The former Darlington chairman, George Reynolds, has challenged his potential successors to "put up or shut up". The 67-year-old on Monday confirmed his decision to stand down after debts of around £5m forced the club into administration.
However, despite quitting as a director, Reynolds is refusing to throw in the towel and is prepared to wait to see if a saviour will step forward as he did in 1999. "What happened is that, over the past couple of months, they've been chanting for my head - 'Reynolds out, Reynolds out', things like that - like Mohamed al-Fayed at Fulham," he said.
"They were chanting for my head, so I said to the administrator 'what I'll do, I'll step down, take a back seat', and I've left my chair there for all these so-called millionaires and billionaires to come in and see what happens. And there's nobody stepped forward.
"If I had £20bn, I'd have still put it into administration because it's at least let them see once and for all that nobody will entertain them. The fact of it is, if nobody comes in, I'll end up back in the chair. But I'm giving them an option now. It's a free seat - all they've got to do is put their money where their mouth is. Either put up or shut up."
Reynolds, who says he is the club's biggest creditor after initially paying off their debts and investing £25m in the new 25,000-seater home, The Reynolds Arena, has few regrets over his reign other than a perceived lack of support. "It's been good, it's been good for the town - it's a wonderful facility. I have regrets I put so much money into it. I thought I would have got more support than I've got. A lot of them have been very, very good, but I thought the gates would have been higher and I thought we would have been better on the pitch, but they're things I can't influence."
Reynolds, a convicted safe-cracker, has enjoyed a colourful spell at Darlington, hitting the headlines for his outspoken views and his attempt to sign the Colombian international Faustino Asprilla. However, the Quakers are currently one place off the bottom in the Third Division and threatened by relegation. A points deduction now seems certain following their slide into administration.
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