Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heed's Future Uncertain as Turbulent Season Ends; NATIONAL LEAGUE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heed's Future Uncertain as Turbulent Season Ends; NATIONAL LEAGUE

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF BOWRON

GATESHEAD stage the final game of a turbulent campaign with a lunch-time shoot-out against Barrow today.

It comes at a time when the beleaguered Vanarama National League club looks set to stay in the hands of foreign ownership.

Indian shipping magnate Dr Ranjan Varghese has hardly set foot on Tyneside since he acquired the club in July.

Controversial Italian businessman Joseph Cala has run the club in his absence until banned from the International Stadium.

Non-payment of rent has seen Gateshead kicked out of their International Stadium base other than for matches.

Northern League neighbours Hebburn Town have come to the Heed's aid by providing training facilities.

It is a magnanimous gesture that should lead to a pre-season friendly for the Hornets.

What state Gateshead are in come July, who the owner and manager is and what players they have, remains to be seen.

Today's 12.30pm kick-off against Barrow - all fifth-tier games kick off early on the final day - is likely to be the last for many.

The Tynesiders announced yesterday the appointment of two new directors, yet still claimed the club is up for sale.

Former Ilkeston FC owner Nigel Harrop and Gateshead businessman Trevor Clark are the appointees.

Harrop is the sole director of Gateshead FC Academy, and took Ilkeston into administration in 2017.

It's another twist in a long-running saga regarding the ownership of a club that spent 30 years in the Football League.

Incensed Heed fans will demonstrate for a third home game running, while also getting behind the players.

Despite all the problems off the pitch, victory will see Gateshead finish a creditable eighth or ninth.

The lowest they can finish is 10th and they will look to complete another double this afternoon.

Barrow are two places and five points behind the Heed. …

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