A NEW consortium of four wealthy British businessmen yesterday tabled a last minute £12.5m bid to buy Saints.

Fronted by the former York City FC owner John Batchelor, the consortium is confident of completing its dramatic take-over by Monday or even over the weekend.

But administrator Mark Fry says he remains “very confident” of pushing through a deal with a party at a very advanced stage – believed to be the Swiss group.

An announcement could come as early as Monday once final paperwork has been completed and signed off.

The deal is being brokered by Yorkshire firm Gillico.

Batchelor, who has made failed attempts to buy Stockport, Mansfield Town - which he wanted to rename Harchester - and Carlisle, said he was only acting as a negotiator and was not one of the investors.

The group first made contact with administrator Mark Fry just hours after the Matthew Le Tissier-backed Pinnacle bid collapsed on Tuesday afternoon.

“I have been talking to a group in relation to acquiring a football club for a long time and it was a case of getting the right entrepreneurial individuals around to do it,” said Batchelor.

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