American's visit to Deepdale gets Preston North End supporters talking

The news that a wealthy American businessman had watched Preston North End’s last home game, sparked a great deal of talk among the Deepdale faithful over the weekend.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 14th February 2022, 12:30 pm

Chris Kirchner was in an executive box in the Invincibles Pavilion for last Wednesday’s goalless draw with Huddersfield.

Kirchner was in the running to buy Derby County before Christmas but pulled out when a deal couldn’t be put together.

His interest in buying an English club remains strong, with his visit to Deepdale part of a fact-finding mission.

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American businessman Chris Kirchner pictured watching Derby County in November - he was at Deepdale to see PNE in action last week

It was a Sunday newspaper which revealed Kirchner’s visit, one done without any publicity on the night.

The visit was arranged by former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook who had involvement in Kirchner’s bid to buy Derby.

Whether there is any kind of follow-up from Kirchner to his trip to Deepdale remains to be seen.

The 34-year-old, the co-founder and chairman of software company, has visited a handful of Championship clubs of late.

Huddersfield were one of them, suggesting one of the reasons for last Wednesday’s visit was to see them play.

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North End, like most clubs, are on the market.

In football, every player has their price and it is the same for the majority of clubs.

Deepdale sources say that down the years, enquiries have been fielded on a regular basis from potential buyers.

Often the enquiries have gone no further than an initial phone call.

Occasionally things have progressed to talks but they haven’t then got much further down the road.

As one source commented, there are a lot of ‘tyre kickers’ who show an interest which then quickly fades.

The passing last October of North End owner Trevor Hemmings has potentially opened up the prospect of the club being sold.

However, it is a stable ship at PNE, the ownership in the hands of the Hemmings family with the support of the companies under their umbrella.

Craig Hemmings has been chairman since the summer of 2019, a role given to him after many years being a voice for his father at meetings.

Until any contact is made by Kirchner or anyone else with an interest in buying the club, it seems very much business as usual at PNE.