THE Quakers aim to be back in Darlington by the start of the 2014/15 season, according to officials, as the club continues to restructure its finances by paying off a £53,000 tax bill.

Darlington FC confirmed it had made a final payment on a repayment schedule drawn up with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in February.

The majority of the tax was owed from the wages of former players which the new fan-owned club, Darlington FC 1883, became responsible for after buying the assets of the previous company, Darlington FC 2009. A small proportion was also unpaid VAT.

Martin Jesper, the club's chief executive, said it had been vital that when the new club ran into financial difficulties in February, agreements were made with the major creditors, including HMRC.

“We're now delighted that by paying off this money, that level of stress has been taken out of the business.

“This is a real step forward and sends out a very positive message.”

Mr Jesper said details of the tax bill had not been made public because the club was unable to disclose certain financial information, including names of creditors.

The club has announced that £20 for membership to the club's community interest company (CIC) included in season tickets will be put towards the costs of finding a permanent ground in Darlington.

This scheme has already contributed £13,000 towards the goal.

Mr Jesper said the return to Darlington was now a priority with the aim being of finding a new home by the start of the 2014/15 season.

He added that the recent announcement of CIC elections and a seat on the club board for a CIC member was an exciting development for the club.

“It is clear that the route back to Darlington lies in the hands of the fans, and now the fans can begin to see exactly how their ongoing support and financial contribution will be able to make that happen in the interest of the football club and the wider community,” he added.

The club said talks were ongoing over a short-list of potential new homes.