FORMER Wrexham chairman Mark Guterman has withdrawn his bid to buy the troubled League One club from former business partner Alex Hamilton.
Amid recriminations from both parties as to the cause of the breakdown, the Dragons now face the prospect of going into administration next Friday. The move will trigger a 10-point deduction by the Football League - subject to appeal.
In a statement issued though his lawyers, Guterman accused Hamilton of showing no interest in opening negotiations on his consortium's bid, which was put forward nearly four weeks ago.
It said: "We can confirm that on Novemeber 2 a consortium led by Mark Guterman, supported by a leading clearing bank, put forward an offer to purchase Mr Hamilton's interests in Wrexham AFC.
"The acceptance of this offer by Mr Hamilton would have safeguarded the club's financial position, saved the club from going into administration and ensured its future at the Racecourse Ground.
"It would also have resulted in a profit well in excess of £1m to Mr Hamilton on his investment.
"Notwithstanding attempts to enter into negotiations with Mr Hamilton through his solicitors Berg & Co we have received no constructive response to this offer, despite satisfying all parties that the funding was, and is, available.
"As a result of Mr Hamilton's failure to accept this offer within a reasonable time or to engage in any meaningful discussions, the offer has reluctantly been withdrawn."
For his part Hamilton said Guterman's two-year tenure as chairman had contributed to Wrexham's current financial problems and, on that basis, had demanded to know the names of his present backers.
"Guterman wanted me to enter into a confidentiality agreement as to the identity of his backers, which I am unwilling to do," he added. "His stewardship proved financially disastrous for the club so he has to be treated with great caution.
"We, and I mean me and Wrexham's supporters, need to see who is there behind him and I would like to be sure that the money is there on the table."
Hamilton owns a 78% majority stake in the club as well as owning the freehold to the Racecourse Ground. He has already rejected two takeover bids from Wrexham Supporters Trust.
His alleged failure to respond to the Guterman bid will merely fuel the speculation he has no intention of selling his shares and is willing to see the club eventually go out of business.
Last night Hamilton confirmed the existence of a potential fresh interest, which has been forwarded to him by David Acland, the insolvency specialist standing by to run the club if and when the administration order is confirmed.
"There has been one new inquiry but no offer tabled," said Hamilton. "Under the terms of the WST bid, which was subject to the successful conclusion of several other conditions, I would not have seen any money for three years.
"The fact is that no organisation or company has so far tabled a formal bid or any cash offer."
The Cheshire-based property developer said a reported £5m price-tag to relinquish all his interests was a "ball-park figure".
Insisting he was ready to enter negotiations with Wrexham Council over the sale of the freehold, he added: "That figure would possibly represent my interests but I am waiting for a valuation on the freehold. I am trying to get the council to pay the fees for that because I have no more money.
"As soon as I get confirmation of that I'm willing to sit round a table and talk. The figure could be as low as £3m or it could be as high as £7m."
And Racecourse hate figure Hamilton challenged Wrexham fans to raise the £900,000 owed to the Inland Revenue in order to save the club from going into administration.
"Based on average gates of 3,000, if every fan came up with £300 the debt would be paid off," he said.. "I have put in £232,000 of my own money in interest-free loans and I have re-mortgaged my house on behalf of the club."