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Relegated: but fight for survival goes on
THE fans’ group bidding to buy Darlington FC have insisted the club may be down, but it is far from out, as they urged supporters to keep faith with the Quakers.
Darlington were relegated into the Conference North league for the first time after a 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Bath City at The Northern Echo Arena on Saturday.
The interim board of community club Darlington FC 1883 (DFC 1883) has called on fans to rally together and continue fundraising efforts for a takeover of the club.
Denis Pinnegar, interim chairman of DFC 1883, said Saturday was a sad day for fans, but the board was prepared for the slide into the lower league.
Mr Pinnegar, a Darlington season ticket-holder for 30 years, said: “We are already in the process of developing a plan B in anticipation of this.
“There has always been a serious chance that this would happen and we are realistic.
“We have a plan B and a plan C as well. The outcome of the game has simply focused us on the route we need to take.
“Relegation is a matter of life in football – we would be naive to think it couldn’t happen to us.
“Clearly its very disappointing for the fans and the team because there’s a lot of people who have done a lot to try and prevent this (relegation) from happening.
“We’ve got a five-year plan to get us back into the football league.
“Where we start from is out of our hands.”
Mr Pinnegar has been backed by fellow board member Craig McKenna, who is responsible for raising funds to buy the Quakers.
Mr McKenna said: “We are up for this challenge and making a success of this club.
“We’ve already been working on the basis that we’ve gone down.
“The relegation this weekend means there is some clarity – we know some fans will lose interest because of the drop down the leagues.
“We are prepared to work harder and we hope fans won’t lose faith in the club.
“We know what we have to do – we are under no illusions.”
DFC 1883 is hoping to bring the club out of administration and will submit their draft company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal to administrator Harvey Madden this week.
Mr Madden said the club’s relegation will have no impact on the administration process, which he expects to go ahead as planned.
He is aiming to put the CVA proposal before creditors on May 2.