Derby County’s US buyer pulls out putting club precariously back on the sales block

Derby County

June 14 – Having just been demoted to the third tier of English football for the first time in 37 years, former two-time English champions Derby County have now discovered that American businessman Chris Kirchner has pulled out of a bid to buy the club.

Kirchner, named as the preferred bidder by administrators and who apparently exchanged contracts committing to buy the club on May 16, failed to transfer the necessary cash before last Friday’s deadline.

Kirchner said that he had pulled out of the acquisition over difficulties transferring his money to the UK. Though doubts had long existed over whether he had the finance to buy the club.

The original asking price for the club, including the stadium, was about £50 million. Kirchner was believed to have agreed a price for the club only of about £25 million,

Derby were relegated from the Championship to League 1 last month, after being unable to absorb a massive 21 points deduction earlier in the season for entering administration and breaching financial rules.

One of the great names of the English game who were one of the 12 founders of the Football League in 1888 and won the title in 1972 and 1975, Derby is one of those cities dominated by its football club.

Where their future now lies is very much up the air but a spokesman for the administrators attempted to play down the crisis.

“We are aware that some will be concerned by this news, however, the joint administrators wish to reassure the club’s staff, players and supporters that they are continuing to actively engage with a growing number of interested parties, each of whom have a real willingness to complete a deal as soon as possible,” a statement said.

Four other parties are believed to be interested in buying Derby (one of them is former Rangers and Newcastle Untied owner Mike Ashley) but the threat of liquidation now hangs dangerously over the club who were English top-flight champions twice in the 1970s, European Cup semi-finalists in 1972-73 and last played in the Premier League in the 2007-08 season.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1656477382labto1656477382ofdlr1656477382owedi1656477382sni@w1656477382ahsra1656477382w.wer1656477382dna1656477382