Queen of the South in takeover talks with Preston group

A Preston-based sports management company has begun takeover talks with Queen of the South chairman David Rae and wants Gary Bollan as manager.

Football agent Jonathan Hope told BBC Scotland that the group was willing to plough in substantial funds in a bid to reach the Scottish Premier League.

"We are at the early stages, but the consortium are serious about taking over Queen of the South," he said.

"Football is a business and Queen of the South have a lot to offer."

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They are a debt-free club, which is rare in football today

Jonathan Hope Football agent

But the Doonhamers presently sit bottom of Division One, three points adrift of Raith Rovers and one behind Ayr United.

Hope insisted that relegation would not deter the consortium, although it would reduce their offer for Rae's 30% majority shareholding in the Dumfries club.

"If you are buying a Second Division club, you're not going to be paying First Division prices for the shares," he said.

Bollan led Livingston to promotion to Division One

Bollan led Livingston to promotion to Division One

"However, I do understand that the consortium plan on keeping the club full-time, which is a massive bonus.

"We will sit down again when we know where Queens will be next year."

The consortium has already earmarked Bollan, the former Dundee United, St Johnstone and Rangers midfielder sacked by Livingston in February despite having led the club to promotion from Division Two and to mid-table safety this season, as manager at Palmerston.

Former Rangers, Queens and Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram, who was a coach with Bollan at Clyde, is the consortium's preferred assistant.

"Gus MacPherson and Andy Millen are the current managers and commenting on that would be rather rude," said Hope.

"However, I do believe the consortium would, if Gus and Andy resign at the end of the season or their contracts are not renewed, prefer Andy Bollan with Andy Goram as his assistant."

Rae has invested heavily in Queens and is believed to want to recoup some of his money when he steps down as chairman at the end of the season.

"They have a fantastic fan base, fantastic fans, they own their own stadium, they're not in debt," said Hope.

"They are a debt-free club, which is rare in football today."

Hope did not wish to name those involved in the bid but said it was "an English-based consortium who have worked in football before".

"They have built clubs up and they are a very rich consortium, which would enable them to pump a lot of money into the club," he added.

"I must also stress there would be no changes in the running of the club and the direction they have other than the financial resources that we would provide."