Darlington FC could fold on Friday

Darlington could fold by Friday after stadium wrangle dashes rescue hopes

Darlington could cease to exist by Friday unless a buyer can be found to save the non-league side.

The Quakers were placed in
administration last week after former chairman Raj Singh said he was
unwilling to cover any more losses.

Under threat: Darlington could cease to exist by the end of the week

Under threat: Darlington could cease to exist by the end of the week

Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier game at Barrow went ahead after fans held a whip-round and raised 8,000 for the players, several of whom have not been paid for two months.

But the 3-0 defeat could prove to be Darlington's final game in their 128-year history after the club's administrator, Harvey Madden, admitted he feared the worst.

'It is sad, but I’m trying to give the reality of the situation. We have got some hard and fast decisions to make by the end of the week. If anybody is interested, please come forward now, otherwise you will be too late,' he told the Northern Echo.

'Without money, the club will not survive. I will have to make decisions by the end of the week and assess it.

'I want to try and save the club if at all possible, but I fear that will not happen.'

Madden said he had received 'dozens of enquiries from business and experienced football people' but concerns over the stadium and surrounding land are believed to have put off several potential investors.

Many fans blames Darlington's problems on George Reynolds' decision to move Darlo to a 25,000-seater stadium

Folly: Many fans blames Darlington's problems on George Reynolds' decision to move Darlo to a 25,000-seater stadium

'Some of the consortia have included chairman of previous clubs, and it’s not a slight on Darlington that they’ve pulled out,' he said.

'What we wanted to get from people was whether they had the wherewithal, the capital, and a number fell at the first hurdle, but a lot of people came back with requisite funds but decided not pursue it.

'I don’t necessarily think it’s putting people off in terms of knowing the amount of debt.

'I think some of the squabbles that appear to be long-running with the council, the owners of the ground etc, are not doing any good in terms of finding a buyer long-term.'

Darlington play their home games at the 25,000 all-seater Northern Echo Arena but they rent the stadium after it was sold to two local businessmen during a previous administration.

Hopes of attracting a supermarket chain to redevelop the site were dashed on Monday after Darlington Borough Council confirmed they were unable to lift planning constraints for retail development.

Darlington need about 400,000 just to finish the season and the only glimmer of hope appears to be a group of local businessman who have formed the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group and asked to look at the club's accounts on Tuesday.

Darlington are not due to play again until January 21 when they are scheduled to host Fleetwood Town.