Company part-owned by Wayne Rooney’s agent insists no rules are broken when it comes to loans
The company part-owned by Wayne Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford insisted no rules were broken when it provided a loan to cover Derby’s wage bill last month in a bid to to help Chris Kirchner complete his failed takeover.
The Football Association have launched an investigation after it emerged that the Triple S group had provided a loan worth around £1.6million to cover May’s wage bill at a time when the man American businessman said he was expecting funds to be processed through the international banking system.
Kirchner, who had been named by Derby’s administrators as the preferred bidder on April 6, then saw his bid collapse on June 13. Rooney, who was manager of Derby when the loan was granted, left the club last week after a meeting with the directors. Quantama on Friday.
Stretford, 64, is one of football’s most influential agents and has represented Rooney since the former England captain’s teenage years. He is the CEO of Triple S and his family owns a minority stake in the company.
Stretford had developed a relationship with Kirchner over the past few months and had attended several games with him.
It is understood the loan was not made by Stretford personally, but by Triple S, who sought legal advice in advance to ensure there was no conflict of interest given Stretford’s long-standing relationship with Rooney.
A spokesperson for the group said: ‘The Triple S Group is aware of the FA’s routine investigation – indeed it was the Triple S Group who voluntarily disclosed the information to the FA, which resulted in further investigation.
“We were surprised that details of this investigation have emerged in the press as the investigation process is ongoing. Regardless, Triple S Group is confident in the legal advice it originally requested and will continue to cooperate fully with the FA to resolve this matter expeditiously.
“No further comment will be made at this time.”
Kirchner had applied for the loan when he indicated that funds he was seeking to transfer from his sources in the United States had been blocked in the international banking system around the time of the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.
With May’s wage bill due to be paid, a delay could have resulted in further penalties for Derby, which has been in administration for eight months.
Triple S had made the loan in hopes it would give Kirchner time to complete his takeover and get the club out of administration, but his pledged funds never materialized.
It is understood the loan went to Kirchner and not Derby, and Triple S has no claims against the club or the administrators. The company will not make any profit from the loan.
Derby were relegated to League One last season after failing to overcome a 21-point administration-related deduction.
Rooney had impressed with the way he handled the problems facing the club and indicated he was ready to stay if Kirchner’s deal went through.
Following the collapse of the US takeover, local property developer David Clowes has had his offer to buy the club accepted and he hopes to complete the deal this week, having bought the Derby’s Pride Park home from the former owner Mel Morris.