The administrator of Stockport has announced the club have entered into an exclusive agreement with a fresh consortium as they seek to find a buyer.

County, bottom of Coca-Cola League One and seemingly doomed to relegation, have been in administration since last April, despite prolonged negotiations with the Melrose consortium - led by former Manchester City forward Jim Melrose.

On Thursday night, the Football League released a statement confirming they had rejected an application by the club's administrator, Leonard Curtis, to sell the club. The Melrose consortium are understood to be behind that purchase bid, but Leonard Curtis have now revealed a new group - the 2015 consortium - are in talks over purchasing the cash-strapped outfit.

A statement read: "We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an exclusive agreement with the 2015 consortium headed by Sean Connolly and David Schofield in respect of their purchase of Stockport County Football Club.

"We hope to progress to a sale of the Club by mid-May 2010 at the latest.

"We would like to express our thanks for the continued support of the fans of Stockport County FC.

"There will be no further comment from Leonard Curtis at this stage."

County must exit administration by the start of next season if they are to avoid expulsion from the Football League, as league rules do not permit clubs to begin two successive seasons in administration.

In announcing that the earlier bid to buy the club had been rejected, a Football League statement read: "At its meeting in Preston, The Board of the Football League considered an application for transfer of membership relating to Stockport County.

"The Board was unable to approve the application as presented due to concerns about the proposed business plan and ownership structure. The League will now continue to work with the Administrator to help secure the Club's long-term future and would encourage potential investors to come forward as a matter of urgency."

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