The takeover of Whitehaven has moved a step nearer following a shareholders' meeting.

Those in attendance agreed unanimously to back the bid by Stuart Harvey and his consortium to take control at the Recreation Ground.

The 45-minute meeting was well-attended with only three shareholders absent, two of them through work commitments.

Initially, it was thought that a couple of shareholders might not be amenable to the takeover but that does not appear to be the case.

Chairman Tommy Todd said: “We made good progress and everyone in attendance was in favour.

"I don’t expect there will be any problem from the two shareholders who could not get there because of work.

“The third one is the estate of Mrs JD Raaz and we have been unable to make contact with representatives in America.

"We did make contact with her sister who was going to inform Mrs Raaz’s son but, so far, we have heard nothing back.”

Mrs Raaz and her husband Dick, a former club chairman, were heavily involved themselves in rescuing the club after a previous financial problem.

The Raaz estate holds 11-and-a-half per cent of the shares in the Whitehaven club and needs to agree to the takeover by the Harvey consortium which is looking for 100 per cent control.

The shareholders were told that any deal would be subject to stringent checks by the Rugby Football League into the consortium wanting to takeover.

The fact that all members of the consortium are based in Lancashire is not seen as a problem in the day-to-day running of the club.

The Harvey consortium had initially said it would get involved once the £60,000 appeal target had been reached, and that is close to being realised at the moment.

Reacting to the shareholders' meeting, Stuart Harvey said: “We had three hurdles to overcome and I think we can say we are over the first.

“The majority of the shareholders agreed to our involvement and that was important.

“The second hurdle relates to the shares of the late Mrs Raaz, which we are trying to sort out and we have people working on that.

“Thirdly, we need to have an accurate picture of where the club is with debt and, again, we are hoping to have that resolved quickly.”

Harvey and his colleagues are, however, already committed to the team and will be in Wales tomorrow to support them in League One action.