There are a number of “well-heeled” businessmen willing to intervene to prevent the liquidation of Derby County. Sky Sports News it is said.
Concerns about the future of the club have grown since Chris Kirchner, who changed contracts by committing to buy the club, failed to transfer the necessary money until Friday’s 17:00 deadline.
The EFL has now written to administrators, expressing genuine concern that Derby will not be able to play a team next season, “endangering the integrity of the competition” with matches scheduled for less than two weeks away.
League organizers have taken what is believed to be an unprecedented step, telling Quantuma administrators that they now need to be directly involved in negotiations with potential bidders for the Derby.
It is understood Quantuma has seen evidence of funding from at least five groups still keen to buy the club. They include Kirchner, former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and former Derby chairman Andy Appleby.
Sky Sports News it has been advised that although the priority is to end the club’s takeover long before the matches are published, there is a possibility that ‘backup’ funds will be made available to the Derby to build a squad and complete its matches if this process is delayed.
Some officials worry that EFL plans to interfere in the administrative process could violate financial protocols and jeopardize the confidentiality of the tendering process.
Kirchner still wants to buy Derby
Kirchner is convinced he still intends to make a deal to buy Derby, despite some missed deadlines for paying the purchase money.
Kirchner no longer has the franchise to try to finalize a purchase after missing Friday’s 5pm deadline set by club administrators.
He reportedly told Quantuma, the directors, that the money to buy the club had been deposited in a European bank account, pending the completion of money laundering checks.
Kirchner has changed his plans to return to America and will stay in the UK to finalize a deal.
Ashley remains interested, but ‘disappointed’ with the directors
Former Newcastle owner Ashley has money to buy the club himself and is still determined to buy, but says he is being ignored by directors, while two other groups, still unknown, are also involved in the bidding process.
Ashley has contacted Derby’s administrators, Quantuma, through his attorneys and said he “remains ready and willing to make transactions”.
Ashley, who has been eager to buy Derby since October after the sale of Newcastle, has made offers as part of the sale process but has not received any response from Quantuma for some time.
A letter sent to Quantuma’s lawyers on Ashley’s behalf says he was “disappointed by this [he] sees it as the failure of co-directors to engage constructively “during the process.
He adds that Ashley does not want to be “treated as an emergency measure and would require some form of security” from administrators before entering into further discussions on the sale of Derby.