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Former Premier League star Olivier Bernard buys non league Durham

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Former Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard has become the owner and chairman of non-league Durham City.

Frenchman Bernard, 34, played 145 times for the Magpies between 2000 and 2005 before retiring six years ago.

"I want to make Durham one of the best feeder clubs in the north east. At the moment, I don't think the area develops enough youngsters," he told BBC Sport.

They won promotion to the Northern Premier League in 2009, but were told by the Football Conference that because of their pitch, they would not be eligible to progress further up the ladder. 

"At the moment, I am not thinking about the problem of the pitch because that is a few promotions away," Bernard said.

"I want to raise the profile of the club and get links with Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

"Look at the England team, how many of them are from around here? I'll do everything I can to get players to Durham and help develop them."

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