Hotel owner hits out over club’s £3,500 unpaid bill A HOTEL owner says she could go out of business, because Darlington Football Club owes her £3,500 for a player’s six-month stay.

Julia Ellwood, of the Devonport Hotel, says money owed to her for loan striker Liam Hatch’s stay could make the difference between her surviving the summer or going bust.

Mr Hatch has been living at the hotel, in Middleton One Row, near Darlington, since October, when he signed from Peterbrough United on a short-term deal.

But despite initial promises that she would receive regular payments for £50 a night, the payments fell behind.

By February 25, when the club entered administration, it owed the hotel £3,500.

The club has since kept up to date with payments, but because of the administration process, has not paid debts incurred before February 25.

It means Miss Ellwood faces a long wait to see how much, if any, of the debt she receives.

She said: “That money would have seen me through.

“I have treated Liam like a son. I have done all his washing and ironing with no extra charge.

“It is £3,500, which may not seem a lot to them, but it is a lot of money to me.

“I am so upset when I think about it, especially when I see George Houghton finding £150,000 to save the club.

“If he can just find that money now, why couldn’t he find it before?”

Administrator Dave Clark said that if he paid Miss Ellwood, he would have to pay all debtors, and said: “If I pay everybody out, what is the point in being in administration?

I cannot pay everybody and I cannot pay debts incurred before the club entered administration. Everybody is treated exactly the same.

“She might blame Darlington going into administration, but Darlington did not make her let the player stay and she made that decision to let them run up a bill.

“It is not my fault, it is hers – she made the decision. If someone stays in hotels from now on, we will make sure we pay.”