The administrators of Neuchâtel Xamax have been forced to admit failure in their attempts to bring a new investor to the cash-strapped football club.
The president of the club's board, Georges Sandoz, announced on Thursday that talks with Italian businessman Gian Paolo Bonora had definitely broken down.
Earlier this month Bonora was reported to have reached an agreement with the Swiss club under which his syndicate would make an initial investment of SFr 850,000. At the end of the season, subject to the team's results, Bonora was then to make a further SFr 400,000 available in return for a 50 per cent stake in the club.
It then emerged that there were still major differences to be resolved concerning the precise nature of the Italian's involvement and responsibilities. Thursday's announcement showed these differences to be irreconcilable.
Bonora had envisaged making several major changes to the club, including a new manager and at least five new players.
Despite their latest setback Neuchâtel's board insisted that they were still committed to their aim of balancing the books by the end of the current season. The club's debts currently stand at SFr 120,000, a figure that is expected to treble by May if a new investor cannot be found.
swissinfo with agencies