US businessman Chris Kirchner has apologised to fans after withdrawing his proposal to buy Sky Bet Championship club Derby.
The co-founder and chief executive of software company Slync.io, a global logistics technology provider, announced in October his intention to purchase Derby, who have been hit with an overall 21-point deduction this season for entering administration and for further financial irregularities.
Kirchner has revealed he made a formal offer to buy the second-tier basement club earlier this month and improved that on Thursday but has now stepped away from the process.
“It is with real sadness that I can confirm I am withdrawing from the process to buy Derby County Football Club,” he said on Twitter.
“First and foremost, I would like to apologise to the fans. As you know, I’ve been in talks with the administrators for about two months.
“Two weeks ago, I made a formal offer to buy the club. I believe I presented a very detailed, generous and ambitious long-term sustainable business plan.
“It included purchasing the stadium, future funding and maintaining the academy’s status. We improved that offer further today (Thursday).
“I wanted to agree a deal that I thought was in the best interests of all parties but, unfortunately, the last 24 hours has proven that just isn’t possible. So it is with deep regret that I must now stand aside and let the administrators pursue their own course.
“As I did when I entered the process, I want to be transparent in this process and communicate to the fans first and directly. I’m just very sorry it’s not better news. I wish all Derby supporters and everyone at the club all the best for the future.
“My team and I are going to move forward into club ownership as was our goal when we set out and are moving forward.”
While the club’s joint administrators confirmed Kirchner had withdrawn his bid, they moved to clarify the situation.
A statement read: “Following our announcement yesterday, we can confirm that, as has been widely reported both on social media and other media outlets, Mr Kirchner has withdrawn his interest in acquiring the club. We would like to put on record our thanks to Mr Kirchner and his team for engaging in the process.
“However, as we have made very clear throughout this process, the issues we are having to deal with are complex and we simply were not in a position to accept Mr Kirchner’s bid as it did not meet the level of other bids received.
“We will not be engaging in any social media communications, we have seen some of the tweets exchanged yesterday between Mr Kirchner and others, and would like to put on record that we disagree with much that has been said.
“Whilst yesterday was a difficult time, it provided a stimulus to one of the remaining bidders who increased his offer for the club. We expect to name preferred bidder status imminently. We repeat that we are moving as quickly as possible to achieve a sale of the club.”