Administrators battling to save Dunfermline Athletic yesterday received two bids for the club.
The fans group Pars United – which hopes to raise £500,000 through an appeal to supporters – was the first to lodge a formal bid with Bryan Jackson of accountancy firm BDO, which took charge of the club’s finances in March.
A mystery rival offer was also submitted with a preferred bidder unlikely to be named before the end of the month.
The two bids contain proposals to buy both the club and the stadium, which falls under separate ownership.
East End Park Ltd, a company set up by former club owner Gavin Masterton that entered administration last month with multi-million pound debts, is currently controlled by KPMG.
That firm also has to study the proposals and hold talks with BDO and both parties.
The situation could be complicated and delayed if the accountancy firms select different preferred bidders but all parties are working towards submitting a Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal to creditors in July, which could allow the club to come out of administration before the start of the season.
A source close to the process described both bids as “credible” although work and talks are needed to make them fully acceptable.
Dunfermline were relegated to the third tier of Scottish football after being deducted 15 points and losing a play-off final against Alloa. They had been put into administration in a bid to stave off a winding-up order launched by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
They owed the taxman £134,000 and also have further debts totalling around £8.5million which are owed to majority shareholder Masterton and other companies.
A CVA will be successful if creditors representing 75 per cent of the value of the debt vote to accept a pence-in-the-pound deal.
Jackson refused to comment on the bids but did say: “We are progressing. The club’s chances of surviving are still little more than 50-50.
“But at least they are on the right side of the balance. When we came in back in March it was the other way about. Now things are at least on the good side of 50-50.”