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Darlington stave off extinction

Non-league side Darlington have received enough funding to remain in business for at least their next three games.

• Johnson: Time running out

A rescue group pledged £50,000 at the eleventh hour to ensure of Darlington's temporary survival following the threat of liquidation.

Administrator Harvey Madden told the playing staff and interim manager Craig Liddle that the club had folded at 1200 GMT on Wednesday, only for the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group to arrive at the Northern Echo Arena with fresh funds.

Madden then staged a meeting with representatives from the Rescue Group and at 1500 GMT it was announced the club's future would be secured until the end of January.

"It's been a rollercoaster but we've got the outcome everybody wanted," Liddle told BBC Tees. "I've got to piece a team together now for Saturday, and if we can come through this next few weeks then the main objective for me would be to keep the club in the league."

Liddle has nine senior professionals and a squad of youth team players available for the game against Fleetwood on Saturday, but could even come out of retirement himself.

"It'll be a last resort for me, I'm 40 now. I don't want to harm any of the young boys, but I'm registered to play," Liddle continued. "Hopeflly it won't come to that - and I'm relieved for me and the supporters.

"We're alive and kicking, the boys are back in training tomorrow. Hopefully we can go out and put a performance in for the supporters. I don't think we'll come as close to losing the football club again."

The Football Association has confirmed the nine remaining players would be able to represent the club.

"The players will become free agents in the event of mutual termination forms being received," a statement read. "Alternatively, they could still be transferred or go out on loan.

"As it stands right now they have nine contracted players registered with the FA along with 17 scholars. Once the players sign mutual cancellations they can re-sign as non contract players for Darlington FC if necessary."

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