Key breakthrough in battle to save Hatters

Fans consortium announced as the preferred bidder

A fans' consortium vying for control of Luton Town has this afternoon been given preferred bidder status by the club's administators.

Newly-formed company Luton Town Football Club 2020 Limited has made a loan to the Hatters which has bought them a period of exclusivity while a sale is negotiated.

Announcing the development, administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, said: "This is a very positive development and represents the light at the end of the tunnel that players, staff and supporters have been waiting for since our appointment in November 2007."

TV presenter Nick Owen is the frontman for Luton Town Football Club 2020 Limited. The consortium involves former Football League chairman Keith Harris, businessmen Gary Sweet, Stephen Browne, Antony Brown and Mick Pattinson, plus former players Steve Foster and Godrey Ingram.

Any purchase will be conditional upon the approval of the Football League and the Football Association. In the meantime the administrators will continue to run all aspects of the club.