DARLINGTON supporters attending a fans forum this evening will hear how the club plans to deal with the fallout from failing to meet ground criteria which will deny them a place in the play-offs.

Quakers did not have the required 500 covered seats by the March 31 deadline, and as a consequence the National League will not allow them to participate in the play-offs should they finish in the top five.

  • Quakers reveal details of their grounds for appeal

They are fourth with two games to go – the team which finishes sixth would take Quakers’ place and, as it stands, that would be Salford City, who Darlington play on the final day a week on Saturday.

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In the wake of the National League informing Darlington of their decisions, last week a statement by the club read: “The board is now working with the supporters group to set a five-year plan to develop the ground at Blackwell Meadows, in conjunction with Darlington RFC, which we hope will meet the ambitions of the manager and players and playing staff, all of our volunteers, the board, and most importantly of our fans and the people of Darlington and the surrounding area.”

Richard Cook and Jonathan Jowett, two of Darlington’s three-man board are to step down, following the seating error, a situation that National League South sides Hungerford Town and Poole Town both find themselves in.

Darlington liaised with Poole before making their appeal, which was lodged yesterday, a procedure Quakers are going through even though they are aware they are unlikely to overturn the National League’s decision.

Darlington director John Tempest will be present tomorrow, as will be manager Martin Gray. He is understood to be hugely frustrated by the recent turn of events, and this evening he will comment on the issue for the first time. Gray will also make clear his stance on what he believes the future direction of the fan-owned club should be.

The event starts at 7.30pm at Blackwell Meadows.

A club spokesman added: “There will be an opportunity to ask questions on a variety of topics past and present, with the emphasis of the evening on the way forward for the club.”

Tickets for Darlington’s final game of the season at Salford are on sale now.

They are available 10am-1pm today at Quaker Retail and at tomorrow’s home match (1.30pm-3pm) with Telford. They are also on sale on Monday (10am-1pm and 5pm-7pm).

Season ticket holders and Supporters Group members have priority, before they go on general sale on Tuesday.

Tickets are £7 for adults and £3 for concessions.