Prospective Derby County owner Chris Kirchner WITHDRAWS his offer for the Championship side due to a lack of progress with administrators as the US businessman apologises to fans and says it is with ‘deep regret’ that he is pulling out
- Prospective buyer Chris Kirchner has pulled out of the purchase of Derby County
- Writing on Twitter on Thursday night the American apologised to supporters
- He claimed he made two offers to purchase the stricken Championship team
- Kirchner said the last 24 hours showed a takeover ‘just isn’t possible’ right now
- Administrators said they are looking to appoint a preferred bidder ‘imminently’
American businessman Chris Kirchner has apologised to Derby County supporters after confirming he has withdrawn his offer to buy the stricken Championship side.
Kirchner was keen to tie up a takeover as soon as possible but after administrators suggested no party would seal a deal before Christmas, the Texas-based businessman has taken matters into his own hands by pulling out.
‘It is with real sadness that I can confirm I am withdrawing from the process to buy Derby County Football Club,’ Kirchner wrote on his Twitter page.
American businessman Chris Kirchner (centre) was interested in a takeover of Derby County
The Texas-based businessman confirmed on his social media that he has taken his offer away
‘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.
‘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.’
It represents real disappointment for fans having been desperately seeking a resolution having entered administration back in September.
He went on to say he is ‘very sorry’ to Derby’s fans following two months of takeover talks
Derby have been docked 21 points so far this season by EFL and are bottom of Championship
A statement by the administrators in light of Kirchner’s withdrawal read: ‘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 we will not be engaging in any social media communications, we have seen some of the tweets exchanged yesterday between Mr Kirchner and others, and would like to put on record that we disagree with much that has been said.
‘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.’
Manager Wayne Rooney spoke to Kirchner earlier this month as part of the process and was impressed by the American’s ‘good ideas’.
With three offers on the table, prior to Kirchner’s withdrawal, administrators have been working to establish a preferred bidder to try and speed up the process.
Earlier this week administrators detailed that they hoped to announce a preferred bidder before Christmas.
A key part of any takeover deal will be resolving disputes with HMRC, who are owed £29.3million. Both Middlesbrough and Wycombe Wanderers also have claims against the Rams that remain outstanding and need to be cleared by a takeover.
Wayne Rooney has called on Derby County’s administrators to press on in finding a new owner
Derby remain in administration and 17 points from safety in the Championship following a 21-point deduction. Without the deductions they would 19th, six points clear of the drop zone.
Earlier this month Rooney called for progress to help salvage this season but promised fans that he and the players are doing their part to fight on the pitch.
Rooney insisted: ‘This club will exist, this club will grow. This club will not go into liquidation.
‘A new owner will come in. We have had a setback but sometimes setbacks are good.
‘It is a chance to restart and rebuild. I feel this club has needed that. This gives us the opportunity to do things in the right way and try to progress through hard work and determination, but also by doing things properly.’