Geoff Thompson has rubbished reports that South Shields FC could merge with Gateshead, The Shields Gazette report.

A newspaper report at the weekend claimed that the two clubs had held talks over a possible merger, which would see the Mariners – who play in the Evo-Stik Premier league – join forces with National League outfit Gateshead.

However, both clubs have played down the claims, though Gateshead have admitted that officials from both clubs did meet earlier in the season to discuss ways they could attract bigger crowds to the International Stadium.

Shields chairman Thompson, who has overseen a stunning transformation of the Mariners since taking over in 2015, has been open in his ambition to return the club to the Football League for the first time since 1930, and launched Project EFL in September.

However, he rubbished the reports that they could seek to get into the Football League by merging with Gateshead, who are two rungs higher in the pyramid. He tweeted: “Never going to happen! We know where we are going #ProjectEFL. Let’s not waste our time discussing it.”

Read more at: https://www.shieldsgazette.com

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