GATESHEAD’S owners have confirmed that the National League side will have to go part-time following the breakdown of a proposed takeover of the club.

An investor – believed to be Shanghai-based – has seen his attempts to take on the Tyneside outfit prove unsuccessful.

While Gateshead’s owners are understood to have been in talks with other potential parties, chairman Richard Bennett has distanced himself from such negotiations by claiming the Heed will have to become a semi-professional team.

Gateshead confirmed the move in a statement after admitting a routine National League “change of ownership” meeting in Manchester last week led to the collapse of a potential sale.

The would-be buyers failed to satisfy various aspects of the competition’s requirements and, despite being given the opportunity to rectify the problems, the potential buyer decided against pursuing matters further.

Now Bennett, who owns the club with Julie Bennett, said: "I met with the potential buyers following the meeting with the National League and it quickly became clear that they had been withholding important information from us during the due diligence process.

"It's very disappointing for everyone involved especially given the work that has gone into this.

“First and foremost in our minds is the long-term future of the club and Julie and I have decided to continue our ownership until such time as a credible buyer can be found. Someone who, in our opinion, is right for the club.

“However, we simply cannot afford to continue running the club on a full-time basis in the meantime and regrettably cuts in all areas of expenditure are a necessity.

“Naturally, we’ll look to remain competitive at the highest level of non-league football but we’ll need to become one of a growing number of part-time clubs in the national division.

“We fully realise that this isn’t the outcome anyone was looking for but we strongly believe it’s important that the town of Gateshead maintains its football club.

“We hope that everyone understands the situation and gets behind the club wherever and however possible to ensure this set-back is merely temporary”.

The Bennetts have injected almost £3m into Gateshead during their three years at the helm.

But they must submit a budget for the forthcoming National League campaign on Thursday for a finance committee to scrutinise. And, following the collapse of the takeover, that has led to the Bennetts having to make the unwanted move.