The Darlo rollercoaster carries on - for those not familiar with the story, basically Darlo exited administration without agreeing a CVA with creditors, due to demands of the ex Chairman. At the same time the new owners of Darlington FC took on the footballing creditors so it wasn't completely a story of stiffing all creditors - plus there is also provisions for creditors to get some money back if we recieve payment on ex player clauses. We are the same club, the assets and name were purchased.
Anyway, we took this route out of administration knowing fully that the punishment should be a further demotion to the Evostik Premier, there is a rule stating this, and a precedent set - Northwich, Boston to name but two. In earlier days, before the rule was set, Luton and Leeds took this route and received 20 and 15 point deductions but no automatic relegation - I think the automatic relegation rule was then brought in to standardise the punishment.
So how come Darlo ended up in the Northern League? A lot of fans seem to think that we must have gone bust and set up a phoenix club. No, that's not what happened. We are the same club.
Basically when a new owner takes a club out of administration, the football share needs to be transferred by the old chairman to the new owners, and unprecedented in football history this never happened. The old chairman Raj Singh signed over the share but with attaching conditions that he wanted met - the local newspaper has seen said documentation.
This forced the new owners to apply to the FA for a new share, and in a nutshell, that is how we ended up in The Northern League - step 5, because the FA looked on the application for a new share as being effectively the same as a new club joining the pyramid. And thus placed us according to their rules. The thing is of course, we aren't a new club. To rub salt in the wounds it seems the FA are unhappy with us keeping our legally entitled name Darlington FC, and are trying to pressure us to change it.
Anyway, the latest is that ex chairman Raj Singh is now saying that he signed the share over with no strings and is claiming that the new owners 1883 have "cocked" up. To be fair, I'm not sure I believe him
To conclude, if we get the original share, we've got solid grounds to appeal being placed in step 5, and based on that if the FA continue to be sticklers for their own rules, then they would have to treat us as the same club and relegate us from the BSN to the Evostik Premier.
Then we'd have to bring the ground up to scratch to take part at that level, and be granted permission, but, one step at a time.
Darlington in the Northern League - Everyone, please remain calm. We are trying to solve this problem as quickly as possible. Please be patient.