National League club Gateshead have announced that their proposed takeover has collapsed.
A statement on the club’s website read: “A routine change of ownership meeting took place in Manchester last week and resulted in the collapse of a potential sale of Gateshead Football Club when the would be buyers failed to satisfy various aspects of the competition’s requirements.
“Despite being given the opportunity to rectify the shortcomings, the potential buyers decided against pursuing the matter further”.
It is believed that the consortium was led by a Shanghai-based investor and that talks have now resumed with two other groups interested in taking over the club.
It is expected that current owners Richard and Julie Bennett will now submit a budget for the forthcoming campaign, ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
Richard Bennett told the club’s website: “I met with the potential buyers following the meeting with the National League and it quickly became clear that they had been withholding important information from us during the due diligence process.
“It’s very disappointing for everyone involved, especially considering the work that has gone into this.
“First and foremost in our minds is the long-term future of the club and Julie and I have decided to continue our ownership until such a time as a credible buyer can be found. Someone who, in our opinion, is right for the club.
“However, we simply cannot afford to continue running the club on a full-time basis in the meantime and regrettably cuts in all areas of expenditure are a necessity.
“Naturally we will look to remain competitive at the highest level of Non-League football but we will need to become one of a growing number of part-time clubs in the national division.
“We fully realise that this isn’t the outcome that anyone was looking for but we strongly believe the it is important that the town of Gateshead maintains its football club.
“We hope that everyone understands the situation and gets behind the club wherever and however possible to ensure this set-back is merely temporary”
The Tynesiders finished in 17th position in the National League table last season.