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Sheffield business man revelaed as Darlington FC bidder


Football News 24/7
According to the Northern Echo, Darlington's local paper, the frontrunner in the bid to save Darlington Football Club is Paul Wildes, 35, a Sheffield venture capitalist, who plans to invest £300,000 in the club with fans contributing a further £200,000 in return for a 40 per cent share.

He told members of the Darlington FC Rescue Group: “I have got to iron out a couple of legal issues, but if people do what they say, I am very confident I can take the club out of administration.”

Without a further injection of cash, the 128-year-old club, which is in administration for the third time in less than a decade, runs out of money on at the end og January..

Under Mr Wildes’ plan, the Quakers would remain at the 25,000 seater stadium which, he said, is a “fantastic asset”.

The main plank of the plan is to make the stadium work harder by using it for restaurants, concerts and as a base for a training academy.

Kath MacColl, spokeswoman for the rescue group, said: “The meeting was very positive. Obviously, given the very short timescale in saving the club, the news of the possible acquisition of 40 per cent of the club for fans is of interest and talks will be continuing.”

The group paid tribute to the large financial effort that has already been made by the fans.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman, who has been in discussions with Mr Wildes for several days, chaired the meeting.

She said: “It is an interesting possible solution and a step in the right direction.

The idea of the fans having a stake in the future of their club for the first time is something that I have been working towards.”


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