A THIRD bidder is set to make an offer for Northwich Victoria’s home patch.

Jim Rushe told the Guardian he has been approached by a firm hoping to turn the nine-acre site into a modern sports village.

The Marston’s Arena would be its centrepiece.

“It’s a very interesting proposal,” he said.

“They’ve been to have a look at the stadium and they believe their vision can work here.”

Rushe did not reveal the name of the mystery bidders, saying only that they were based in the north east of England.

They want him to withdraw his interest and back their plan, which would see both the club and stadium change owners.

Both would remain separate entities.

Should that happen then Vics’ owner will get back the £250,000 he has invested in the Blue Square Premier club to date.

Rushe would continue as chairman and the club as tenants of what he describes as ‘sympathetic landlord.’

“There’s one or two things that would need to be considered,” he added.

“It’s always been my belief that for Vics to have a long-term future then the club needs to own its own ground and at the moment I’m still very much behind that.”

It is not yet known whether the third party would pursue their interest should Rushe decline to become part of their consortium.

Global finance firm Deloitte Touche, who took over the Marston’s Arena from landlord Beaconet Limited in October, now have a number of options.

Rushe has been working hard putting together a consortium of his own over the past six weeks and the Guardian understands their seven-figure bid remains the highest one on the table.

A rival offer from Manchester-based Summit Property Finance and Brokers also still stands, but Deloitte are no nearer making a decision.

“The administration team are in discussions with a number of parties but at this point no offer for the Marston’s Arena has been accepted,” said Jo Ouvry, co-head of PR at Deloitte.

“We can’t say any more than that at the moment.”