The Northern Football League
Published 6th June 2012
"Darlington Football Club has been on a knife edge for years and it`s finally toppled over, it can`t go any further down and the only way it can come back is if the fans make it happen. This club is like the Titanic and its hit the sand at the bottom of the ocean, I know that Martin Gray can bring it back but not without the fans financial backing.
“The fans have rightly been critical in the past of individuals who have owned this club and not done the right things by them, now they have the chance to fix all that hurt and revive THEIR Darlington FC. If the fans back their club, there is a future!"
Darlington FC 1883 Ltd have today began an appeal for the missing fans who had pledged to invest in the club to come forward again and back their football club.
The club entered into administration back in January and well over 1000 fans stepped forward, offered their own money to try and help save the club they all love so much. Due to a significant change in circumstances that money had to be refunded but 1883 were confident that the vast majority would be re-invested in the new CIC model they had launched.
The CIC (community interest company) will provide the funds necessary for the football club to succeed both on and off the pitch. It has two immediate objectives; to put together a team capable of gaining promotion next season and for the club to playing in Darlington again as soon as possible. More info on the CIC and how to get involved can be found at www.1883cic.org.
New additions to the benefits for members of the CIC are exclusive events and forums involving the players and management, discounts on club merchandise, regular newsletters and priority booking for tickets.
Chairman Denis Pennigar said: "When we saw how many fans had taken the time and effort to back their club with hard cash it was inspiring, but we need them to ask them to do the same again. This is now the fans club and they need to help finance it, we are really hoping that we can get 1000 CIC members before the end of June. The CIC will be great for Darlington FC in many ways and the structure gives members a genuine voice in the running of their football club."
Team manager Martin Gray added: "My main objective is to get Darlington FC back up the leagues, it will be a tremendous journey and I am looking forward to sharing it with the fans by our side, not only as fans but also as owners of this football club. It will be exciting to host the events with the players, the fans forums and to have a working relationship with the fans. I like what the CIC stands for and it can only be a good thing for the future of this football club."
Quakers icon David Hodgson continued: "Everyone knows how much I love this football club and the town and I have been as disappointed as anyone to see the recent events unfold, I never thought I would see the day where Darlington FC would be in the Northern League and playing the games out of town. However, we now need to focus on the future and get on board with the CIC and start the process for the club to get back up the leagues and back in Darlington. The more money invested by fans and quickly, the better team Martin can put onto the pitch and the sooner the plans to be playing back in Darlington can start."