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Darlington in takeover talks with local consortium

Tue 3rd Jan 2012 | Clubs Ownership

Darlington Football Club are on the verge of a possible takeover by a consortium of local businessmen hoping to buy the town's football club before its current owner places it into administration.

According to reports, Mark Meynell has formed the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group (DFCRG) with former chairman, Steve Weeks, and former Darlington Supporters' Trust chairmen, Doug Embleton and Pete Ashmore, to try to save the club. Meynell led a previous bid to buy the club when it fell into administration in 2003-4.

Speaking to the Northern Echo, Darlington chairman Raj Singh, said: “I’m not prepared to put any more money in. That’s been my plan for the past few weeks.

“The consortium is hopeful of taking over. They are talking about doing so straightaway. They don’t need to make me an offer because anyone who wants to take over can do.

“They can come in and pick it up.

“I don’t want the club to fold. They wanted to get together and they are hopeful of taking over. I’ve been saying for two months, I will step aside. Whether it’s going to happen, only time will tell.”

Singh said he expected the consortium would need £300,000 to £400,000 to run the club until the summer, but was unsure of the financial muscle it possessed.

Singh is thought to be investing around £80,000 every month to keep the club running, including player wages, but DFCRG said they would need him to sustain the payments until July in order for them to take over.

A statement issued by DFCRG said, "The concept will be entirely dependent upon the generosity of Mr Singh, and his willingness to maintain the club until July 1, 2012 (estimated date).

"At this point, Mr Singh would transfer the ownership of the club to a new company. The new company will be owned by a mixture of individuals, local businesses, the supporters' trust and the public."

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