The exclusivity time for Derby County preferred bidder Chris Kirchner can be extended, according to Derby council leader Chris Poulter, who indicated that the current period is set to expire this weekend. The American businessman is in the process of arranging a takeover for the second-tier in order to get them out of administration, a move that might save the Rams from going bankrupt with funding set to run out after the season.
This is because the East Midlands team has been relying on its fans to invest in the club as they try to stay afloat in difficult times, with a takeover still to be finalized.
This is largely owing to the fact that a settlement for Pride Park has yet to be reached, with Mel Morris valuing the stadium at £20 million and Kirchner unwilling to negotiate with his possible predecessor, who put the club into administration last September.
Various obstacles, notably a dispute with Championship rivals Middlesbrough, have stalled any sale since then, with the club’s administrators finally declaring their preferred buyer in the early stages of last month — leaving Derby in a precarious position as funds dry out. It was revealed by council leader Poulter, whose team is attempting to reach an agreement with Pride Park to clear the way for the festival.
“I am not involved in the negotiations,” he stated, “but officers from the financial, property, business and legal teams are.”
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of it. In terms of timelines, we are aware that there is an exclusivity period in place for Chris Kirchner, but the administrators have the option to prolong it. “
Hopefully, Kirchner can begin investing in the club as soon as possible, putting a lot of people’s anxieties at ease for the time being, especially with the club in serious danger after ticket revenue is spent. They may have made it this far, which is a fantastic feat, but they are not invincible, which is why all sides must work together.
The onus is on Morris to reduce his asking price and reach an acceptable agreement, but that does not appear to be happening anytime soon, putting Derby’s future at Pride Park in jeopardy. It is a difficult possibility for the Rams, who have prospered at home this season.
If they do have to relocate away from their home ground for the time being, so be it, but it would be a significant blow heading into next season, and given how awful their form has been away from home in the last 12 months, it would be interesting to watch how they do if they play at another venue. Coventry City appears to have benefited from their return to the CBS Arena this season, and if the Rams can stay put, it will be a significant boost heading into the summer.