Fans have took to sign a fresh petition as the EFL issue a strong warning to Derby County administrators amid the latest takeover update.
Right, let’s bring you all up to speed, American businessman Chris Kirchner failed to meet a deadline to prove he has the funds to complete a takeover of the club, administrators confirmed.
The Rams have been in administration since September 2021 and Kirchner was revealed as the preferred bidder on the 6th of April.
BREAKING: US businessman Chris Kirchner has failed to meet a deadline to prove he has the funds to complete a takeover of stricken Derby County
— Dan Roan (@danroan) June 10, 2022
Friday’s 5pm deadline has now passed and administrators Quantuma are talking to “other interested parties”, but the English Football League are losing patience and since called for clarification of “how they plan to take the club out of administration”.
An EFL statement said: “As previously communicated, the league is incredibly frustrated at the time it is taking to conclude this sale.
“With the league just two weeks away from announcing its 2022-23 fixture list, it urgently requires a clear understanding of how the club will be funded moving forwards, be that through the administrators or under new ownership.”
Quantuma reached a sale and purchase agreement with Kirchner on the 16th of May, and extended a period of exclusivity on two occasions, though despite providing proof of funding to the EFL and passing the governing body’s Owners & Directors’ Test, Kirchner hasn’t transferred the funds that would allow the deal to be completed.
He has kept everyone in the dark over the deal for around a week, when usually he’s rather reliable for updates in recent past, but sources close to him still believe it will eventually reach a successful conclusion.
Now that the deadline has passed, Quantuma said in a statement: “Further to our update yesterday evening and despite the best efforts of the parties, Mr Kirchner, has, as of yet, not provided us with satisfactory evidence that he is in a position to complete the acquisition of the club albeit he continues to work on this.
“The joint administrators are continuing discussions with other interested parties. No interested party has been excluded from these discussions.”
Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is said to be among those interested and wanting to buy the embattled club, reports claimed Quantuma weren’t interested in speaking with him, though the administrators deny this.
Other local businessman have been meeting this week to come up with a contingency with lifelong Derby fan David Clowes, who has struck a deal to buy the club’s Pride Park stadium, also a potential owner.
There is no guarantee any of them would be willing to agree to the same deal put in place for the American, who is co-founder, chairman and chief executive of software company Slync.io.
A petition, which was launched on Friday night, called for Sports minister to look into the conduct of the administrators at Derby County. Click HERE to sign it.
The petition creator, Adam Boddington, said: “After almost a year of being in administration, Derby County football club still has not been sold. This has led to job losses, uncertainty over people’s livelihoods, ability to pay rent & mortgages, emotional turmoil and distress for everyone associated with the club.
“After the most recent attempt to buy the club had failed to materialise, it has been alleged by numerous media outlets that Quantuma are refusing to speak to other potential buyers.
“Questions need to be answered……
“Who is holding influence over Quantuma?
“Are they refusing to talk to potential buyers?
“If so, why?
“Is it true they pulled out of a deal with Andy Appleby earlier in the year?
“If so, why?
“Are they not acting in the best interest of Creditors by refusing to speak to potential buyers?
“Who is regulating Quantuma?
“Earlier in the year numerous MP’s backed my petition to save Derby County. Where are they now?
“The huge support for this founding member of the Football League was demonstrated when we took to the streets to march before the Birmingham City game. This club cannot be allowed to die!
“I urge the Sports Minister, as a matter of urgency, to once again look into the ongoing situation at Derby and put pressure on the administrators to speak to potential buyers and get the club sold to a suitable buyer.”
BBC Sport suggest that manager Wayne Rooney could end up being forced to leave after insisting he would only stay if Kirchner’s deal went through.
Derby currently have just five first-team players left for the 2022/23 season because of restrictions put on them as a result of the financial turmoil.
Despite the transfer window opening on Friday, they are unable to sign players, nor can they offer new deals to those whose contracts are about to expire.
The five – Krystian Bielik, Max Bird, Jason Knight, Louie Sibley and Jack Stretton – doesn’t include a goalkeeper or any defenders.
Derby’s pre-season is expected to get underway in less than two weeks, with the season just seven weeks from starting, and there are reports that Rooney’s assistant Liam Rosenior is a leading candidate to become manager of Championship club Blackpool.
As Derby didn’t start last season in administration, they would be allowed to begin the 2022-23 campaign.
However, as well as recruiting enough players, they would have to show they had the funds to complete next season with a break-even budget.
EXCL: Slync,io, the company for which Chris Kirchner is CEO, is behind on payroll payments to at least several of its employees.
The company also owes NHL franchise Dallas Stars around $800k in sponsorship money
— Elias (@EliasBurke) June 10, 2022
The concern now among some Derby fans is not about how to get out of League One and back to the Championship, but whether or not the club can survive long enough to even field a side in 2022-23.
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire said liquidation is now a concern for the club.
“There has to be a very swift solution,” he told BBC East Midlands Today.
“Administrators are now free to talk to other parties, they then have to agree a price, they also have to sort out what is going to happen in terms of where the club is going to play as quick as possible.
“Any new prospective bidder has to talk to the EFL in terms of obtaining and being successful in the owners’ and directors’ test, then put in a bid and pass the money across to allow the club to continue to trade.
“Failure to do that, and if the administrators have no further resources and nobody is prepared to pay the June wages, then they have to consider if they are in breach of their duties and the alternative would be liquidation.”
Supporters group Black & White Together claimed on Friday evening that they have had it ‘confirmed’ by Andy Appleby that he remains ‘still in play’ to buy Derby.
— Black & White Together (@dcfcbawt) June 10, 2022
Quantuma have now written to the Appleby and Ashley groups to ask whether they remain interested in buying Derby (both are). Kirchner also determined to complete his deal https://t.co/VmDRxBoY41
— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) June 11, 2022
Twitter is full of reaction as fans sign a new petition and the EFL issue a strong warning to Derby administrators amid any kind of takeover update…
@george_glossop: Quantuma aren’t arsed about getting us out of administration they just want a payout
@The_Real_Keith: Derby done for. Unless any new bidder agrees to the exact same deal as CK then they need to re enter negotiations with all the creditors to agree new deals all before they can announce a new PB and no bidder will pump cash in until they are the PB
@tomegardner: @cskirchner I sincerely hope your company/companies face unparalleled difficulties and eventually fail. What you have put two sets of fans through with your outright lies and misinformation is incredulous. Please leave English sport alone now #dcfc #pnefc #efl #football
@jhackett__: I don’t want Chris Kirchner anywhere near our club. He’s sold a lie. Quantuma must be held accountable, they’re a shambles of an organisation. Give me Andy Appleby, Steve Morgan or Mike Ashley asap. Two weeks until the players return to pre-season, all five of them.
@_neil95: How on earth was he allowed to be preferred bidder?
@Tommy_Lee333: What a fucking farce 😂 admins want fucking for allowing this to get so far down the line
@K______lo: Quantuma could end up in prison after this and I’m not even joking.
@PaulMotto: Explains a lot , but surely the @efl & @quantuma1 passed him fit & proper 🤷♂️🤷♂️🤷♂️
@CarlMayor5: When Preston (my club), did the due diligence checks on him, he couldn’t and wouldn’t supply sufficient evidence of his funds. And therefore, sent packing. Lucky escape for us. I hope you lot get sorted. This isn’t good for fans, or even football in general.
@IanBiggins: I say this as a NUFC fan, just maybe Ashley might be a better bet for Derby at the moment than this bloke. There will be a lack of investment in the infrastructure, the club will be a shell of itself in no time but the bills will be paid and the fans will have a team to support.
@PAGEYANT: So it’s now clear. @cskirchner was picked as preferred bidder over AA because it benefited @quantuma1 more, and was not necessarily the best deal for the club. Surely this outfit cannot continue to operate. #dcfc #dcfcfans
Failed by @EFL
Failed by @cskirchner
Failed by @quantuma1
Failed by Mel Morris
Founding member of the football league going under. Gutted
@Houlton11: Whatever you think of Derby you should never wish going bust on anyone. Even if you’re rivals, you lose that rivalry, it dies too. People like Chris Kirchner are scum!
🤦♂️ “We are now at a point where Chris Kirchner’s credibility is diminishing.”
🤯 “It is not a good look for Kirchner and I do not know what he is doing.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 10, 2022
@speedyred711: Slync,io, the company for which Chris Kirchner is CEO, is behind on payroll payments to at least several of its employees. The company also owes NHL franchise Dallas Stars around $800k in sponsorship money. The guy hasn’t got a pot to piss in #nffc
@JoshyJ90: Why wasn’t the contract with Quantuma based on % fee only upon completion?.. we would’ve been out of the woods months ago. They’ve milked it for as long as possible. Precisely why Mike Ashley doesn’t want to pay their fee and Quantuma aren’t entertaining him. #dcfc #dcfcfans
@ShiftytheGeordi: Mike Ashley was a complete disaster up here, but let’s have some context, #dcfc are on the brink. If you were drowning, you’d grab anyone’s hand. We were never in as much bother as Derby. I wish them luck #nufc
@ed_simmo7: Please don’t throw abuse at people over the sale of our club, it won’t help anything or anyone, we are all in this together and I know what ever happens we’ll come back stronger. Please think of us staff who don’t know if we have a job come Monday #dcfc #dcfcfans
@dcfc24seven: Derby County are being failed by everybody. The @FA, the @EFL, @EFL_Comms@EFLTrust, the government. I wouldn’t wish this on our biggest rivals! #dcfc #dcfcfans. This is peoples lives!
@RKooner89: Imagine if Kirchner gets in now? He’ll have the worst start to any reign and most of the fan base will hate him from the offset. We need a miracle but that charlatan isn’t it #dcfcfans
@cspaceram: There HAS to be some regulatory body who can take this off @quantuma1 and put them to the sword. Disgraceful, incompetent and killing our club for their own ends. #dcfc #dcfcfans
@GuyWForster: It’s painful how little anyone can do, even @EFL. This is down to a few parties only, all behind closed doors, and we just have to suffer on the sidelines some more. One thing is sure: Mel Morris is the worst owner we’ve ever had, and there’s some competition #dcfc #dcfcfans
@joedraper_ (on the EFL): Not fit for purpose. They need seriously looking into when this sorry state of affairs ever ends. They shouldn’t be allowed to work on behalf of a professional football club ever again, nor would I wish them on one. #dcfcfans