Darlington football club receives cash injection after suffering financial difficulties (From The Northern Echo)
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Darlington football club receives cash injection after suffering financial difficulties
DARLINGTON FC has received a cash injection of more than £50,000 after running into financial difficulties.
Club bosses say the rescue package was needed to tackle a shortfall caused by budgeting errors, a drop in revenue and an overspend on playing costs.
The money has come from supporters groups and individuals who invested in Darlington FC Community Interest Company (CIC) - the body which holds a majority stake in the club.
Football club director Martin Jesper said: “There are a number of factors contributing to the immediate cash requirement including greater costs incurred and debts acquired as part of the deal to rescue the club from extinction in May 2012.
“A combination of inadequate financial awareness, a shortfall in revenues and an overspend on playing costs have also contributed to the cash demand.”
The club announced tonight (March 4) that work on the short-term rescue package had been underway for several weeks.
Officials said it would ensure the club could start to prepare for next season from a “more financially robust position”.
Ian Wilkinson, CIC director, said the terms of the rescue funding from the CIC had not changed the nature of the fans’ ownership of the club.
He added: “The future of the club is now firmly in the hands of the fans.
“In fact, these rescue funding terms outline the need to provide professional capability to stabilise and grow the business in a controlled and affordable manner off the pitch - thereby matching the high level of professionalism and performance given by Martin Gray and his team on the pitch.”
The club confirmed that the board of the football club now consisted of Martin Jesper and Laura Drew, following the resignations of chairman Denis Pinnegar, as well as Tori Gill, Pete Ashmore, Karen Glencross and Ian Wilkinson.
The board is accountable to the CIC under the new structure, which is run by a separate board of directors comprising of Ian Wilkinson, Andrew Cawkwell, Dave Mills and Paul Colman.
The CIC has 800 members and has a 52 per cent controlling interest in the club.
The club said Mr Jesper, an independent turnaround professional who specialises in managing financially stressed businesses, was brought in late last year to assess the financial position of the football club and was not being paid.
Details of a club shareholders meeting and fans forum are due to be announced later this week.