DARLINGTON will be remaining at Blackwell Meadows for the foreseeable future after scrapping plans to relocate to the Arena.

The club announced its intention to switch home games back to the Arena last month when it looked as though Government rules would allow supporters to attend matches.

However, with the latest Government guidance forcing clubs at Darlington's level to play behind-closed-doors, it no longer makes financial sense to move away from Blackwell Meadows.

The club staged last weekend's FA Cup tie with Prescot Cables at the home of Darlington RFC, and will be back at Blackwell on Saturday when their first home league fixture pits them against Kidderminster Harriers.

A statement issued by Darlington's directors said: "When the club made the decision to return to the Arena a month ago, it was based against the safe return of fans to a larger stadium that could accommodate both home and away fans whilst respecting the correct social distancing required by the FA and the Government.

"Since then however, the rules have changed again and currently fans are not allowed back into grounds at the Elite level we play at.

"Obviously the club has its existing licence to pay at Blackwell Meadows but since the change in the rules it would not be great financial management to pay a further licence fee at the Arena given these challenging times.

"The club has recently introduced live streaming through Quaker TV and we successfully broadcast the FA Cup tie against Prescot Cables last Saturday.

"Given our ability to now offer this to fans whilst the current restrictions apply, together with the recently announced financial support package from the National League, the club has decided to remain at Blackwell Meadows for the moment and play behind closed doors. 

"We would like to place on record our thanks to both Darlington Rugby Club and Mowden Park RFU for supporting us through recent discussions. As the Covid situation changes, we will keep everyone abreast of further developments.

"We would also like to thank our fans for their continued patience and understanding."