The English Football League (EFL) has ramped up the pressure on Derby County’s administrators at Quantuma to secure a sale, saying it will become more closely involved in discussions to “secure the club’s future”.
A deadline for the American businessman Chris Kirchner to demonstrate his readiness to take over the Rams passed by on Friday without progress being made and administrators have resumed discussions with other parties. In response, the EFL is becoming more involved in the search for a new buyer.
The EFL said in a statement: “The league is increasingly concerned that the ongoing delays in the sale process now present a real risk to the integrity of next season’s competition, with the 2022-23 fixture list due to be released in less than two weeks, and need to act now in the best interests of the EFL.
“The suspension of the Notice of Withdrawal of the club’s share in the EFL is subject to conditions that, in accordance with the League’s insolvency policy, the EFL Board determine and, given the lack of progress by the administrators to finalise a transaction, it now considers it appropriate to revise the conditions of suspension.
“As a result, the EFL has informed the administrators that there will be a revision to the conditions attached to the suspension and the EFL is now to be made a party to all correspondence and discussions between the administrators and any and all potential bidders, with an acknowledgment that the League will be able to negotiate directly in relation to matters concerning the transfer of the share in the EFL.”
The former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is among those interested in purchasing the stricken club, who were relegated from the Championship last season after being docked 21 points over their financial problems. Kirchner, meanwhile, remains in discussions with Quantuma.
The EFL chief executive, Trevor Birch, said: “Following this latest setback for the club and its fans, it is vitally important that a sale of the club is concluded at the earliest opportunity and we want to ensure that this objective is achieved.
“Up until now we have provided the administrators with the time and opportunity to manage the sale process but, with the long stop date on the asset purchase agreement and the membership agreement now passed, further urgent proactive action is required in order to do whatever is possible to secure the club’s future as a continuing member of the EFL.”