Port Vale has released a statement, saying a “significant” point has been reached in the sale of the club.
The statement reads:
The Club has entered into a Confidentiality and Exclusivity agreement with Carol and Kevin Shanahan regarding the purchase of the Club and Vale Park in their entirety.
Both parties will now work together diligently to progress this process over the next 5 weeks.
Port Vale Chief Executive/Secretary Colin Garlick said on behalf of the Club and the Shanahan’s: “There has been a great deal of dialogue between the two parties over the last 10 days to reach this important point. There is still much work to be done as Carol and Kevin work through the legal process and the English Football League compliance procedure.
"I, along with my staff, will be doing all we can to help them during this time.”
No further statement or communication regarding the sale will be made by either party while the process is ongoing.
Port Vale's owner Norman Smurthwaite had previously turned down offers from Carol and Kevin - the owners of Burslem based Synectic Solutions.
Organised protests have taken place at recent games, calling for Mr Smurthwaite to sell up.
Chair of Port Vale Supporters Club, Mark Porter, has welcomed today's news.
He said: "We hope that the negotiations will result in a new ownership for Port Vale football club.
"Out of respect, following the news that has come out today, the Supporters Club, and all associates - including Black & Gold and North London Valiants - will suspend all protests while these talks are ongoing."
In a statement, the Black & Gold Group said:
Our aim was to encourage the sale of the club to new, ethical owners and today's news is a major step forward towards reaching our aims.
The forthcoming Black & Gold day, planned for this weekend's visit of Crewe Alexandra, will now be postponed whilst we eagerly await the outcome of negotiations between Mr Smurthwaite, Colin Garlick and the Shanahans. We do, however, encourage fans to maintain the boycott of the refreshment kiosks as this money still does not go direct to the club.
We continue to monitor the situation with interest and will issue further statements in due course.
Thanks for your fantastic support.