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Derby County identify two clubs to potentially groundshare with

Derby County identify two clubs to potentially groundshare with in a bid to overcome a hurdle in their ongoing takeover situation.

American businessman Chris Kirchner is attempting to purchase the Rams, who prepare to play in League One next season, but has admitted that the club’s stadium situation needs sorting with the council also trying help out.

Derby County do not own Pride Park after former owner Mel Morris separated the ground from the club back in 2018.

Derby County identify two clubs to potentially groundshare with

This means the stadium is not part of the administration process and in an interview, just days before his period of exclusivity ends, Kirchner said: “It is just the way the entities under the previous owner were tied together.

“The stadium and the rights to that stadium are intertwined for a lot of those. Without getting too detailed or too complex, and obviously to have a club and to have a deal officially approved by the EFL you have to have a lease or own a ground. You have to have somewhere to play and so for all those reasons it’s tied in. Because it is not part of the administration it has added a layer of complexity in trying to get this deal done because of the different parties that have to make decisions on it.”

The troubled Rams could look into playing their home matches at Stoke or Leicester City for the time being.

Stoke’s bet365 Stadium, which holds around 3,000 fewer seats than Pride Park, is 40 miles away from Derby while Leicester’s King Power Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 32,000, just 33 miles away.

Derby County identify two clubs to potentially groundshare with

The EFL released a statement on the Derby situation on Thursday evening, which said: “The EFL Board has today been advised that a deal to take Derby County out of administration and under the ownership of Mr Chris Kirchner is nearing completion.

“Evidence of source and sufficiency of funding has now been provided but there still remain a number of outstanding challenges to be resolved. As a result, the Board has instructed the Executive to continue its discussions with Mr Kirchner and his representatives in regard to finalising the terms of a Membership agreement. However, a significant issue remains in respect of the status of the stadium and Mr Kirchner continues in dialogue with the relevant parties as to how this can be resolved. It is clear that the complexity associated with this aspect of the transaction is the biggest hurdle to overcome.

“The EFL acknowledges the current time pressures relating to Mr Kirchner’s position as preferred bidder and will seek to conclude matters as soon as possible in line with requirements as set out in the League’s Insolvency Policy. The League will be making no further comment at this time.”

Amid the takeover uncertainty, Derby have one more game remaining in the Championship in what has been a stormy campaign.

Derby, who have been in administration since last September, end life in the second tier with a home game against Cardiff City.

Wayne Rooney has responded to the possibility of Derby County groundsharing next season.

“Ultimately we need a stadium to play in and I know Chris is a businessman, so he will have his different options,” Rooney said at his pre-match press conference.

“He will have a ‘B’ and ‘C’ options, if you like to it. Unfortunately one of them options is a possibility of potentially playing at a different stadium,” Rooney added.

“For this club to carry on, what the EFL need to see is that the club has a stadium. They are options which we don’t want, of course, we don’t want to go down that route but they are certainly options we have to look at because what’s important is this club continues to survive and play.”

Derby City Council are in talks over a deal to buy the stadium, with Kirchner not wanting to deal with Morris on the ground and would prefer the Council bought it. Negotiations are ongoing although Kirchner’s period of exclusivity to buy the club is due to expire this weekend.

Council leader Chris Poulter told Derbyshire Live: “I am not involved in the negotiations but officers from finance, property, business and legal teams are working on it.

“We are waiting to see what comes out from it. As far as the timescales go, we are aware there is a period of exclusivity regarding Chris Kirchner but there is a potential for the administrators to extend that.”

Wayne Rooney sat down with RamsTV on Friday afternoon and reflected on the season, saying: “It has been strange and challenging season, but also enjoyable. It sounds strange to say that after being relegated but there are so many positives which we can take from this season. There are so many young players who have stepped up, gained a lot of experience and that will really help them in the future. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster; it’s been challenging but an enjoyable year at the same time.”

On working with the squad: “I’ve enjoyed what’s been happening on the pitch and what’s been happening on the training pitches too. Seeing the development of players as individuals and seeing the development of the group as a team, you know the work you’re putting in on the training pitch is paying off and I’ve enjoyed that. Everything that has been going on off the pitch has been frustrating and disappointing, but we are moving forward now. There are positives on that, but I’ve certainly enjoyed what has been going on with on the pitch.”

On the coaching staff: “They’ve all been incredible. For all of us, we’ve all been through a tough period – the players and all the staff at the training ground – but also the coaches who we all deal with a lot. It’s not just me dealing with a lot of stuff, I speak to the coaches together and it has been challenging for all of us. We have stuck together, we’ve made sure we have put on the sessions which are right for the players, tried to develop the group and get the best out of them on the pitch. They’ve been really important to how I want to work and they’ve all done an excellent job. It’s the first time really for the four of us in myself, Liam Rosenior, Justin Walker and Jason Pearcey, plus Ben Warner and Pete Shuttleworth as the analysts that make it the six of us doing it at first team level. Liam was on the coaching team with Phillip Cocu previously but didn’t have much responsibility on that so it’s the first time we’ve done it together. We are open and we discuss things. It’s not just me saying ‘we do this and that’s it’, we discuss things and come up with our own ideas.”

On the fans: “I know the attendance on Saturday will be good for the game against Cardiff. For us as players and staff, we want to give them three points and show our appreciation to the fans at the end of the game for the support they have given us all season. It’s important to the fans as well. For us to walk around the pitch and show our appreciation, it’s important the fans stay in the stands at the end. I have heard they could be coming on to the pitch at the final whistle but I must ask that they stay in the stands and let the players and the staff come around and show our appreciation to the support they have shown us all season.”

On what his team looks like: “I will go as strong as I can in terms of the team. It’s important that we try and win the game. I’ve changed the team in the last couple of games, but it will be the strongest team I can get out there.”

Twitter users reacted as Derby County identify two clubs to potentially groundshare with…

@Lincolnstokie: As much as I don’t like Derby for what their previous owner did I would not be too upset if a ground share saved a football club from going to the wall. We all have to save our game from GREED or dull weekends await us..

@StokeCourt_: Anyone fancy starting a petition to block this I’ll sign 30 times

@TomMoores: Sling it

@jackwherton: No thanks…

@KennySeniorBWFC: Fuck Stoke what a shithole for an away day, beg they choose Leicester

@DGtheBlackSheep: So we are possibley looking at ground share at Stoke or Leicester….. Mel how is this the best thing for DCFC…….. An empty ground makes no sense so WHY???…

@nat_rams: Ground share with leicester or stoke wtf

@JackD_88: Can’t see a problem with it. If it stops a club going in to liquidation.

@SCFCRoss: I’m sure ground sharing with Stoke (or Leicester) wouldn’t be something the Derby fans would want either but if needs must… Frankly, it’s not about any rivalry here, it’s literally about a club needing somewhere to play football. Ideally they get to see them at Pride Park 👍🏻

@Officialben__: Where do we want Leicester or Stoke? Gotta be Leicester for me. Stoke is a shithole

@VictorM91706166: @cskirchner A huge mistake to ground share with Stoke or Leicester, you will lose 50% of the ST holders, I urge you not to do it!!!!

@_omeara_r: Scaring Mel/council into action it sounds like

@Paulderby501: Kin ell 😬

@DcfcFansTalk: As horrible as this would be. How funny would it be watching Morris pay MSD back and having a stadium with no use.

@johnnysleftfoot: Personally, if this actually happened and meant Mel didn’t get a penny more than needed for PP, I’d accept playing elsewhere for a season. Necessary evil to get that turd as far away from #dcfc as possible.

@Cam_Storer: Seeing Derby do a Coventry would be tough, however I’d rather watch us play in Stoke or Leicester every other week then not play at all. If that’s what it takes to make Mel give in, then that’s what I’m for.

@clarkey15: Playing at Stoke 🤢 I don’t mind Leicester but not fucking Stoke

@topklobber: Renting at Stoke or Leicester doesn’t make sense… Unless it’s a ploy to force MM’s hand then renting PP and keeping all local businesses supported and people at the stadium employed is surely better than moving 20,000 fans each week.. Every single problem leads to MM..

@rockjames: At this point I think we should do a ‘Coventry’ and go play somewhere else. Whether that’s Burton, Stoke, Leicester or even down at the Ricoh. Let’s leave Mel Morris, who famously once said he’d sell the stadium for £1, with a white elephant on his hands. #dcfc #dcfcfans

@iainjennison: Would rather travel to Stoke Leicester, Chesterfield or even Moorways rather than give Mel “the twat” Morris another penny

@deanorams6388: There would be absolutle zero chance of me attending #dcfc matches at Leicester or Stoke. Derby playing home games outside of Derby. Defeats the object dont it really…. FUCK MEL MORRIS!! 🖕🏻

@DarrenDoherty83: Distance to Burton is ideal but the ground is too small. Stoke and Leicester are a good fit size wise but we would get less people going than we would is we played at Burton. This is a shit situation

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