Tag: Darlington

Darlington FC Hangs By A Thread

The news came through with startling speed, another rumour that swelled to an almost bewildering succession of public statements in just a few short hours. At the end of yesterday, the battle-wearied supporters of Darlington FC could only step back, blinking, and survey the wreckage. Their club has been pushed into administration for the third time in less than ten years, and the prognosis for its future looks bleak. This time, there may be no way of swerving the icy cold grip of professional football’s equivalent to the grim reaper, the liquidator. The announcements started with one from the club itself. Whether chairman Raj Singh will be adjudged by those that return to this story in years to come as more sinned against than a sinner is a question for another day. What was unmistakable about the club’s official statement was more than a hint of regret and trepidation about the decision to hand the club’s managerial affairs over to an insolvency specialist. This club has, after all, been here before twice and there can be few associated with the club that are not already aware of the extent to which the club’s two previous encounters with administration were dances with the devil, and that with each spell in administration the chances of being able to survive a future insolvency event become exponentially more and more remote. Next came...

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An Unhappy New Year At Darlington

A new year may have begun, but familiar problems are already starting to make themselves clear with conflicting stories concerning the well-being of Blue Square Premier club Darlington. A club that has already had two spells in administration in the last decade could well be headed for further trauma following reports in the local press during the break between Christmas and the new year, but upon what were these initial reports based, and can a consortium group which has since announced itself get the assent of the club’s current owner to take over a football club that has been shipping money left, right and centre for longer than most people care to remember? It was on the twenty-ninth of December that the Northern Echo dropped a wearyingly familiar bombshell on the club’s long suffering support in the form of a story titled “Singh To Put Darlington Football Club Into Administration, Sources Claim”. It stated that the players were not going to be paid in full for December and that the players “have been told to prepare for administration”. The timing of the story was curious, if nothing else. Owner Raj Singh had been out of the country on business, and the club itself could only reply with a cursory public statement which will have done little to allay the fears of the more pessimistic element of the clubs support....

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Non-League Videos Of The Week: 20-11-2011

We have five matches for you this week as our non-league videos of the week. First up is the match from the Blue Square Premier between Ebbsfleet United and a club that has been having renewed difficulties off the pitch again, Darlington. Next up are the goals from the Blue Square North match between Altrincham and Gloucester City. We then have highlights from the Blue Square South match between Salisbury City and another club that has recently been said to be having financial difficulties, Farnborough FC. We then have another round-up of goals, from the Evostik Southern League Premier Division match between Weymouth and Redditch United, and finally we’re off to Division One South of the Ryman League for the match between Maidstone United and Merstham. Our thanks, as ever, go to those that have taken the time to record, edit and upload these matches.           You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Darlington’s Future In Doubt – Yet Again

Over the last few years it has become one of English footballs most instantly recognisable totems of the folly of ego, and now it seems as if The Reynolds Arena – currently known as The Northern Echo Arena – which has been an albatross around the neck of the club since it moved into it in 2003, may finally be play a significant role in the end of Darlington Football Club. The club had become separated from the holding company which owned it in 2009, when current owner Raj Singh purchased it from former owner George Houghton after a spell in administration, with the club continuing to use the Arena on a lease from the holding company. Earlier this year, though, two of the club’s creditors, Philip Scott and Graham Sizer, took control of the stadium with the club still playing there under an existing lease agreement. This lease has thirteen years to run on it with the club paying a peppercorn rent on an annual basis, but the continuation of this agreement is dependent upon Singh remaining as the owner of the football club. Should he resign his position, the terms of the lease will have to be renegotiated and the terms are unlikely to be as favourable to the football club again. Should Singh decide to throw in the towel at Darlington, therefore, the club’s future will...

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Those We Have Lost: Feethams, Darlington

Next up in our series on the lost football grounds of Britain, comes one of the most poignant stories of all. Darlington left Feethams for The Reynolds Arena in 2003, leaving behind a home of over a hundred years to play in a vast bowl that has proved to be disastrous for the club. Stefan Volkmann writes on this most painful of moves. When historians of the beautiful game look back at the cast of tinpot dictators and petty megalomaniacs that have graced English football throughout it’s chequered history, the figure of George Reynolds will be little more than a footnote, albeit a quirky one.  Born into poverty in Sunderland and raised in a poorhouse before being convicted and sent down for safe-cracking, Reynolds emerged from humble begininngs to become a multi-millionare in the kitchen surfaces industry before saving Darlington from the brink of bankcruptcy in 1999. Had he stopped there, he would have secured his place in the hearts and minds of Darlington fans forever.  He didn’t, though, and before long he began to talk of taking Darlington from Feethams, their home since the club was founded in 1883, to a new 25,000 seater arena.  Unlike much of what Reynolds said, sadly this time he backed up his word with actions, and went on to spend £18 million on the decadent Reynolds Arena, the whitest of white elephants,...

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