a matter of urgency.

“The League will continue to engage with Quantuma as they now hold discussions with third parties and will support as appropriate the Club as it seeks to exit administration.”

One of those third parties is thought to be Mike Ashley, the former Newcastle United owner and boss of Shirebrook-based Frasers Group – the parent company of Sports Direct.

Kirchner, who had previously been engaging with fans regarding his bid via his Twitter account, has remained silent this week.

Last season, The Rams were relegated to League One after suffering a 21-point deduction from the EFL. Further points sanctions remain a threat when they start next season – unless a buyer can be found very soon.

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