Derby County saga closing with property developer Clowes promising a rebuild

Derby County

June 27 – Just weeks after American businessman Chris Kirchner pulled out  of a deal to buy the club, local property developer David Clowes has had his bid to purchase former English champions Derby County accepted, bringing to an end months of uncertainty and turmoil.

Kirchner, originally named as the preferred bidder by administrators and who apparently exchanged contracts committing to buy the club on May 16, withdrew last month leaving Derby, just demoted to the third tier of English football for the first time in 37 years, in disarray, exacerbated by Wayne Rooney resigning as manager three days ago.

Clowes announced he wished to take over the club on Friday after having first secured the iconic club’s stadium from former owner Mel Morris. The stadium and the club were being sold separately with Morris asking £22 million for the Pride Park ground and the administrators seeking £28 million for the club. No value was given for the sales but they are unlikely to be on those numbers.

While the ground might value close to £22 million, a third tier club with no sustained history of Premier League football looks unlikely to achieve above £20 million.

Administrators say discussions with any other interested parties will now stop after a rollercoaster nine months for Derby in their search for a new owner, having entered administration back in September last year.

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 were relegated to League One after being unable to absorb a massive 21 points deduction during last season for entering administration and breaching financial rules.,

“All parties are now working hard to conclude what is still a complex legal transaction within a very short timeframe,” said a statement. “Once concluded, the transaction will enable the club to move forward and prepare for the upcoming season out of administration.

“It will also ensure that Pride Park stadium and the club are under the control of a new, local owner with the commitment and resources to enable the club to move forward with a clean slate.

“The offer also provides the best return for creditors and enables the joint administrators to fulfil their statutory duties and will ensure that there are no further points deductions levied against the club once it is out of administration.”

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