Derby County’s would-be owner has been granted another extension as the takeover takes a new turn

American businessman Chris Kirchner is attempting to strike a deal for the newly-delegated Rams, but the Pride Park issue continues to be a formidable stumbling block

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Wayne Rooney reacts to derby relegation

Chris Kirchner, the potential owner of ailing Derby County, has been granted another extension as he tries to confirm his takeover of the club.

The American businessman has been in intense discussions about buying the Rams for weeks, with the only remaining stumbling block being the issue of the situation at Derby’s stadium. Pride Park, where the club has played since it opened in 1997, is owned by former Derby owner Mel Morris.

Potential buyers will need to strike a separate deal with Morris to use the stadium next season. Other options such as ground sharing are said to have been explored but a solution between the parties is still pending.

Kirchner was originally granted a period of exclusivity by administrators Quantuma, who have been with the county since last September. This originally expired in May before being extended by another week. Now a Derby MP has confirmed the American’s deadline has been extended again by 48 hours.

Amanda Solloway, MP for Derby North, tweeted on Friday: “Given the extension of the deadline for @cskirchner to take over @dcfcoofficial until Monday, I wanted to reassure you that I will continue to be in regular contact with Administrators Chris and Team Derby about the situation and assist in the completion of an acquisition.”

Chris Kirchner is trying to get a deal for Derby but faces a delay over the stadium situation

Quantuma had previously given an update last week saying there were “only a small number of outstanding matters to be agreed with the EFL and in relation to the club’s stadium at Pride Park”, adding: “We believe that matters can be resolved in a short time from time”.

It promises to be another tense waiting game for Derby boss Wayne Rooney. The former England and Manchester United captain has been praised for his handling of an extremely difficult situation on and off the field. Derby were relegated from the Championship with a 21-point handicap, passed for entering administration and breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules, which proved fatal to their hopes of survival.

Wayne Rooney is hoping he gets the chance to lead Derby straight back to the Championship next season

They also had to work under a transfer embargo all season while key players left. Rooney is signed until 2023 and, despite being linked with some high-profile jobs lately, has regularly expressed his desire to stay at the club. Just hours after Derby’s relegation from the Championship was confirmed, he delivered a rousing speech to fans.

Although he has repeatedly stated he is keen to stay and help the club get promoted straight back out of League One next season, he says it will only happen if a takeover materializes. The 36-year-old said: “The takeover has to happen. If not, I’m afraid for the club. She must (go through). If it happens, I want to rebuild the club. It’s a special club.’ I kept saying. I want to try to bring back the happy days.”

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