Derby City Council confirm crucial talks to buy Derby County's Pride Park stadium

Pride Park Stadium Credit: PA

Derby City Council is in talks over a deal to buy Derby County's Pride Park stadium as Chris Kirchner looks to finalise his takeover of the club.The Football League confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the issue regarding the stadium is the "biggest hurdle" to overcome in the American businessman's bid to take control of the club.The football ground is currently owned by the club's former chairman Mel Morris and is not part of the administration process - meaning a deal has to be struck with him independently.

But Kirchner does not want to deal with Morris on the ground and would prefer the council bought it.

Negotiations to buy the stadium are ongoing, but Kirchner's period of exclusivity to buy the club is due to expire this weekend.

Council leader Chris Poulter Credit: BPM Media

Council leader Chris Poulter said: "I am not involved in the negotiations but officers from finance, property, business and legal teams are working on it."We are waiting to see what comes out from it. As far as the timescales go, we are aware there is a period of exclusivity regarding Chris Kirchner but there is a potential for the administrators to extend that."

Poulter added: "It's absolutely unthinkable that Derby city wouldn't have a senior football team for the community to lean on. We will do everything possible within our power to help in that process. All options are still on the table. Things are a lot clearer, a lot of things have been sorted out."The issue with the stadium is the biggest barrier to Kirchner's takeover going through with Morris having separated the stadium from the football club back in 2018.

However, it is understood that former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is still keeping an eye on developments at the Rams who have been in administration since September.