Derby County takeover update as administrators release fresh statement

Derby County’s administrators have confirmed that Chris Kirchner has been granted more time to complete a takeover of the club. The American businessman’s period of exclusivity which expired on Saturday night has been extended until midnight on Saturday, May 14.

On the proposed takeover, the administrators say there are now ‘just a small number of outstanding matters to be agreed with the EFL and in relation to the club’s stadium at Pride Park’.

The administrators add: “We consider that matters can be resolved in a short period of time.”

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Derby have been in administration for eight months.

Kirchner, the preferred bidder, and former Rams owner Mel Morris found themselves at an impasse after the two met along with other ‘key parties’ on Sunday morning regarding Pride Park Stadium, which is owned by Morris.

Derby City Council has been in negotiations with Morris over the possibility of purchasing the stadium and leasing it to Kirchner, an option which Kirchner is thought to favour.

Pride Park is not part of the administration process and so a separate deal is required to be agreed with Morris.

On Monday afternoon Kirchner told Derby fans on Twitter: “Take a deep breath. We are after it full speed. I have to go to Bangkok for work and this has long been scheduled. Formal news coming.”

An update issued by joint administrators reads:

“The joint administrators are conscious of the heightening anxiety and levels of interest in respect of the ongoing potential acquisition of Derby County Football Club by our preferred bidder, Chris Kirchner.

“There were a substantial number of issues which have been needed to be dealt with since naming Mr. Kirchner as preferred bidder in respect of the various stakeholders within the administration and the appropriate levels of submissions to the English Football League.

“Since announcing Mr. Kirchner as preferred bidder we have progressed through most of the outstanding issues with the preferred bidder and there are now just a small number of outstanding matters to be agreed with the EFL and in relation to the club’s stadium at Pride Park. We consider that matters can be resolved in a short period of time and are grateful for the assistance of all stakeholders relating to the stadium.

“It should be noted that the company that owns the stadium is not in administration and therefore out of our control.

“We have therefore extended the period of exclusivity to midnight on Saturday 14 May.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Morris has been fully co-operative throughout the administration and has not changed his stance on the disposal of the stadium. He shares everyone’s desire that the successful acquirer will take the club forward and understands that the acquirer will want the stadium matter resolved as soon as possible.

“It is clear that a successful outcome is dependent on Mr. Morris’ assistance in terms of writing off substantial sums owed to him personally, and also in dealing with other issues relating to the stadium to include Chargeholder interests, the existing lease and some historic lease arrears which have to be addressed. It is therefore not helpful for Mr. Morris to be receiving personal threats against himself of members of his family, which have caused him and his family substantial anguish and could result in a very unnecessary and serious distraction.

“We should be grateful if supporters and other parties could refrain from passing comments of such nature and any such threats reported to the administrators will be taken very seriously. We can confirm that the preferred bidder is supportive of this position.

“Finally, the price for the stadium has been a constant and we are seeking to quickly resolve the ancillary issues relating to the stadium with all parties concerned.”

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