GATESHEAD have been placed in National League North next season.

The Heed have suffered turmoil off the pitch and were last month suspended by the National League for the 2019/20 campaign after multiple breaches of league rules.

The very existence of the club was in serious doubt as it crumbled under the calamitous reign of Joseph Cala and Ranjan Varghese and it was feared a phoenix club would have to be formed and start at the bottom of the football pyramid – even as low as the Wearside League.

But it has now been taken over by a six-man consortium and the new owners appear to have convinced league officials that the club’s future is in safe hands.

The announcement was made at today’s National League AGM and puts the Heed in a division alongside Darlington, Spennymoor, Blyth and York – who are managed by ex-Heed boss Steve Watson.

Aldershot Town have been reprieved from relegation from the National League.

The decison means Hartlepool United are likely to face Harrogate Town in the Boxing Day / New Year's Day National League double header. 

The Tynesiders are expected to agree terms and conditions to be able to play at the International Stadium next season and they now need to rebuild the club after manager Ben Clark and assistant Ian Watson were axed, with all the club’s players out of contract.