Darlington sack all players and manager as club stare into the abyss
The administrators of Darlington made all the club's playing and coaching staff redundant with immediate effect.
Earlier this month the Quakers entered administration for the third time in nine years, with the subsequent 10-point deduction leaving them hovering just above the relegation zone in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Joint administrator Harvey Madden confirmed the decision in a statement released this afternoon but offered a glimmer of hope that the 128-year-old club could still survive.
Hard times: Darlington's administrators have sacked all remaining members of the playing staff
'Given the current financial position of the club and, as a consequence of my legal obligations, I have had no alternative but to terminate the contracts of all playing staff and the retained administration staff,” the statement said.
'Notwithstanding this, there remain parties interested in either injecting funds into the club to enable it to continue operating or acquiring the club.
'Every effort is being made to progress this to try to save the club. However, at this stage I have still not received any formal offers and unless a deal is concluded as a matter of urgency, time will have run out for Darlington football club.'
Will it go ahead Darlington are due to play Fleetwood on Saturday
Caretaker manager Craig Liddle, who took on the role following the departure of Mark Cooper, said: 'We've been made redundant with immediate effect.
'If further talks are successful they'll look to re-appoint a manager, whether that be me or somebody else, and they'll have the task of trying to piece a team together for Saturday's game against Fleetwood.'
Darlington's 25,000-seater stadium has come to represent the stark contrast between the lofty aims of former owner George Reynolds and the reality of their situation.
Grounds for concern: Darlington's stadium holds 25,000 people but has a restriction of just 10,000
Reynolds revealed a five-year plan to take the club into the Premier League, with the stadium, then known as the Reynolds Arena, forming a key part of his ambitions.
In 2003 they went into administration for the first time as they struggled to meet loan repayments on the ground and they were back in administration in 2009, with the subsequent points deduction costing them a place in the League Two play-offs.
Relegation from the Football League followed in 2010, making the newly-named Northern Echo Arena the biggest ground in non-League football history.