There’s seemingly an end in sight to the saga at Derby County, with Chris Kirchner now closing in on custodianship of the Rams following their eight-month period in administration.
The American businessman returned to the race to purchase County at the beginning of April and was named as the preferred bidder by administrators Quantuma, just over three months after his initial offer was rejected and he pulled himself out of the running.
Things have not been straight-forward since that development, with the ownership of Pride Park being the main concern as it is still in the hands of former Derby chairman Mel Morris, and unless a deal can be struck then Kirchner will not be the club’s new owner.
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However, the 34-year-old is confident of finding a way to prise the stadium out of Morris’ control, and with that in mind he swapped contracts with Quantuma for the club’s ownership, which has been approved by the EFL – on the condition that Kirchner does indeed strike a deal for Pride Park.
One man who has been close to all the developments is former Crystal Palace owner and now pundit Simon Jordan, and he believes that the main reason why it has been a struggle to conclude a deal for the club in general is due to the costs surrounding everything.
“The EFL are comfortable with Kirchner, they are comfortable with all he has put forward in terms of I would imagine his business plans and there have been a few issues with how much they can spend outside the Championship and what they may or may not be able to invest in players,” Jordan said on TalkSPORT – via DerbyshireLive.
“If all those issues have been tied up then this will be what is what it was always going to be which is, despite all the nips and tucks, bumps in the road, that Derby were always going to exit administration.
“It was complicated because of the size of this administration. There has never been a football club bought of out administration or out of a structured financial position that has cost so much outside the Premier League.
“If Kirchner’s style of operating is to inform how he is operating on social media, then I suspect that won’t pay him dividends in the long run.
“But they will have a new owner, he will have his own reasons for owning Derby and we will see how he gets on with it.”
Kirchner now has until May 31 to conclude all the formalities of the deal, but he must be pretty confident considering contracts have been exchanged and he has agreed to fund the club from next week.
There’s still the pressing issue of Derby currently having no home to play in for next season though unless a deal can be struck with Morris – and whether that happens is anyone’s guess.
Even though Kirchner has maintained positivity regarding that, Morris appears to be an unpredictable character, so it can’t be a guarantee that there will be a breakthrough.
Derby supporters will be keeping their fingers crossed for some good news in the next week, but this has been far from a straight-forward process and there could be more twists and turns to come.