Derby directors have confirmed that American businessman Chris Kirchner has pulled out of his deal to buy the club.
Concerns over the club’s future have mounted since Kirchner, who swapped contracts committing to buy the club on May 16, failed to transfer the necessary money by Friday’s deadline.
The EFL had written to administrators, Quantuma, expressing genuine concern that Derby could not field a team next season, “risking the integrity of the competition”.
Sky Sports News understands Kirchner’s withdrawal came as a shock to the EFL and Quantuma – who had both been reassured as recently as Sunday that Kirchner was determined to complete the sale.
He had again shown proof of funds to both parties.
An update from Derby County Joint Administrators was released on Monday evening confirming the businessman’s withdrawal.
A spokesperson said: “We are aware that some will be concerned by this news, however, the co-trustees would like to reassure club staff, players and supporters that they continue to be actively engaged with a growing number of interested parties, each of whom have a real desire to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
“The co-administrators remind all stakeholders of the process in place for parties wishing to acquire The Club. The co-administrators are initiating a bidding process. Obviously, any offer is subject to interested parties entering into an NDA, accessing the data room and undertaking their own due diligence. others.
An EFL spokesperson also said they remained committed to “working proactively alongside the club’s administrators…as they continue to engage with a number of interested parties so that the objective of concluding a sale is reached as soon as possible”.
Ashley among groups ready to prevent Derby liquidation
Mike Ashley is one of a number of businessmen who could intervene to prevent Derby County from being liquidated.
League organizers have taken what is believed to be an unprecedented step, advising the joint administrators that they must be directly involved in negotiations with potential bidders for Derby.
It is understood Quantuma has seen evidence of funds from at least five groups still keen to buy the club, including former Newcastle owner Ashley and former Derby chairman Andy Appleby.
Sky Sports News has been advised that although the priority is to complete the takeover of the club well before next season’s fixtures are published, there is a possibility that ‘backup’ funding will be made available to Derby to build a squad and complete his matches if this process was delayed.
What does Kirchner’s withdrawal mean for Derby?
Sky Sports senior reporter Rob Dorsett said:
“We have used that horrible word liquidation many times throughout this process, since Derby entered administration in September.
“You have to say it has never felt closer than now. What I will say is that I have had assurances from many important officials who have told me that even though this offer has failed, there are a number of other interested parties.
“Apart from these, there are plenty of well-heeled individuals, successful businessmen, who will not allow Derby to fail. They will step in at short notice if necessary.
“The preferred bidder, the leading man, the man who swapped contracts committing to buy Derby County has now withdrawn his offer to do so.
“Yes, it’s a blow, but the administrators are not panicking. Kirchner was the man they chose to do this deal, but he was not able to do it. He missed a certain number of delays.
“He is now finally out of the race. Other interested parties will now come forward and will receive much greater attention from the Derby administrators.
“One of them we know of is Mike Ashley – probably the lowest bid, but one of the safest and most credible.”