Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WE WERE WAITING FOR A CALL - SMITH; Darlington FC

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WE WERE WAITING FOR A CALL - SMITH; Darlington FC

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW WILKINSON

FORMER Quakers' hero Kevan Smith is 'gutted' that the club has been placed in administration when he had a potential buyer ready to step forward.

Teessider Smith, the only man to skipper the side to two significant trophies, revealed that a wealthy friend was willing to talk to club chairman Raj Singh - who Smith claims knew of the interest.

Yet the club was yesterday placed in administration without talks with the potential saviour taking place.

"I'm gutted to see the club go into administration again," said Smith, who won the Conference and Division Four title with Quakers in back-to-back seasons in 1990 and 1991, having earlier won promotion from the bottom flight in 1985.

"I am surprised at Raj's actions when he knew there was another party willing to discuss taking over the club.

"In fact I'm amazed he's gone down this route without those discussions taking place. We had been waiting for his call and were willing to meet at very short notice."

It is unclear whether the potential saviour, who comes from Darlington and was at Sunday's game with Gateshead, will be willing to talk to administrators. Any takeover might be harder to achieve now that the club is in administration.

Mark Meynell, spokesman for the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group, another interested party, is certainly of that opinion.

DFCRG had discussed taking over the club in the summer, and will, initially at least, still pursue that goal and he said: "We hope to talk to administrators, but it does make the situation more difficult."

In a statement Singh said: "It is with huge regret that we've had to place the club into administration.

"I didn't envisage this when I took over the club in August 2009.

"We've been trying to make cutbacks to be able to ensure the future of the club, including negotiating reduced players' wages and a settlement with (former manager) Mark Cooper. …

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