BOSSES at resurgent Darlington Football Club have moved to quash rumours about potential new owners by saying chairman Stewart Davies will be staying put for the coming season.

The Quakers were facing the threat of extinction just over a year ago, having plunged into administration with crippling debts.

But Mr Davies, part of the Sterling Consortium which had loaned nearly £4m to ex-chairman George Reynolds, stepped in at the 11th hour to rescue the club.

Darlington went on to enjoy a prosperous season in 2004/05, narrowly missing out on a place in the League Two play-offs.

A Quakers spokesman said: "The chairman has been nothing but good news for the club in the past year. He has taken it through a very difficult period so that it is now ready for an exciting 2005/06 season. The future is positive and we are looking forward to the season."

Since taking charge, Sterling has introduced a string of new fan-friendly initiatives designed to rebuild the club's public image.