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Quakers to reveal plans for Darlington return
A FORMAL business plan which aims to see the return of Darlington to the town within three years will today be published by the club's board.
Chairman Denis Pinnegar said the business objectives, which include a return to the Conference within six years, are tough, but achievable.
The key themes of the plan are to establish Quakers as a successful, family-friendly club, increase the number of fans, and secure its long term financial viability.
Pinnegar said: "Financial viability was a commitment to the fans at the outset, and it remains that way.
"I used the word 'viability' at the first press conference on the day we bought the club, and I have used it at probably every board meeting and fans forum since."
He said this would be achieved by managing the club's footballing and commercial activities within its financial resources.
"We have set budgets and are adhering to those budgets in terms of costs, but we are exceeding those budgets in terms of income generated."
However, this will not mean the club will be splashing out - a position understood by the manager, players and fans, according to Pinnegar.
Within three years, the board wants to gain two promotions into the Evo-Stick Premier Division of the Northern Premier League, and in conjunction with the community interest company (CIC), return to a stadium in Darlington.
Three years is the target, but Pinnegar said if the project is well under way within that timescale, the board, and fans, will be content.
"We have been made so welcome at Bishop Auckland that I think the fans will be happy so long as there is steady progress and the return (to Darlington) is on the cards. Within three years is a very viable target."
The club's three-to-six year objectives aim to see the Quakers gain two further promotions, back into the Conference.
Pinnegar said he believes this is achievable, but added: "It is a long shot, but if you don't aim for the sky, you don't get into the sky."
The date for the first annual general meeting of the shareholders of DFC 1883 Ltd has also been announced.
It will take place on Wednesday, March 27, next year. The time and venue have yet to be finalised, but it will be open to shareholders and CIC members and their representatives.
The club is proposing that the interim board remains in place before and after the AGM, with a new board being elected at the end of the current season.
n A fans' forum evening will take place on Monday, November 19 at 7.30pm at Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington. The board and manager Martin Gray will answer questions from the audience.
n The club has also announced that the bar at Heritage Park will open at 1pm for home games for the service of drinks and food, starting tomorrow when Whitley Bay visit (3pm ko).
Darlington are eight points clear of Spennymoor Town at the top of the Ebac Northern League having won 16 of their 17 games, including the past 12 in succession.