Hartlepool United is on the verge of a takeover after a local entrepreneur stepped forward to save the club - and a deal could be done within the next seven days.
The Hartlepool-born businessman is set to meet with owner John Blackledge of Sage Investments next week to thrash out a deal to buy Pools.
The investor has been in talks with Pools for weeks and recently signed a non-disclosure agreement and provided proof of funds to the tune of £3million.
But where the other six who reached this stage did not come back to Pools with an offer, the Mail has learned that the unknown businessman’s intentions are to thrash things out with Blackledge, who has ploughed £1.8million into the club.
Should that meeting go well, a takeover could happen quite quickly, possibly by the time Pools travel to Eastleigh next weekend.
It is understood this investment will not come from a consortium, instead cash will come from one source.
The Mail can also reveal that potential Swedish investor Daniel Kindberg was one of those who signed an NDA. He is not believed to be involved in this bid.
Meanwhile, the Mail understands club staff and players have been told they will be paid next week.
It is believed the club has found the cash to pay the wage bill for January.
The other major bill, to the HMRC, is due early next month.