CHESTER City could be under new ownership within the next 10 days.
Blues chairman Stephen Vaughan is close to bringing the club’s takeover saga to a conclusion by striking a deal with an overseas company called International Sports Management (ISM).
A confidentiality agreement between the two parties is preventing Vaughan from spelling out the full implications of the deal, but yesterday he confirmed that negotiations were at an advanced stage.
Vaughan said: ‘We’re ready to do the deal. We’ve carried out all the relevant due diligence tests on them and we’re happy with the company.
‘There’s a deal being done and it will all happen within the next seven to 10 days.’
The Chester chairman added: ‘We will either have an investment in the company or a total buyout.
‘I’m bound by confidentiality clauses but the minute everything’s signed and sealed, we’ll announce it.’
Chester were the subject of a takeover approach by ISM – who are fronted by Alicante-based businessman Richard Downes – last month. Negotiations between Blues officials and ISM have continued over recent weeks, while the club’s chief executive Alan Middleton has been busy carrying out checks into the background of the potential new investors.
Little is known about Downes or ISM, but Vaughan claims the company is being backed by ‘a major bank’.
Vaughan is widely regarded by Blues fans as the man who revived Chester’s fortunes following American Terry Smith’s disastrous reign.
Last month, he promised supporters that he would only step aside if it was in the club’s best interests.
Vaughan said: ‘I’m quite happy to continue, but if there are people out there like Mr Downes who want to show me the money instead of talking about it, I’ll do a deal with them providing the club’s going to benefit and move up the divisions.’
The Chronicle made calls to contact Richard Downes in Spain yesterday but he was unavailable.