Derby County preferred bidder Chris Kirchner has informed the club’s supporters that he intends to pay creditors a sufficient amount of money to ensure the Rams avoid any further points penalties, taking to Twitter to deliver this news.
Although Kirchner was chosen as the East Midlands side’s preferred bidder earlier this month, it was unclear as to whether existing creditors would be paid an amount of money that would allow the second-tier side to avoid further sanctions.
If they are unable to pay 25p in the pound or 35p over a longer-term period, Derby would have been at risk of being docked 15 points next season, something that could have been disastrous for them after their relegation.
Only die-hard Derby County supporters will get at least 20/25 on this higher or lower quiz
This deduction would have left the club staring the fourth tier of English football in the face and although many supporters would have accepted that on the condition they still have a club, they were 90 minutes away from the Premier League under four years ago.
However, the US businessman has informed supporters this afternoon that he will pay creditors the amount needed to avoid further punishments when the administrators have worked out the amount needing to be owed.
He has also revealed he has completed the EFL’s fit and proper persons test in what is another step forward in the second-tier side’s takeover process.
Posting on Twitter, he stated: “A milestone update for everyone – today all of my information for the OADT (fit and proper test) has been submitted to the EFL.
“The only piece we are still waiting on is the business plan as the admins are still finalizing the waterfall to ensure that the creditors are paid sufficiently to avoid any further penalties by fitting within the EFL insolvency rules.
“Once this is all approved I’ll share that news with everyone.”
This is brilliant news and it allows the Rams to make a proper fresh start without the possibility of further EFL sanctions hanging over their head, something they will be keen to get away from after the past 12 months.
They may not splash the cash in the summer – but paying creditors sufficiently is arguably the most important bit of business Kirchner will do all summer and it will enable the club to start on the front foot next year.
With the likes of Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday and others all potentially remaining in the third tier next season, their task will be difficult enough as it is without more deductions.
What this latest news also does is reassure those who are still sceptical of Kirchner – because paying creditors sufficiently is a real show of commitment to the cause and it could be a good sign of things to come.
And from Kirchner’s point of view, this gives him a bit of credit in the bank and with that, allows him to make some mistakes without the Rams’ fanbase being too harsh.
He won’t get everything right because that’s almost impossible – but he has taken the right decision on this issue and long may it continue for the sake of the second-tier side’s supporters.