Southampton Leisure Holdings have entered a 21-day exclusivity agreement with the Pinnacle Consortium, paving the way for the cash-strapped football club to ease its financial troubles.
The consortium, backed by Saints legend Matt Le Tissier, have paid to secure the arrangement and now have three weeks to work with administrators Begbies Traynor with a view to taking over at St Mary's.
A statement issued by the administrators read: "Mark Fry and David Hudson of Begbies Traynor, the Joint Administrators of Southampton Leisure Holdings Plc, are pleased to announce that they have entered into an exclusivity agreement with the Pinnacle Consortium for the sale of all of the assets of the Company, including Southampton Football Club."
The statement continued: "In order to enter into the exclusivity agreement, the Consortium has paid a non-refundable, undisclosed fee, and as a result the Club is now in a position to pay its staff wages in full for the month of May.
"The exclusivity agreement will last for 21 days, during which time we will be working hard with the Consortium on the technical aspects required to complete the sale, and we will make a further announcement when it is appropriate to do so."
Fry, who has helped manage the club's finances since their parent company went into administration on April 23, added: "I am extremely pleased to be able to announce this significant development in the sale process of Southampton Leisure Holdings Plc."
Southampton were relegated to League One after the Football League opted to impose a 10-point deduction on them and confirmed they were unable to pay wages to any of their staff.
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