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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 September, 2003, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Notts County face extinction
Notts hope to continue playing at Meadow Lane but need to find a buyer
Notts County are desperate to find a new buyer
The future of Notts County is hanging in the balance after the consortium poised to save the club withdrew their takeover proposal.

County, the oldest professional football club in the world, has already spent a record 444 days in administration.

And if they cannot find a new buyer in the next few days they could face a compulsory winding up order.

A consortium headed by former Leicester City directors Roy Parker and Bob Wilson were to put their takeover proposal to the League's board of directors at a meeting scheduled for Monday in London.

But former County director Derek Pavis, who had backed the consortium, has released a statement in which he claimed Wilson and Parker felt their bid was no longer viable - meaning the League could withdraw the club's right to compete in Division Two.

Hopes have now been pinned on London businessman Ray Bhatia, who had seen a previous takeover plan collapse last month but is racing to prepare an alternative.

Pavis released the news in a statement released to the Nottingham Evening Post newspaper.

"I have to inform all Notts County supporters Bob Wilson, the leader of the consortium I was assisting to buy the club, notified Paul Finnity, the club's administrator, that the consortium were not able to proceed any further with their proposed acquisition of the club," said Pavis

"Unless a buyer comes forward in the next 72 hours I am told the administrators will have no choice but to put the club into compulsory winding up."

Notts County are currently bottom of Division Two, with just one point from their opening five games.

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