DARLINGTON Football Club’s new owners hope to instantly secure the confidence of the town’s business community with its new venture.

The Quakers have launched their search to find a new club shirt sponsor with its Business Backing Darlington Club.

For £5,000, businesses could win their name and logo on the front of the Quakers’ shirt next season.

The search comes after the club held early talks with Darlington Building Society to extend their 13-year-old partnership.

Graham Fordy, managing director, said because of the global problems in the financial sector, the building society had indicated it would not be able to sponsor the shirts from next season.

Instead, Mr Fordy and the club’s new chairman, Raj Singh, have come up with an unusual sponsorship opportunity.

All members of the business club will receive a package, as well as the chance to be the club’s next sponsor.

It includes perimeter advertising space at The Northern Echo Darlington Arena, one full match sponsorship, advertising space in the programme and a table of ten at next February’s sporting dinner, where the winner will be announced.

Mr Singh said yesterday at the official launch of the scheme, that he hoped it would be the perfect chance to renew confidence with town businesses following the previous regime’s administration.

He said it formed part of his “slowly, slowly” approach to putting the club back on the right track without any false promises.

Mr Singh said: “It gives someone the chance to sponsor the team and be involved with the club, and at the same time generate revenue for the club. This scheme works both ways.”

He said he did not believe the idea was a gamble, adding: “There aren’t many businesses that can throw a lot of money behind advertising at the moment. It’s one of the first things cut from budgets.

“I think the full package and the money involved gives genuine value for money.

Hopefully, that will attract enough firms.”

Mr Singh took over officially as chairman in August on the eve of the new league season.

He said: “We have got a few ideas. When we first set our stall out there were a few ideas. Bringing in Steve Staunton and Kevin Richardson (as manager and assistant manager) was our first big decision.

This is our second one.

In due course, we hope people will see a few more. That will put the club back in position and help to build bridges.”

For more details, contact Phil Preston on 01325-387000 or email phil.preston@darlington-fc.net