A proposed takeover by the Pinnacle group, backed by Matt Le Tissier, has stalled because they are unhappy with the Football League insisting they forgo the right to challenge a 10-point deduction for next season.
The deduction came in the wake of the club's parent company, Southampton Leisure Holdings plc, going into administration.
The League's board held an emergency meeting and were unanimous in their decision to enforce the ruling.
An exclusivity agreement between Pinnacle and administrator Mark Fry expired last Friday and Fry opted against extending the agreement, which has enabled other interested parties to come forward.
Fry revealed Pinnacle could still complete their takeover, but he has held talks with two rivals consortia and is eager to broker a deal as soon as possible with staff at the south coast club yet to be paid this month.
Fry issued a statement, which read: "On Friday 19th June the exclusivity agreement signed between the administrators and the Pinnacle consortium expired. At that point in time Pinnacle were not in a position to complete their proposed takeover of Southampton Football Club.
"As has been publicised, the main stalling point lies around conditions that the Football League are insisting Pinnacle sign, in order to compete in the 2009/10 season. One of these is effectively a waiver to their right of appeal over the 10-point deduction that will be applied next season.
"However, when presented with these facts at the end of the exclusivity agreement last Friday, I was not convinced that this was sufficient reason to extend the group's exclusivity, and as such reopened negotiations with other interested parties.
"There is still the possibility that Pinnacle will complete their proposed takeover, however, I am led to believe that this is reliant on receiving a favourable response from the Football League. The longer that it takes for this decision to be made, the less likely it is that they will be able to complete.
"There are two other parties that have expressed a genuine interest in the purchase of Southampton Football Club, and I have spent this week in very detailed discussions with those parties. On Thursday I met with the representatives of a bid that is coming from abroad and who have the funds available to complete a takeover.
"I am expecting to hear back from them by the early part of next week as to whether they would like to push ahead and complete the purchase of the club.
"Essentially we are in the same position that we were in this time last month, we remain reliant on the goodwill of the staff to keep the club running until we are able to sign a deal with an interested party. I have outlined to staff that I hope to be able to give them an update by the end of next week.
"There will not be a further 'exclusivity period' available to potential purchasers due to the tight deadlines that we are working to. All contracts have now been prepared so now it is a case that the interested parties have to agree to those contracts, sign them and complete the purchase.
"If towards the end of next week we are in a situation where no bids for the football club are forthcoming, I will meet with the directors of the football club to discuss options."
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