Tag: Darlington

What Today At Darlington Tells Us About Lower Division Football

At the exact time of writing (almost one thirty in the afternoon), we do not know whether Darlington FC has been rescued or not. What we can say for certain is that a situation that may have seen the club die at one minute to midday has been extended and that further negotiations are now taking place and that a decision is due imminently over whether the club can be saved in its current form or not. There has been talk of last minute telephone calls from abroad, pleas for money from the supporters trust which may this time have been agreed to and the possibility that perhaps – just perhaps – after everything, Darlington FC will live to fight another day. We will return to this subject later this afternoon once the dust has settled, but it is worth bearing in mind that any deal agreed to today will not “rescue” Darlington Football Club. What the parties concerned are attempting to do is effectively keep the life support machine that the club is currently on going for a few more weeks, in order that further negotiations can be held to try and secure a firmer footing for the club’s future. At the last minute, it seems that all concerned parties are in the process of reaching some sort of agreement that the club can be rescued in its current form,...

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High Noon For Darlington

At the end of yesterday, Darlington FC remained alive albeit on life support. Today, however, stories started to emerge which threaten to fragment an increasingly fractious fan-base as the matter of this club’s survival draws closer and closer to its denouement.  There have been words of encouragement and support funds and fury from many supporters that a situation such as this should be allowed to happen to the same club yet again but, at the time of writing, we are still nowhere near knowing whether the club will saved or, if it will, who by. The first task that any new owner would have to face would be rounding up the players and management that were released by the clubs administrators at the end of yesterday. Manager Craig Liddle and his players were released from their contracts by the administrators, most likely because the administrators themselves would have had to start taking responsibility for their wages in the near future. This, of course, can only throw the club’s match against title-chasing Fleetwood Town on Saturday into some degree of doubt. How many of those players will find somewhere else to play over the next day or two? What sort of team will Darlington be able to put out on Saturday afternoon? Right now, no-one has anything like a definitive answer to these questions. Such considerations were put into the...

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Rifts & Distrust Threaten To Kill Darlington For Good

It is very much a sign of the times that £50,000 is not a great deal of money to a football club in trouble playing in the fifth division of the English league system these days. An ongoing debate over the eventual destination of precisely this amount of money, however, seems to be throwing a spanner into the works of an attempt to rescue Darlington Football Club this weekend, and this isn’t the only area into which it could be regarded as having a malign influence. What does or doesn’t happen to this money might yet come to permanently tarnish the future of football in the town. In some respects, yesterday was a reasonably successful day for the club. In spite of the apocalyptic warnings of the club’s joint administrator, Harvey Madden, earlier in the week, close of business on Friday afternoon came and went without what the club’s supporters had been dreading more than anything else, an announcement that the club could no longer continue to trade and would be wound up, coming to pass. The loss of two players to fellow Blue Square Premier club Gateshead was an unwelcome – but unsurprising – development but, by the end of normal business hours, Darlington Football Club continued to exist and supporters of the club have had to grateful for small mercies of late. Any hopes that they might...

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Mixed Signals & Bad News From Darlington

There may only be a couple of days left to go. Darlington FC continue to stare into the abyss and the comments of the club’s joint administrator, Harvey Madden, in an interview with BBC Radio Tees this evening will have offered no comfort to those of the opinion that it is now only a matter of time before this football club folds after one hundred and twenty-nine years. In the interview, Madden stated that there have been several parties interested in the club, but that all of those that have approached him have confirmed that they have no further interest in the club. He also stated that the club is likely to fold before the end of the week unless somebody comes in with a guaranteed offer of investment. As so many of the club’s supporters had feared, last weekend’s match at Barrow may well turn out to be Darlington’s last. The weekend had seen the news that Raj Singh, the club’s former chairman, would not be pursuing the loans that he had put into the club, which may have made it a more attractive preposition to speculators. The big news, however, came on Sunday with an statement from the owners of The Northern Echo Arena, Philip Scott and Graham Sizer, that they would put £50,000 into the club if their investment was matched by the £50,000 that the Darlington...

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With Their Heads Held High: A Darlington Fan’s Call To Arms

There has been, as has seemed perpetual over the last few months or so, a lot of bad news about recently. Whether we are driving to distraction over racism, looking at football clubs that are staring into the financial abyss or lamenting the death of anything approaching civility within our national game, putting our heads above the parapets of modern football for longer than a fraction of a second can be a thoroughly dispiriting experience, and it can become a thorough bind to even seek to engage with the wider world of football at times. Sometimes, however, we can relay something a little more positive back to you, even at the darkest of times. Regular readers of this site will be more than aware of the situation at Blue Square Premier club Darlington, where administration has been entered into for the third time in less than a decade and there seems, at the time of writing little chance of the club being rescued this time. Faced with the prospect of Saturday’s trip to Barrow potentially being the club’s last match, one supporter has movingly explained why his fellow supporters should make this trip and in doing so has tapped into some fundamental truths about what drags us all into the gravitational pull of this frequently infuriating game. You can read it here, but also take a moment to read the replies from...

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