Chris Kirchner withdraws Derby bid but administrators hopeful over sale | Derby

The US businessman Chris Kirchner has withdrawn his proposal to buy Derby County, ending two months of negotiations. The club’s administrators have said Kirchner’s bid never reached the level of other offers and that they expect to name a preferred bidder soon after receiving an improved submission.

Kirchner, the co-founder and chief executive of the software company, announced in October his intention to purchase the Championship’s bottom club, who have been hit with a 21-point deduction this season for entering administration and for further financial irregularities.

Kirchner has said he made a formal offer to buy the club this month and improved that on Thursday but has now stepped away from the process. He said he would target ownership of another club.

“It is with real sadness that I can confirm I am withdrawing from the process to buy Derby County Football Club,” he said on Twitter. “First and foremost, I would like to apologise to the fans. As you know, I’ve been in talks with the administrators for about two months.

“Two weeks ago, I made a formal offer to buy the club. I believe I presented a very detailed, generous and ambitious long-term sustainable business plan. It included purchasing the stadium, future funding and maintaining the academy’s status. We improved that offer further today [Thursday].

“I wanted to agree a deal that I thought was in the best interests of all parties but, unfortunately, the last 24 hours has proven that just isn’t possible. So it is with deep regret that I must now stand aside and let the administrators pursue their own course.”

Derby’s administrators said: “The issues we are having to deal with are complex and we simply were not in a position to accept Mr Kirchner’s bid as it did not meet the level of other bids received … Whilst yesterday was a difficult time, it provided a stimulus to one of the remaining bidders who increased his offer for the club. We expect to name preferred bidder status imminently. We repeat that we are moving as quickly as possible to achieve a sale of the club.”

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