'Derby County unlikely to collapse' - Finance expert speaks out as Chris Kirchner bid pulled

Kieran Maguire told ITV News Central Derby remained an attractive club to investors

A football finance expert has told ITV News Central it is "rather unlikely" Derby County FC will completely collapse as it remains a "very attractive" club to investors.

His comments come after a proposed takeover bid by Chris Kirchner fell through, an unexpected twist in a months-long journey which has seen the club's future thrown into doubt.

Kieran Maguire, an expert in football finances, said Kirchner's withdrawal does not mean an end to the club, despite the deadline for bids fast approaching

"There are supposed to be a least two interest parties still circling," he said.

"One of whom is alleged to be Mike Ashley - who certainly has cash, remember he sold Newcastle United recently for £300 million - so getting the deal in place from a financing perspective wouldn't be as complex if Mike Ashley was involved."

Mike Ashley, who founded Sports Direct, has expressed interest in buying the club, although it's unclear if Derby's manager, Wayne Rooney, would stay on if he did.

Maguire also pointed out Kirchner has been consistent when it came to withdrawing from football club sales.

"There had been warning signs when Chris Kirchner originally agreed to buy the club in December, and he pulled out. He was then involved in negotiations with Preston North End, and he pulled out of that as well," he said.

Maguire suggests administrators will now work at 'rapid speed'

In terms of timescale, he also said that it was possible further bids could come in soon, given the grave implications created by a lack of ownership.

"One would hope that the administrators, the EFL, and the prospective owner will be able to work at rapid speed because it's in the interests of everybody.

"The interests of the staff that are still there, the fans who want to be able to look forward to the fixtures when they come out with a degree of certainty, and also the old owners because if Derby County isn't sold then you've got a problem out outstanding loans existing.

"And you've got a stadium that has no other use - and how are you going to generate cash from that?"