Darlington Football Club have announced their new chairman as North-East property developer George Houghton.

Millionaire Mr Houghton, 65, has bought the club for an undisclosed fee, and will take over from Stewart Davies as chairman from 3pm tomorrow - when Darlington kick off their crunch home game against Carlisle.

Mr Davies, who has always conceded he was an "accidental chairman", will remain at the club until the end of the season as an advisor to Mr Houghton.

Mr Houghton, who hails from Tynemouth, revealed that negotiations between him and Mr Davies - whose Sterling Consortium saved the football club after it plunged into administration in December 2003 - had been going on for some time.

Mr Houghton said he relished the challenge of taking Darlington Football Club into the future, and declared: "My intention is to win."

"The change of chairman will have little immediate impact and I am delighted that Stewart Davies has agreed to stay on as a consultant," he said. "I intend the change to be evolutionary instead of the sudden board room revolution more usually associated with football."

Outgoing chairman Mr Davies, said: "I have enjoyed my period as chairman of Darlington Football Club. As all Darlington fans know I was always the 'accidental chairman', having had no background or interest in football. Now the club has the services of somebody who has also made a real success in business but has a genuine interest in the game of football too. George Houghton is local, dedicated to the game and wants to make a success of the club."