Derby County: Chris Kirchner set to officially take over as owner after exchanging contracts

In a statement early on Tuesday, administrators Quantuma said the sale is targeted to be complete by May 31; however, there is still no agreement with former owner Mel Morris for the sale of Pride Park and the purchase of Derby remains "subject to that agreement"

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Image: Chris Kirchner is set to officially become the new owner of Derby

Chris Kirchner is set to officially become the new owner of Derby County after exchanging contracts for the sale of the club with administrators Quantuma.

The latest development means the American is now funding the running of Derby, which is significant for the club's short-term development.

However, there is still no agreement with former owner Mel Morris for the sale of Pride Park and the purchase of Derby remains "subject to that agreement". If no agreement over stadium is made, Kirchner can still withdraw his plans to buy the club.

In a statement early on Tuesday, Quantuma said the sale is targeted to be complete by May 31. This is the third deadline they have set with Kirchner - the previous two have been missed.

"The joint administrators can confirm they have exchanged contracts for the sale of the business and assets of the club with preferred bidder, Chris Kirchner," a spokesperson for Quantuma said.

"In addition, the joint administrators can confirm that in the interim period between exchange and completion, funding for the club is being provided by Mr Kirchner, in a demonstration of his ongoing commitment to securing its long-term future.

    "The exchanging of contracts is conditional on the sale of the stadium, EFL approval and receiving secured creditor consent.

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    "The period of time between exchange and completion will allow the joint administrators and all relevant stakeholders the time required to work together to meet the conditions required to complete this very complex transaction.

    "The joint administrators would like to express their thanks, to all relevant stakeholders for their co-operation and work, towards achieving a successful completion."

    The EFL released a statement on Tuesday saying they had given their "conditional approrval" for the sale to Kirchner.

    "The EFL and 9CK Sports Holdings Limited have agreed the terms of a Membership Agreement which will govern the conditions attached to the transfer of the share in the EFL and which ultimately will see the Club exit Administration.

    "However, its final approval is subject to Mr Kirchner completing on the Asset Purchase Agreement and a deal being finalised in respect of a lease on the stadium by 31 May 2022."

    Writing on Twitter, Mr Kirchner said he did not "anticipate any issues" in seeing the sale through as he called it a "day I'll never forget".

    He wrote: "I've been beyond fortunate and I'll never forget how lucky I am. I've had the opportunity to realise many of my dreams and even a lot of things beyond my dreams. Today is a day I'll never forget.

    "I'm humbled and excited to share that we've exchanged contracts with Quantuma and I will be the next owner of Derby County Football Club. These contracts are conditional on the sale of the stadium and some small bits. I don't anticipate any issues completing the rest of this process in the coming days."

    Mr Kirchner added he will commence funding the club "next week".

    "The membership agreement with the EFL is agreed to, we have filed with the FA to recognise the transfer and my team is now moving forward on the process to rebuild this iconic club.

    "This has been a traumatic period for everyone and I can say that I hope this is the most difficult transaction I have to complete for a very long time.

    "Thank you to so many of you for the kind words and support through this process. Tomorrow is the first day of a new journey together and I cannot be more excited to be a Ram."

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