The Foundation of Hearts has confirmed a partnership with Gordon McKie's consortium is one of two options for its impending takeover bid - but the fans' group is set to take an alternative route.
Former Scottish Rugby Union chief executive McKie admitted today that his group of Hearts-supporting businessmen could not fund a takeover alone.
The Foundation of Hearts confirmed McKie's proposal was welcomed and is one of the two options they referred to 24 hours earlier, which both involve supporter investment in partnership with business.
But the network of fans groups added in a statement: "At this time, the Foundation is set to choose the alternative funding option but wishes to maintain a strong, positive relationship with Mr McKie's group, given it and his own personal expertise."
Meanwhile the group reported a 15 per cent increase in fans converting their pledges into direct debits in the 24 hours since the launch of their "final push" - a number which sends them towards the 5,000 mark.
Foundation of Hearts chairman Ian Murray MP said: "The board of Foundation of Hearts will consider the best option for Hearts, nothing else, ahead of next week's deadline.
"We welcome Gordon's honesty that his own consortium is not in a position to go it alone and thank him for putting a proposal to us. They have been forthright and professional all through the process.
"Our bid will combine capital funding support alongside the fantastic efforts of supporters in setting up thousands of direct debits to the Foundation to provide a stable ongoing financial platform."