The management team of Elverys Sports, led by Patrick Rowland, has been approved by the retailer's examiner as the preferred investor in the company.

Elvery's examiner, Simon Coyle of Mazars, said the move should secure the future of the business and its over 700 staff. 

Mr Coyle said his next task is to formulate proposals for a Scheme of Arrangement which must be presented to the creditors for approval. 

It is believed that the management team beat off stiff competition from five other bidders for the business, including Sports Direct, which is owned by UK billionaire Mike Ashley.