American businessman Chris Kirchner has accepted the offer to buy Derby County after detailed discussions with the club’s administrators over the past few days.
Karchner seems to have been out of the race to capture the derby when he withdrew his original offer just before Christmas and turned his attention to Preston North End instead.
But talks with Preston broke down last week and he has now been named the Derby’s preferred bidder.
A statement from Derby’s joint administrators read: “Following a rigorous and well-documented marketing process, the joint administrators of Derby County Football Club have accepted a proposal from Chris Kirchner to acquire Derby County Football Club out of administration.
“It simply came to our notice then. Only football clubs have been bid for with the terms of the club’s ongoing occupation of Pride Park Stadium negotiated with external stakeholders.
“Mr Kirchner initially expressed interest in acquiring the club in late 2021, and joint administrators have welcomed Mr Kirchner’s new interest.
“Key stakeholders have been consulted, and Mr Kirchner has been effectively named the preferred bidder for the club.
“The joint administrators have entered into an exclusive period with Mr. Kirchner and his advisers, during which there will be more effective, commercial and contractual negotiations.”
As the preferred bidder, Kirchner will have the exclusive right to access all of the club’s confidential accounts and will give him priority status to complete the club’s possession.
No change of ownership for at least two months, Sky Sports News That being said, there are still many obstacles to overcome.
The most notable obstacle is the ownership of Pride Park, which is still owned by Mel Morris, and Kirchner will have to agree to a separate agreement to buy or lease the stadium.
Kerchner’s accountants then needed the long-term perseverance and further negotiations with the creditors to pay off the club’s debts in order to study all the money in the derby.
However, it is a huge positive step after months of frustration for Derby fans, who have seen their club in administration for more than six months.
Carl Jackson, Joint Administrator, added: “We are pleased to name Mr. Kirchner as the preferred bidder, which the Joint Administrators consider to be the best deal for lenders and which will secure the club’s long-term future.”
“The naming of our preferred bidder presents a significant milestone in administration and we look forward to working with Mr Kirchner and his team to complete the club’s sale.”
Kirchner played in a number of derby matches against Luton, Blackburn and QPR, and visited Wayne Rooney, the manager and squad at the club’s Moore Farm training center.
Rooney spoke favorably of Kirchner at the time. “He’s got some really good ideas and as long as everything is fine for the club, I can see it being really positive,” the Derby boss said.
In withdrawing his offer for the Derby in December, Kirchner said he had presented a “very detailed, generous and ambitious long-term sustainable business plan.”