Business

American entrepreneur lines up bid for Derby County

A 34-year-old American entrepreneur has thrown his hat into the ring to buy Derby County.

Chris Kirchner, who made his money in business software, said he had formally approached the club’s administrators about taking ownership.

The Rams called in administrators just over a month ago after struggling to bring in investors.

They were hit with a 12 point penalty which they are appealing, and are currently at the foot of the Championship on five points.

Mr Kirchner – the co-founder, chief executive and chairman of global logistics software provider Slync.io – attended the Ram’s game against Luton Town last week and has visited the training ground.

His business is based in San Francisco.

In a letter to Derby supporters Mr Kirchner said: “We don’t know each other yet, but we have two things in common: our love for the game of football and our desire to rebuild Derby County back into the proud club everyone deserves.

“My name is Chris Kirchner and I hope to see many of you soon – as this is my official announcement of my intention to work with the administrators to take Derby County Football Club out of administration.

“Derby County is a club with a rich history and one of the best groups of supporters in all of England.

“While the club is currently going through a really tough time, it is the supporters, and everyone associated with the club that have stayed loyal which provide the foundation to rebuild again.

“I want to be a part of that rebuild and support that effort. As an entrepreneur I am committed to building companies and I want to apply that experience towards rebuilding this proud and storied club.

“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly but is something I am looking forward to – and I know we can prove successful at – if we work together.

“Football (or soccer as I knew it growing up but have learned to correct that over time) has been a part of my life since I could walk.

“My father introduced the game to me (futbol as he called it growing up in South America) at a very early age and I spent most of my life playing the sport.

“My love for football hasn’t changed over the years, and I have been involved as a fan throughout my adult life.

“Being in the fortunate position to purchase such a prestigious club as Derby County is a childhood dream come true.

“In business I believe in transparency, trust, humility and respecting authority. Those are qualities I have grown up with.

“At this point in time, the administration process is complex, but I have informed the administrators that I’m willing to work through these complexities.

“I understand and acknowledge that there are a number of interested parties in the club, but I wanted to go on the record at the start of the process and be up front.

“I’ve also taken it upon myself to advise my team to simultaneously work on the EFL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test process. If I’m successful in these processes then I believe it will enable us all to move forward together and put the past behind us.

“Clearly, I am at the beginning of procedures that must take place with the administrators and the EFL. I am respectful of these mechanisms.

“Nonetheless, my team and I have already been in conversation with all parties to discuss where to start.

“I had the privilege of attending a match last week at Pride Park and was really impressed with the facilities of the club as well as all of the people I was lucky enough to meet.

“I was particularly impressed with the attitude of manager Wayne Rooney, his coaching staff and the players. Recent performances and results demonstrate their clear, unwavering commitment to the club.

“The best stories in life often start after a setback and the best years of Derby County FC are without a doubt in front of us.

“Hopefully, we will have the chance to be better than ever before and together write our own chapters in the illustrious history of DCFC! Up the Rams!”

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