American businessman looking to rescue Derby County
DERBY, England (AP) — An American businessman is looking to rescue English second-tier club Derby from bankruptcy protection.
Chris Kirchner, the founder of shipping and logistics firm Slync.io, has written to inform supporters of his desire to take Derby out of administration.
The team, which is managed by former England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, has already been docked 12 points for entering administration and is in last place with more than two thirds of the season remaining.
The 34-year-old Kirchner is already seeking to get approval from the English Football League to be an owner of the club.
“Clearly, I am at the beginning of procedures that must take place with the administrators and the EFL,” he said in a letter to supporters. “I am respectful of these mechanisms. Nonetheless, my team and I have already been in conversation with all parties to discuss where to start.”
Kirchner, who said he has been a soccer fan “since I could walk,” attended last Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Luton at Pride Park.
“I was particularly impressed with the attitude of manager Wayne Rooney, his coaching staff and the players,” he said. "Recent performances and results demonstrate their clear, unwavering commitment to the club. The best stories in life often start after a setback and the best years of Derby County FC are without a doubt in front of us."
Derby was one of 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888 and won the top division in 1972 and 1975 but has not played in the Premier League since being relegated in 2008.
Two takeover bids collapsed this year, leading to the administration process.
“The administration process is complex, but I have informed the administrators that I’m willing to work through these complexities,” Kirchner said. “I understand and acknowledge that there are a number of interested parties in the club, but I wanted to go on the record at the start of the process and be upfront."
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