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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 18:04 UK

Offer for Gretna being examined

Gretna players are relegated at St Mirren Park
Gretna's players were paid off after relegation was confirmed

Gretna's hopes of surviving as a Scottish Football League club still hang in the balance despite an offer being received to buy the club.

There was no confirmation that it is from Glasgow businessman Paul Davies, who is the one party known to still be interested in Gretna.

But administrator David Elliot said: "I received an offer through a solicitor acting as a purchaser.

"We're waiting for them to supply me with a three-year business plan."

Gretna made the club's remaining 40 staff redundant on Monday after administrator Wilson Field Ltd's weekend deadline passed for a deal to be completed.

But there remains an outside chance that the club, relegated from the Scottish Premier League this season, could be resurrected with new players and new owners.

"We're in a situation where we're still a member of the SPL but we don't have any staff," said Elliot.

We are waiting for the administrator to tell us whether Gretna are a going concern

Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir

"There's an automatic right for Gretna to enter into the SFL but at what level is open to debate.

"I haven't got a specific deadline. Yes, I can give some hope."

Wilson Field will have to be satisfied that the prospective purchaser has sufficient funds - and a viable plan to improve the club's Raydale Park stadium.

"I'll review that," said Elliot. "If I think it's workable, I'll contact the SFL.

"That's the plan at the moment and that's what we're working on."

Gretna were plunged into crisis in February when Brooks Mileson, who had bankrolled the club's rise from the Third Division to the SPL to the tune of about 8m, withdrew his funding after falling ill.

The club went into administration on 12 March and 28 employees, including nine first-team players, were made redundant two weeks later.

Gretna survived until the end of the season after being given cash advances by the SPL.

But the money ran out at the end of the season, when it emerged that they had debts of about 4m.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Prospective buyer Davies said he was unable to comment about any offer because of a confidentiality clause with the administrator.

However, the administrator is hopeful of receiving a firm business plan within a matter of days, with the SFL annual meeting looming on 29 May.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir pointed out that there were plans in place for both scenarios - Gretna's survival or the club going out of business.

"Unfortunately, we can't put a deadline on it," he said.

"We are waiting for the administrator to tell us whether Gretna are a going concern.

"But I really think there's an awful lot that the administrator needs to take into consideration."

Should Gretna go out of business, promotion play-off losers Airdrie United would take their place in Division One, with Stranraer moving up to Division Two.

Applications would then be invited for a new club to join Division Three.


see also
Oldham swoop for Fleming and Lee
22 May 08 |  Oldham Athletic
Shrews sign Murray and Hindmarch
16 May 08 |  Shrewsbury
Jefferies swoops to land Osman
16 May 08 |  Kilmarnock


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