US businessman Chris Kirchner pulls out of deal to buy Derby

Derby’s administrators have confirmed the American businessman Chris Kirchner has pulled out of his deal to buy the club.

Kirchner was named as the preferred bidder in April but failed to meet Friday’s 5pm deadline to show he was in a position to complete a takeover.

A spokesperson on behalf of Derby’s joint administrators said: “The joint administrators can confirm that today, Mr Kirchner has withdrawn his offer to acquire the business and assets of the club.

“We are aware that some will be concerned by this news, however, the joint administrators wish to reassure the club’s staff, players and supporters that they are continuing to actively engage with a growing number of interested parties, each of whom have a real willingness to complete a deal as soon as possible.”

One of those, the former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley confirmed on Saturday that he still retained an interest in Derby, who were relegated from the Championship last month.