Former Birmingham City owners David Gold and David Sullivan have moved a step closer to taking over at West Ham United after one of their main rivals to buy the Upton Park club pulled out.
Lotus Formula One boss Tony Fernandes ended his interest in the Hammers on Monday evening to pave the way for Gold and Sullivan to take the helm.
The duo have only been out of Premier League football for four months after selling their share in the Blues to Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung in October.
"Deal lost on West Ham," Fernandes told his Twitter page. "Hopefully new owners protect what's good.
"We gave awesome deal and new ideas to rejuvenate a club and bring excitement."
West Ham are currently owned by investment company CB Holding, which stepped in following the financial problems of Icelandic bank Straumur in June 2009.
The Hammers are reported to be almost £40million in debt and Sullivan recently warned that the state of football's finances could lead to one Premier League club going out of business.