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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 19:18 GMT
TV presenter plots Luton rescue
Luton celebrate drawing 1-1 at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup third round
Luton's FA Cup draw with Liverpool earned them a lucrative replay
Television presenter and lifelong Luton fan Nick Owen is fronting a bid to buy the troubled League One club.

His consortium, funded by local and overseas businessmen, expect a decision from the administrator on Wednesday.

"I cannot wait for us to get the go-ahead - I'm very hopeful," Owen told BBC Three Counties Radio.

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle says "more than one" bid has been received and that they hope for exclusive talks with the winning bidder within a week.

"We have more than one bid which is obviously good news," said Guilfoyle, who imposed a deadline of 1700 GMT on Monday for all interested parties to lodge formal offers.

"We are now in the process of getting one bid to the stage of being the preferred bidder and then entering exclusive negotiations.

"The price of that is for one party to start funding the club straight away.

I'm very positive that we could well be the only credible bid

Nick Owen

"We are asking for that to test their commitment."

Luton entered administration on 22 November and were deducted 10 points accordingly.

Owen confirmed that his consortium's bid is backed by the three principal supporters' groups, including the supporters' trust.

"It is a great lift to know they are right behind us," said the 60-year-old presenter of the BBC's Midlands Today.

"The people in the consortium are all lifelong Luton fans.

"These guys have worked so hard over a few weeks now to put together a very impressive application - 64 pages of it.

They are big Luton fans and have pulled together some very successful businessmen who are Luton fans.

"It blew my mind away when I read the application"

Some of the investment is being provided by former Luton youth player Mick Pattinson who is now president and chief executive of US housebuilder Barratt American.

He is joined by other long standing season-ticket holders and two unnamed former players who now have successful business interests.

606: DEBATE
BEDFORDSHIREWK

"They're coming in because they want to see this club survive," said Owen, who added that former England manager Graham Taylor was acting as a football advisor to one other group which, he claimed, has not made a bid.

"I'm very positive that we could well be the only credible bid," said Owen.

Guilfoyle admitted last week that the club would be forced to sell players if funding was not made available instantly.

Chairman David Pinkney had agreed to fund the losses of the club out of his own pocket but that deal expired at the end of the year, potentially leaving Guilfoyle with no option.

But such a scenario could yet be avoided if a bidder agrees to invest enough, and hopes are high following Sunday's morale-boosting FA Cup draw with Liverpool.

"I sense the need to get there as early as we can and I am hopeful that within the next week we can get to that stage," said Guilfoyle.

"It is important at this stage to respect the confidentiality of the parties.

"They have shown us that they have the money but now we need them to open their wallets.

"The players are getting paid now for the first two weeks of January which they deserve after their recent results."

SEE ALSO
Luton's future remains in doubt
07 Jan 08 |  Luton Town
Luton 1-1 Liverpool
06 Jan 08 |  FA Cup
Cup brings little cheer for Luton
04 Jan 08 |  Luton Town
Luton deny player clear-out talk
20 Dec 07 |  Luton Town
Timetable set for Luton Town sale
13 Dec 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Luton look for help from players
01 Dec 07 |  Luton Town
Luton suffer 10-point deduction
22 Nov 07 |  Luton Town


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