In early May 2012, Darlington 1883 Football Club, who were without a ground at the time, agreed to play at Shildon AFC for the 2012/13 season and signed a contract accordingly with both parties agreeing amicable terms and conditions.
After a month of speculation and rumour, Darlington announced that they would be playing their matches at Heritage Park, the home of Bishop Auckland, for the next two seasons.
Following lengthy negotiations between Darlington 1883 and Shildon AFC, both clubs have arrived at an amicable financial settlement, which provides appropriate compensation to Shildon following the termination of the ground share agreement.
Gareth Howe, Secretary of Shildon AFC commented, “We are aware that comments have been made concerning the safety standards of our ground and we would like to reiterate that Dean Street has successfully passed FA & League inspections, and that two seasons ago we successfully hosted an FA Vase Quarter Final game, at which the crowd was in excess of 2,000 and at which there were no safety issues.
“This matter has been subject to widespread debate on various forums, with some comments being made by so-called fans being inflammatory and in the main ill-informed.
“We are confident however that the comments made represent those of a minority, if indeed fans at all, and do not reflect the views of the majority of supporters from both clubs.
“We pride ourselves on being a club that is very competitive and at the same time extends a very warm welcome to our visiting supporters and guests within the league and from elsewhere.
“It goes without saying that the same applies to Darlington 1883 when they visit Dean Street during the course of the coming season. We would now wish to bring this matter to a close and concentrate our energies on playing football.”
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