Chris Kirchner’s bid to buy Derby is officially DEAD in the water as EFL lose faith in the ability of administrators Quantuma to successfully navigate takeover – with players now fearing Wayne Rooney will leave the club
- Chris Kirchner had been the favourite to buy the club for a long period of time
- But his bid collapsed last week when he didn’t produce evidence of funds
- Mike Ashley appears to be the most likely candidate to save the troubled club
- Wayne Rooney’s future has been thrown into doubt owing to the uncertainty
Chris Kirchner’s bid to buy Derby has finally collapsed leaving the remaining players fearing for the future of boss Wayne Rooney.
The US businessman’s attempt to complete a takeover has been in severe doubt since last week and it is now understood to have no chance of being revived.
Rooney had given his backing to Kirchner’s campaign though added in April that if a takeover were not completed quickly, it would leave his future as manager in doubt. Derby currently have only five senior players under contract and are due to begin pre-season training later in June.
US businessman Chris Kirchner failed to meet the deadline to prove he has the funds for Derby
Former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has long been waiting in the wings and now looks to be in a prominent position to buy the troubled club, who were relegated from the Championship last term.
EFL bosses pledged on Sunday to assume greater control of the Rams’ fight for survival amid fears the club will be unable to begin their League One campaign next month.
In a huge vote of no-confidence in administrators Quantuma, the EFL said in a statement that they would be now be negotiating more directly with bidders.
The League’s move shows their alarm at the way the process has been conducted so far.
The English Football League has ramped up the pressure on Derby’s administrators
Ashley, meanwhile, sent a strongly-worded letter to the administrators via his legal team confirming his desire to ‘acquire the club’s business and assets’.
Another group, fronted by former Rams chairman Andy Appleby, is also waiting in the wings, while former Wolves owner Steve Morgan remains an active player.
Derby were relegated from the Championship last season after having 21 points deducted, 12 for entering administration and nine for historical financial breaches.
The club are scheduled to return to pre-season training later this month with only five senior players currently under contract.
Wayne Rooney endorsed Kirchner’s offer and the pair had developed a positive relationship
Mike Ashley has contacted Derby’s administrators to confirm he retains an interest in the club
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.’
Even if Derby are brought out of administration to suit the EFL’s timescales, potential buyers must agree to pay unsecured football creditors at least 25 per cent of what they are owed, otherwise the club would lose a minimum of 15 points.
EFL regulations state that where a club seeks to exit administration without paying a ‘minimum dividend’, a fresh points penalty is likely to be imposed.
Unsecured creditors can include smaller local businesses who rely on matchday income, or other services such as St John’s Ambulance.
Derby County were relegated to League One last season following a 21-point deduction