ADMINISTRATORS at Darlington Football Club last night apologised for issuing a statement that said players at the crisis-hit club had been released.

A notice issued by the administrator, Brackenbury Clark and Co, on the official club website late on Thursday night, said the majority of the first-team squad had been released to cut costs and enable the club to trade for as long as possible.

The statement was reported by The Northern Echo and other media yesterday.

However, when The Northern Echo contacted players’ union the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) yesterday, it said that as far as it was aware, the players were still under contract and the administrator later admitted the statement was incorrect.

Dave Clark, from Brackenbury Clark and Co, said: “It is not quite the situation. We are not releasing anyone.

If anyone wants to be released from their contract, then we would be prepared to let them go.”

PFA deputy chief executive John Barnwell said: “If a player wishes to leave, he can do, but it is a mutual agreement.”

Darlington’s players have been deferring their wages since February, when the League Two club was placed in administration.

They signed their latest wage deferral last month and are in discussions with the PFA regarding their next deferral.

Defender Ian Miller said: “The administrators have said that if a player finds a club, the administrators will not stand in their way and make them hand in 14 days’ notice. There is a letter going out to the players and if we sign it agreeing that we want to find another club, but then do not find another club, that is when the administrators can sack you.”

On Wednesday, the administrators released ten non-playing staff to cut costs.

They included assistant manager Martin Gray, goalkeeping coach Andy Collett and long-serving kit man Andrew Thompson. Others included office, kitchen and maintenance staff.

The move came only three days after an All-Stars match that was supposed to keep the club running through the summer raised only £20,000 to £25,000.

Fans have been left angry by the situation.

Tony Taylor, from the Darlington Supporters’ Trust, said: “I would like to express serious concerns about how things are going. Fans are upset at the dismissals that took place this week after the charity game. People are under the impression those charity funds would save people’s wages and salaries. To see people losing their jobs within a matter of days has left people disappointed and understandably angry.”