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County negotiations ongoing

Stockport County Football Club is on the verge of selling two more players in order to keep the business afloat.

An agreement has been reached in principle to sell the club to a consortium led by former Manchester City player Jim Melrose but final terms have yet to be reached with Stockport County’s landlord at Edgeley Park, Cheshire Sports.

Joint administrators John Titley and Paul Reeves, directors at Manchester-based accountancy firm Leonard Curtis, took control of the club on April 30.

A statement released today through Leonard Curtis said that while commercial terms of the lease have been agreed with Brian Kennedy’s Cheshire Sports, the company is also “seeking certain assurances with regard to the future operation of the business moving forward”.

A spokesman for the Melrose consortium said: “We have agreed terms with the administrators and we have agreed to all the conditions of the lease put in front of us by the landlord, Cheshire Sports, however the process of reaching final agreement with Cheshire Sports is taking so long that we are in danger of directly affecting the financial and playing strength of the club at a critical stage in the pre-season period.

“The club is not able to actively market the sale of season tickets or strengthen the squad until Cheshire Sports agree to sign the lease and support the CVA.”

James Jennings Sale Sharks chief executive described the comments from the consortium as “surprising” and “inconsistent with the current state of negotiations”.

He said: “Discussions are ongoing and Cheshire Sport are awaiting confirmation that the Melrose Consortium will be in a position to capitalise the football club on the terms agreed.

“It is critically important the new owners of Stockport County have sufficient funding to ensure that the football club can stand on its own two feet.”

In order to raise funds to pay trading costs such as wages, Leonard Curtis has given formal permission for Brighton and Hove Albion FC to begin discussions with County players James Tunnicliffe and Gary Dicker. A transfer of either player has yet to be agreed.
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