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Former Newcastle star Bernard buys Durham City FC
2:26pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in Sport
FORMER Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard has taken over Ebac Northern League side Durham City.
The Frenchman, who played for the Magpies for two spells in 2000 to 2005 and again in 2006-2007, has bought out the Citizens and installed himself as chairman, taking over from Austin Carney.
"I want to make Durham one of the best feeder clubs in the North-East. At the moment, I don't think the area develops enough youngsters," he said.
City are seventh in the Northern League in their second season, having resigned from the Evo-Stik League Division One North at the end of the 2011-12 campaign.
The Citizens were as high as the then-named Unibond Premier Division in 2009-10 but ended that season with zero points after their principal sponsor pulled out of funding the club when it was revealed City could not gain ascension to the Conference owing to the artificial surface at the club's New Ferens Park.
They finished the season with players from the local sixth form centre, although they did pull off a memorable victory against FC United of Manchester under the leadership of Richard Ord. They were docked six points that season for playing an ineligible player under a false name.
After two seasons in the lower division, the club decided to resign and return to the Northern League to save on travel costs incurred in the higher division, joining the league at the same time as Darlington, who went on to sign the likes of Amar and Arjun Purewal, David Dowson, and Stephen Thompson from City, who had all performed with distinction at a higher level.
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