Chris Kirchner fails to prove he can purchase Derby County before deadline

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Chris Kirchner has failed to prove he can complete a takeover of Derby County in time to meet the deadline set out by the club’s administrators.

Preferred bidder Kirchner had to show he was able to purchase the League One side before 5pm BST on Friday but he has failed to do so, opening the door for other parties to swoop in.

A spokesperson on behalf of the joint administrators of Derby said: “Further to our update yesterday evening and despite the best efforts of the parties, Mr Kirchner, has, as of yet, not provided us with satisfactory evidence that he is in a position to complete the acquisition of the club albeit he continues to work on this.

“The joint administrators are continuing discussions with other interested parties.

“Contrary to reports in the media today, no interested party has been excluded from these discussions”

The Athletic exclusively revealed on Friday that Slync.io, the company for which Kirchner is chief executive, is more than two weeks behind on payments to at least several of its employees.

It is also understood Slync.io has not fulfilled the arranged payments on its sponsorship deal with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and currently owes the ice-hockey franchise around $ 800,000.

Administrators Quantuma said on Thursday that they had decided to engage with other interested parties as a “contingency measure” while they were waiting to hear back from Kirchner.

It is also understood Slync.io has not fulfilled the arranged payments on its sponsorship deal with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, and currently owes the ice-hockey franchise around $ 800,000.

The Athletic understands former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is among those interested parties.

Kirchner, an American businessman, was named as the preferred bidder to take the club out of administration on April 6.

The EFL conditionally approved his takeover when contracts for the sale of the club were exchanged on May 17.

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But the takeover has since stalled with Quantuma blaming “logistical issues” for the delay.

In a statement published on Thursday evening the club’s administrators added that they were now actively engaging with other parties interested in buying the financially-stricken club.

A spokesperson on behalf of the joint administrators said: “As previously reported, the joint administrators exchanged contracts with Mr Kirchner on 16 May 2022. At the time there were a number of outstanding issues, which have now been resolved.

However, certain logistical issues mean that completion has not yet taken place. Accordingly, the joint administrators have taken the decision to engage with other interested parties as a contingency measure.

“The sale and purchase agreement with Mr Kirchner currently remains in place and Mr Kirchner has been given until 5 pm on 10 June 2022 to provide satisfactory evidence to the administrators that he is in a position to complete, subject to EFL approval.

“We are aware that fans and stakeholders are concerned at the lack of official communications. It is, however, not appropriate for us to comment further on the current position as there is commercial confidentiality which needs to be protected.

“We can, however, confirm that there is a real willingness amongst all parties to complete a deal as soon as possible.”

In response, the EFL said they were “incredibly disappointed” the takeover was still yet to reach completion.

Their statement read: “The EFL is incredibly disappointed with this evening’s announcement by Derby County’s administrators that Chris Kirchner has failed to complete the purchase of the club. It is imperative that this issue is resolved as a matter of urgency.

“The League will continue to engage with Quantuma as they now hold discussions with third parties and will support as appropriate the club as it seeks to exit administration.”

(Photo: Getty Images)

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