The former Newcastle United owner is still interested in taking over Derby despite their relegation from the Championship and Chris Kirchner being named preferred bidder.
Kirchner registered his interest in the club before Christmas, but pulled out due to a lack of progress by administrators. Ashley then registered interest with his PR Chief Keith Bishop telling media in February of Ashley’s willingness to complete a deal.
However, a bid didn’t materialise and Chris Kirchner returned to the table following his failed takeover attempt of Preston, being named preferred bidder.
That hasn’t deterred Ashley though as the Daily Mail reports that he ‘remains interested’ in a move for the Rams despite Kirchner’s preferred bidder status.
Ashley was linked with a takeover attempt of Sheffield United but is reportedly waiting in the background should Kirchner’s bid to purchase the East Midlands club falls through.
Kirchner has until May 7 to complete a deal, with his preferred bidder status expiring, but there are concerns over the club’s future should a takeover not be completed by then.
The latest report should be viewed as a positive one as there are clearly still interested parties should Kirchner fail in his attempt to buy Derby.
However, the administrators should have plenty to answer for considering the time and resource it has taken to get to this stage.
With Derby apparently running close to the wire, there is added pressure to complete a deal with Kirchner, who could also be feeling some scrutiny from that interest from elsewhere.