The Gateshead Soul Supporters Association have issued a statement this morning signalling what they describe as their last throw of the dice in their attempt to save Gateshead FC in its current form.
After former Rochdale chairman Chris Dunphy formally withdrew his offer to buy the club from Dr Ranjan Varghese on Friday (17th May), Gateshead Soul say that £95,000 needs to be raised in order to pay off all creditors by Wednesday (22nd May). If this cannot be done, there is ‘a very real and imminent prospect that it will cease to exist in its current form.’
Contrary to the club announcement that all players and staff have been paid, Gateshead Soul say (as of Sunday evening) that former assistant manager Ian Watson has still not been paid, along with some of the Under-19 players.
Gateshead Soul have released the following statement as a plea to anyone who may be able to help in saving the club:
The ‘club’ as we see it are in a perilous position and are on a life support machine. Yet, our objective of maintaining football in Gateshead has not wavered. This is in spite of the many obstacles that have been placed in front of us from varying authorities. But, despite our best efforts, the unrealistic timeframes forced upon us cannot be met.
This relates to servicing the current creditors to the tune of £95k by Wednesday 23 May, a deadline which was set by the National League. The obvious solution would be for the National League to waive this requirement up until the purchase was completed, and then to release the remaining bond (£100k) to allow the new owners to operate with a blank canvas. However, the National League did not see this as an option.
That ‘club’ in our eyes, unless a buyer is sought by Wednesday, will cease to exist within a matter of weeks if not days. No ground, staff, directors, players and more importantly, no fans.
So what have we done? For the past few weeks we’ve been putting the foundations in place for a potential phoenix club should the worst happen. However, we’ve suddenly been presented with an urgent opportunity to get our club back. This is something we hadn’t anticipated but since the end of last week, Gateshead Soul, in conjunction with other stakeholders and generous fans have managed to raise £45k towards the payment of those creditors.
All payments have been pledged as gifts or loans and will be repaid on the return of the bond, which cannot be accessed by the previous regime.
This is our last throw of the dice before we face the prospect of the worst case scenario of starting again at Step 7. So, if there are any fans, business persons or potential contributors that wish to come on board to help in any way you can to help raise the shortfall, then please answer this SOS by getting in touch ASAP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via any of our social media platforms.