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EFL gives conditional approval to Chris Kirchner’s Derby takeover

Derby County v Birmingham City – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Chris Kirchner’s ownership of Derby has been given conditional approval by the English Football League after contracts were exchanged for the sale of the club with administrators Quantuma.

In a statement early on Tuesday, Quantuma said the sale is targeted to be complete by May 31.

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

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Later on Tuesday, the EFL confirmed that while conditional approval had been granted, the deal remained subject to completion of further requirements, including over the lease on the stadium.

“The EFL Board has today given its conditional approval to the proposed acquisition of Derby County Football Club by the company controlled by Mr Chris Kirchner (9CK Sports Holdings Limited),” a statement from the governing body read.

“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 May 31 2022.

“The EFL will continue to work with the relevant parties to ensure the best possible outcome for Derby County, its staff, players, fans, and local community.”

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Quantuma had earlier confirmed the exchange of contracts “for the sale of the business and assets of the club with preferred bidder, Chris Kirchner”.

The statement continued: “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 the long-term future of The Club.

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

“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.”

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Kirchner wrote on social media: “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.”

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,” Kirchner said.

“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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