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Ex-Darlington chairman Raj Singh to write off club loans

Raj Singh
Singh placed the club in administration on Tuesday

Former Darlington chairman Raj Singh has said he is happy to write off the loans he made to the Quakers if a buyer is found for the football club.

Singh, who stood down after he placed the business in administration, said he invested more than £2.5m in the club since taking ownership in 2009.

"I'll walk away, I'm not expecting a penny back," Singh told BBC Tees.

"I could make things difficult for the administrators but I won't. I want the club to survive, to do well."

Singh's involvement began with the club in the Football League, although their relegation in 2009-10 saw Darlington slide into the Football Conference.

That, Singh said, amounted to a loss of around £700,000 a season in revenue.

That disappointment was offset by player sales and an FA Trophy final appearance but was not enough to balance the books, according to Singh.

"You're looking at £2.5-3m [invested]," he continued.

"Do the quick maths, when I went in, it was £1.125m to buy the 10% share.

I made two big mistakes - I thought I could work with the council, that they would play ball with me; and the other was thinking if George [Houghton] couldn't pay off Scott and Sizer I could negotiate with them and I could buy them out.

Raj Singh

"If you go to Companies House, look at the accounts for year ending July 2010, I think we made a loss of £930,000 - including the league money, including the Carling Cup game against Leeds.

"Then last year we made a loss around the £200,000 mark, and I want to answer this for fans who wonder where the money has gone.

"That includes the Dan Burn money - £300,000, the FA Trophy - roughly £250,000-300,000 and a bit of the league money coming in.

"That's in total, if you tally it all up, around £900,000."

A failure to purchase the stadium land from owners Phillip Scott and Graham Sizer, as well as secure a relaxation of covenants on the stadium land usage with the Borough Council, have previously been held up as circumstances behind Singh's disenchantment at Darlington.

"I've never said I'm going to keep pumping money into the club until we get up again or I get sick of it," he added.

"I've always said I'll support it, but I had to prove to the council that I'm here for the football not for making money on the land.

"When I first went in, people asked me if I was in it for the long run. I said I could be here for two years, I could be here for 20 years depending on how things went.

"I can take the club on, but the land, the stadium it all needs to work together.

"I'll be honest, I made two big mistakes. I thought I could work with the council, they will play ball with me; and the other was thinking if George [Houghton] couldn't pay off Scott and Sizer I could negotiate with them and I could buy them out.

"Those are my biggest mistakes, and the two biggest reasons that I'm getting out of it now."

You can hear the full interview with Raj Singh with BBC Tees Sport on the iPlayer .



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see also
Quakers debt could put off buyers
06 Jan 12 |  Darlington
Darlington enter administration
03 Jan 12 |  Darlington
Quakers part company with Cooper
25 Oct 11 |  Darlington


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