Gateshead supporters club look to set up breakaway club
In a new twist to the current situation at Gateshead, the club’s supporter’s group, Gateshead Soul have proposed the creation of a brand new club.
It is claimed that several key shareholders are already committed to the project as are the local council and MP Ian Mearns.
It seems likely that the club, which hopes to begin life next season, will start in the Wearside League, however there is a small chance that they could be allowed to compete at Step 5 level in the Northern League.
The news comes after a huge list of staff and players were sacked by the club, while mounting debts have seen them kicked out of their International Stadium home.
A Gateshead Soul statement read, “As we all know, the current situation at ‘Gateshead Football Club’ is nothing short of abysmal and a complete insult to the borough of Gateshead which has had a football club proudly representing it for almost 80 years.
“Following the sacking of all staff members via email, the Gateshead Football Club we used to know is no more.
“All players (with the exception of Scott Barrow whose contract runs until the end of June) are now out of contract and will not be returning under the current regime.
“We have heard from several sources that ‘the club’ is possibly seeking voluntary relegation from the National League and looking to relocate.
“Gateshead Council evicted the club from the International Stadium in March due to unpaid rent and it will not be returning.
“This can be further backed up by the statement released ‘From the office of Ranjan Varghese’, which states: ‘The International Stadium is not ideal and we have been working hard behind the scenes to identify an appropriate venue that could become our new home.’
“After all the countless lies that have been told, it would be naive to accept anything that comes from Ranjan, Joseph Cala or anyone connected to them as even remotely truthful. But the fact of the matter is that unless they can magic a stadium out of thin air in less than a month, then that so-called ‘new home’ will not be in Gateshead.
“This will bring a 79-year tenure of a football club under the Gateshead name playing in Gateshead to a shameful end.
“And with no players, staff or home – it’s heartbreaking to admit that the evil which somehow got its clutches onto our once proud football club has well and truly killed it.
“‘Gateshead Football Club’ is now nothing more than a name owned by some charlatans who seem perfectly content destroying it with no sense of remorse or decency. It is beyond saving and we cannot afford to wait any longer for the FA to act.
“As previously mentioned, our only option as a group of fans that will ensure football survives in Gateshead under the Gateshead name is to form a new club together.
“During Saturday’s match, we received an overwhelming reaction from fans which supported the need of a new club being created; this was before the situation became even more urgent when Gateshead FC dispensed of all of its players and staff.
“Establishing a new club will be a tough project, however with the full backing of the community we will make this work.
“Gateshead Soul has raised and will continue to raise money that would help fund a new club which will allow fans to be part owners. Anyone who becomes a member of Gateshead Soul will play a huge part of a new fan run club – our club.
“A number of key stakeholders in the community have already offered their support which would allow things to develop very quickly. Gateshead Council backs the people of Gateshead and to that aim they see the fans as the people of Gateshead.
“New clubs will be considered for step 7 of the non-league pyramid, but can get special dispensation to start as high as step 5 in Northern League Division One.
“We would look to have a competitive budget which can be achieved through various income streams and sponsorship.
“A Go Fund Me page has been set up to provide a solid foundation and starting point to allow a new club to hit the ground running for the 2019/20 season.
“We will need as many backers as possible but the end result could be something truly special. We will have a club to support in our town, one that we can be proud of on and off the pitch.
“We have no time to waste, we have to act now.