American businessman Chris Kirchner is looking to get a deal for the freshly-relegated Rams done but the issue surrounding Pride Park continues to be a sizeable roadblock
Chris Kirchner, the would-be owner of troubled Derby County, has been granted yet another extension as he attempts to get his takeover of the club confirmed.
The American businessman has been in deep discussions to purchase the Rams for weeks with the one remaining stumbling block the issue of Derby’s stadium situation. Pride Park, where the club have played since its opening in 1997, is owned by former Derby owner Mel Morris.
Any potential buyers have to do a separate deal with Morris in order to be able to use the stadium next season. Other options such as ground-sharing are said to have been explored but a solution is yet to be reached between the parties.
Kirchner was originally granted a period of exclusivity by administrators Quantuma, who have been in place at County since last September. This originally expired in May before it was extended by a further week. Now, a Derby MP has confirmed that the American’s deadline has been altered yet again with an extra 48 hours granted.
Amanda Solloway, MP for Derby North, tweeted on Friday: “With the deadline for @cskirchner’s takeover of @dcfcofficial being extended until Monday, I wanted to reassure you that I am still having regular contact with the Administartors, Chris and Team Derby to keep updated on the situation and assist the completion of a takeover.”
Quantuma had previously given an update last week saying there are “just a small number of outstanding matters to be agreed with the EFL and in relation to the club’s stadium at Pride Park”, adding “we consider that matters can be resolved in a short period of time”.
For Derby boss Wayne Rooney, it promises to be another tense waiting game. The former England and Manchester United captain has won plaudits for his handling of an extremely testing situation on and off the field. Derby were relegated from the Championship with a 21-point handicap, handed down for entering administration and breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules, proving fatal to their survival hopes.
They also had to operate under a transfer embargo all season whilst key players departed. Rooney is contracted until 2023 and, despite being linked with some high-profile jobs recently, he has regularly voiced his desire to remain at the club. Just hours after Derby’s relegation from the Championship was confirmed, he delivered a stirring speech to supporters.
Whilst he has repeatedly stated he is keen to stay and help the club earn an immediate promotion back from League One next season, he says that will only happen if a takeover goes through. The 36-year-old said: “The takeover has to happen. If it doesn’t I fear for the club. It has to (go through). If it happens, I want to rebuild the club. This is a special club, I’ve said all along. I want to try and bring the happy days back.”