Derby County: Chris Kirchner and Mel Morris at 'impasse' over Pride Park sale

Chris Kirchner (centre)
Chris Kirchner (centre) previously attempted to buy Preston North End

Chris Kirchner has held talks with former Derby County owner Mel Morris to try and facilitate the purchase of their Pride Park stadium.

US businessman Kirchner is the preferred bidder to take over the relegated Championship club.

The Rams were placed in administration last September and the ground issue is holding up the takeover deal.

Kirchner posted on Twitter that they "remain at an impasse"external-link but criticised death threats directed at Morris.

Derby City Council has been working on a deal to buy Pride Park from Morris, so the takeover can be completed and the club taken out of administration.

Following talks last week, the English Football League said in a statement that the status of the stadium, Derby's home since 1997, was a "significant issue".

"It is clear that the complexity associated with this aspect of the transaction is the biggest hurdle to overcome," the statement continued.

Former Derby County owner Mel Morris
Mel Morris became Derby County's sole owner in 2015

Derby's relegation from the Championship - 50 years after the club won the old First Division title under Brian Clough - was confirmed by defeat at QPR on 18 April and they lost 1-0 at home to Cardiff in their final game of the campaign on Saturday.

Had they not had 21 points deducted for going into administration and breaches of financial rules, they would have finished 17th in the table, well clear of the relegation places.

Kirchner is pressing ahead with his plans for the club despite them dropping into the third tier for the first time since the 1980s.

"I've spoken to Mel this morning in a meeting with several of the key parties," he said.

"We remain at an impasse, but I'm hopeful everyone will come around to agree to save this great football club and so that we can move on with rebuilding it.

He continued: "It has been brought to my attention that Mel has received death threats and other threatening messages. There is absolutely NO place for that. Tensions are high.

"There is an unbelievable amount of emotion involved. However, violence and/or the threat of it is NEVER acceptable and I ask that everyone lets this play out in an appropriate manner."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC