Crisis-torn Derby look set for another spell of trouble as doubts emerge over Chris Kirchner’s attempts to buy the club… despite administrators naming him the preferred bidder two months ago as Mike Ashley waits in the wings
- Chris Kirchner was named as preferred bidder for Derby by administrators
- But doubts have emerged over the US businessman’s attempts to buy the club
- The American has still to complete the deal but his camp are said to be ‘hopeful’
- Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley waiting in the wings if a deal is not agreed
Crisis-torn Derby are fearing another period of limbo after doubts emerged about Chris Kirchner’s attempts to buy the club.
The US businessman was named as preferred bidder for Derby, who are managed by former England captain Wayne Rooney, two months ago by administrators Quantuma, but has still to complete a deal, with former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley waiting in the wings.
Bizarrely, Kirchner was listed to play with Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia in the Pro-Am competition at the controversial LIV Golf event at the Centurion Club in St Albans on Wednesday.
Though his camp were still said to be hopeful of concluding the deal, Kirchner did not provide any assurances when asked directly during his round.
Doubts emerged about US businessman Chris Kirchner’s attempts to buy crisis-torn Derby
Kirchner was listed to play with Sergio Garcia (second right) in an LIV Golf pro-am competition
Kirchner was expected to finalise the takeover of Derby on May 31 but that date came and went. Now Derby sources are increasingly pessimistic that the deal will happen – less than two months before the Rams are due to begin their League One campaign.
Rooney had endorsed Kirchner’s offer and the pair had developed a positive relationship. Only last week Kirchner sought to reassure fans on his Twitter account that there was ‘Nothing to be alarmed about’. Neither Kirchner’s team nor representatives of Quantuma were available for comment.
Derby have been in administration since last September and were relegated from the Championship last season, thanks largely to a 21-point deduction – 12 for entering administration and a further nine for previous financial breaches.
Wayne Rooney endorsed Kirchner’s offer and the pair had developed a positive relationship
Sportsmail understands Ashley retains a strong interest in buying Derby and continues to monitor developments.
Speaking in April, Rooney said: ‘I want to rebuild this club – but the takeover has to happen. If it doesn’t, I’m really unsure of my future and the club’s future. This takeover has to happen quick.’
Just five first-team players – Krystian Bielik, Max Bird, Jason Knight, Louie Sibley and Jack Stretton – have contracts for next season.
Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is waiting in the wings if a deal is not completed