A potential Hartlepool United takeover has edged a step closer with the news that six interested parties have signed non-disclosure agreements.
All are said to be regarded as credible by Pools, after various meetings with the club top brass were staged over the festive period.
Interested parties had to provide proof of funds to club solicitors, a sum which was set at £3million in order to smoke out those who were serious about putting their money where their mouth is.
Despite difficulties on the pitch, and struggles to make ends meet off it, confidence is high that a deal can be struck for fresh cash to be injected into Pools in the not-too-distant future.
What is not known at this stage is whether any of the half dozen potential consortia or investors are keen to buy Pools outright, or whether they want to purchase a share of the football club.
One potential investor has gone as far to ask for a period of exclusivity, where they alone can go through the process of due diligence unchallenged, but have been told they must pay a sum up front in order to do that.
As yet, they have not come forward with it. No firm offer has been made for the National League club.