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Quakers embark on new era as fans buy club
AFTER months of heartbreak and uncertainty, Darlington FC has today been bought by fans' company Darlington FC 1883 (DFC 1883) in a deal which it is hoped will give the club a sustainable future.
DFC 1883 has agreed to buy the club's assets and goodwill from administrator Harvey Madden.
The deal had gone through without a company voluntary arrangement in place, meaning creditors, including former chairman Raj Singh, will not get their money back and the club could face further sanction from the Football Association.
The new proposal of moving ahead without a CVA and playing away from the Arena is radically different to the original plan.
This has prompted the community company to begin the process of returning money to fans who bought shares through the Crowdcube funding system.
However, supporters will be urged to reinvest their money in the new plans, with DFC 1883 saying it needs at least £200,000 reinvested before the end of June.
It is understood Darlington Uncovered fans forum has already said the money it raised would be reinvested.
Darlington FC Supporters Club has also pledged to put its cash back in.
Following talks with DFC 1883 chairman Denis Pinnegar yesterday, The Northern Echo, which originally pledged £10,000, confirmed it would continue to back DFC 1883 if its plans were viable.
The community company has already revealed it plans to groundshare with another club next season and will not play at the Arena.
However, it is hoped the club will play outside of Darlington for just a season.
Talks have already taken place with Darlington Borough Council and Darlington Rugby Club about developing a joint ground and sports facilities at Blackwell Meadows, in Darlington.
DFC 1883 said yesterday morning that it was ready to submit its offer for the club, however further complications emerged later in the day which prevented the purchase.
It is understood the complications surrounded the players wages and the 25 per cent of their salaries they have not been paid since the club was placed in administration.
DFC 1883 learnt on Wednesday that it would become liable for the unpaid wages once it took over.
In order for the purchase of the club to go ahead, members of DFC 1883 this morning contacted all players asking them to agree to temporarily waive the money they are owed, which is understood to total around £100,000.
The Northern Echo understands that all players agreed to the proposal on the condition that they will get their money at a later date.
This agreement from the players, together with the backing from Darlington Uncovered, the supporters' club and the Echo, cleared the way for the purchase of the club.