EFL give conditional approval to Kirchner's proposed Derby takeover

May 17 (Reuters) - The English Football League (EFL) on Tuesday gave its conditional approval to American businessman Chris Kirchner's proposed acquisition of Derby County.

Earlier on Tuesday, administrators for the English club said they had exchanged contracts for the sale of the club, with the completion of the sale expected by May 31.

"The EFL Board has today given its conditional approval to the proposed acquisition of Derby County Football Club by the company controlled by Mr Chris Kirchner (9CK Sports Holdings Limited)," the EFL said in a statement.

"However, its final approval is subject to Mr Kirchner completing on the Asset Purchase Agreement and a deal being finalised in respect of a lease on the stadium by 31 May 2022."

Derby's administrators Quantuma said the sale would be completed on condition of the stadium being sold, approval from the EFL and receiving secured creditor consent.

Kirchner, who was named preferred bidder in April, said his team would now focus on rebuilding the side who were relegated to the third-tier last month. read more

"This has been a traumatic period for everyone and I can say that I hope this is the most difficult transaction I have to complete for a very long time," Kirchner, 34, said on Twitter on Monday.

Derby, managed by former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney, were handed two separate points deductions for entering administration and breaching financial rules earlier in the season and have been under a transfer embargo.

Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.