A SURREY-based businessman last night dramatically emerged as the frontrunner to take over Wrexham FC.
News of a potential buyer came just hours after the Coca-Cola League One club was put into administration.
The move sees Wrexham docked 10 points, immediately pitching the club into a relegation battle.
Current owner Alex Hamilton last night said he was confident he could strike a deal for the cash-strapped club.
Surrey property dealer Andrew Smith and two associates were yesterday looking around the Race-course ground - just three hours after the administration order was granted in a Manchester court.
Sources suggested Smith planned to keep the club at the Mold Road site and improve its finances by a partial housing development of the Kop End - a plan first mooted by the Wrexham Supporters' Trust..
Court-appointed administrator Steve Williams confirmed Hamilton was in "serious discussions" with an interested party.
He said an announcement was expected in the next few days. But Mr Williams warned the deal would only go through with his approval.
He said: "Any potential buyer needs to do a deal with both of us, Mr Hamilton and myself because to exit administration in accordance with Football League policy there has to be a consensual deal.
"They will have to make sure the issue of the ground is resolved.
"My understanding is that there were parties at the club today and they are having serious discussions and hopefully they will make an announcement if they do a deal.
"I have indicated they need to move things forward with Mr Hamilton and if talks take place and are positive I will meet with them early next week.
"I need to understand who they are and where their money is coming from," added Williams
Approval wouldn't be granted unless administrators were satisfied any would-be buyer could pay off the club's creditors.
The Football League also has to be satisfied the change of owner-ship is in Wrexham's interests before any deal is rubber-stamped.
Williams said: "If they agree terms with Mr Hamilton they then need to discuss terms with me with regard to settlement of the club's outstanding debts."
Smith refused to make any comment until after the weekend as fans clamoured for details of any deal.
Director Dave Bennett said it would be excellent news - provided the businessman kept Wrexham at the Racecourse.
Bennett said: "If they stick to their plans then its absolutely fantastic news for the football club."