Darlington have confirmed that they are in talks with former chairman Raj Singh, the man that was in charge of the club when they were placed into administration in 2012.
Singh has already agreed to invest £40,000 into the club as talks between the two parties continue.
Quakers supporters are to be asked for their verdict on whether Singh should be allowed to return to the club.
Darlington director John Tempest said: “It is inevitable that it will take time to fully understand the implications of bringing in private investment, and in particular to ensure that the fan-owned model is able to sit alongside private investment. We are now in a position to announce that Raj Singh is one of the individuals who is looking to help the club move forward with the potential for longer term investment.
“In the meantime, however, it is crucial that we try and operate the business as usual and allow Martin Gray the best opportunity to shape his squad for the coming season. With this in mind, Raj Singh has offered to immediately invest a £40,000 contribution towards the 2017-18 playing budget.”
Singh, who became chairman of the club in 2009, said “I saw the shortfall that Martin was asked to take regarding the playing budget for next season and I was keen to help maintain the momentum he has built up over the last few seasons”.
Darlington FC Supporters Group hold a majority share in the club and they will be asked to vote on Singh’s potential return to the club.
It is believed that Singh would look to increase his stake in the Quakers, should his initial investment be accepted by supporters.
However, if his share in the club was to exceed 15%, the club would require a change in the constitution of their ownership model.
Tempest confirmed “Darlington FC will shortly be writing to all its shareholders to seek approval to allot shares in DFC to Raj Singh in return for his investment.
“In order to do this, DFC’s shareholders will have to formally approve a resolution with at least 75% of those who vote being in favour of the proposal. Acquiring a shareholding of £40,000 is in accordance with the current Articles of Association, which limits the shareholding of an individual to 15% of the total issued share capital.
As you know, DFCSG owns more than 80% of the voting rights in DFC, and so it will be asking its members how they wish to vote on the proposal. If you wish to have your say, then we encourage you to join the DFCSG if you are not already a member”
Singh became a controversial figure at Darlington during his time as chairman.
The club were relegated from the Football League just a year after he was named as chairman and in 2012 he placed the club into administration, a move that saw them relegated to the EBAC Northern League.
Since relegation to the Northern League the Quakers have been secured three promotions in four years.
A fourth promotion could have been on the cards, with Darlington finishing in the Vanarama National League North play-off spots.
However, a failure to meet ground-grading regulations at their new Blackwell Meadows home saw the National League exclude them from the play-offs, with Chorley stepping up to take their place.
The club confirmed that they are still committed to meeting the ground-grading regulations, with further communication with supporters planned for the near-future.
A club statement said “There remains the requirement to find the moneys to install at least another 206 covered seats, and to introduce an open terrace at the western end of the ground. These plans are being fully costed and will be shared with fans shortly”.
The club also confirmed that Singh would take questions from supporters in the form of a NetCafe Q and A, although the details of when that will take place are yet to be announced.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Reuters Media