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3 January 2012, 13:41
After months of money troubles, Darlington FC has been put into administration.
It's the third time in nine years the Blue Square Bet Premier side have been placed into administration.
The Quakers were put under a transfer embargo last month after reports emerged that some of their players had not received their wages, with club captain Ian Miller terminating his contract as a result.
Raj Singh has today made the following statement:
"It is with huge regret that we've had to place the club into administration today. I for one certainly didn't envisage this when I took over the club back in August 2009.
Over the last two months we've been trying to make necessary cutbacks to be able to ensure the future of the club, including negotiating reduced players' wages and a settlement with Mark Cooper.
During this time we haven't been able to do that, while we also haven't received a viable offer to take the club over and its ongoing running costs.
I made my position very clear in November and I'd like to stress that we've tried everything we can to resolve the various issues. It was never my intention for it to end like this.
I was approached by one consortium this week, represented by two local businessmen, whom I admire for their intentions.
In theory their approach is a very sensible one, but they made their short-term position very clear and it doesn't solve the current issues we face.
But they now have an opportunity to discuss their proposals with the administrators and I wish them every success in taking the club forward.
I'd again like to thank the fans who have sent me words of support and encouragement. I'd like to think the majority of our supporters are level-headed and understand my position, and know how hard I've worked to try to bring success to the club.
To those who think I've let them down somehow or have been cheated by me, I hope one day they will see it from my point of view, and try to remember that wonderful day we had at Wembley last May, because some of the unfair flack and criticism I've had over the last four weeks just made me more determined to call it a day sooner rather than later.
I know I can leave the club knowing that I tried everything I possibly could to make Darlington FC work. But it also hinged on other parties playing their part and keeping their promises. Regrettably, that hasn't happened, and as our fans know that has all been well-documented.
I also know that I've been as open and as transparent as I possibly could have been with the fans, from the day I walked through the door.
I've been true to my word with the non-playing staff as well, who have all been fully paid up to the end of December.
I'm truly sorry that it hasn't worked out and I genuinely hope it can be salvaged in some way."
Skipper Sympathises with Singh
Darlington skipper Jamie Chandler says he sympathises with Raj Singh and understands more about the club's current position, following a lengthy conversation with the Quakers chairman this afternoon.
The Darlo players were back in training at Norton Sports Complex this morning ready for their game against Barrow on Saturday.
In a 40-minute telephone conversation, the chairman explained more about the current position and why he's been forced down the current road.
Chandler today told darlington-fc.net:
"It was a really positive, productive chat and has enabled me and the lads to understand more the position he's in.
He's not in a position to talk publicly at the moment and when you listen to what he has to say you understand why.
When you also listen to all the reasons for doing what he's doing, you understand more why he's doing it.
He's the last person who wanted this to go the way it's going, but we're all in the same boat and we all have to work together to drag ourselves out of it."
There's more at www.darlington-fc.net