BUSINESSES owed money by Darlington Football Club are to receive a fraction of their cash under the terms of an agreement drawn up by administrators.

Under the terms of the club’s Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), creditors will receive less than a penny for every pound they are owed.

The document, which has been seen by The Northern Echo, offers only 0.9p in the pound to businesses left in the financial lurch when the club went into administration in February.

The deal will be voted on at a meeting at the Darlington Arena on Wednesday, June 17, and it requires the backing of creditors owed at least 75 per cent of the club’s £7.8m debt.

If it fails, the club’s future could be in doubt.

The document reveals the true extent of the effect on a local community when a football club faces financial meltdown.

It gives details of 183 unsecured creditors, owed a total of £6,851,277.30. The total debt, which also includes football and secured creditors, is £7,798,082.

Among the organisations owed money are:

● Darlington Borough Council, which is owed £17,033.30;

● Chester-le-Street District Council owed £8,738.80;

● Durham Constabulary has an unpaid policing bill of £21,380.76;

● The Highways Agency is owed £40,087.50;

● Tax authorities owed £200,121.

Darlington FC also owes £204,255 in VAT, plus a total of £2,851.27 to three local schools. Even the charity St John Ambulance is £2,472.96 out of pocket.

A host of local and national businesses have claims ranging from 64p to £360,000. Other football clubs are owed more than £100,000.

Under the terms of the CVA, they will receive a pittance.

Durham Constabulary, for example, will receive a cheque for less than £200.

Despite this, administrators are confident the CVA will succeed because major creditors – former chairman George Houghton, who placed the club into administration, Darlington Football Club Holdings, Darlington Football Club Investments and mortgage holders Philip Scott and Graham Sizer – are expected to waive their claims.

One creditor, who wished to remain anonymous, said last night: “It is a derisory offer. If we didn’t know any better, it would be just a way of people getting rid of debt. It is not the first time it has happened to us, and to other creditors.”

In 2004, when the club was previously in administration, 88 per cent of creditors agreed to a deal of less than 1p in the pound to keep the club alive.

Julia Ellwood, of the Devonport Hotel, in Middleton One Row, where striker Liam Hatch stayed while on loan at the club, is owed £2,650.

She said: “Anything is better than nothing. I am entitled to the full lot, but anything I get, I will accept.”

She added it would be difficult for her and other creditors to do future business with the club, especially on the same terms.

Financial expert Karl Pemberton, director of Active Financial Services, of Guisborough, east Cleveland, said: “In terms of businesses in general, it is a very, very low offer. In football terms and the state of affairs of the club, it is probably as good an offer as most people would have expected.”

The CVA reveals the fees charged by administrators for the period from February 25 are £71,837.50, equivalent to £145 per hour.

It also shows that ten potential buyers entered due diligence, but only one offer was tabled. It was reliant on conditional sale of the stadium and land which was not satisfied and therefore withdrawn.

Mr Houghton, to whom the club will be resold, has promised £200,000 since the club went into administration of which £175,000 has been received.

Since February, the club has taken receipts equal to £632.086.57, with payments of £287,320.20.

Administrators Brackenbury Clark and Co said without redundancies and wage deferrals by players and staff, the club would have folded.

Spokesman Dave Clark said: “The bottom line is we are pretty confident that it is going to be approved because the debt to Messrs Houghton, Scott, Sizer and to Darlington Football Club and Holdings makes up the lion’s share.”

Mr Houghton is owed £130,000, debts to the football club total £2.6m and to Messrs Scott and Sizer £2.5m.

The CVA will return the club to Mr Houghton. He is in negotiations to sell the club to his former vice-chairman Raj Singh.