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Gateshead FC sold to overseas consortium

Gateshead boss Steve Watson
Gateshead boss Steve Watson

National League side Gateshead are set to be taken over by an overseas consortium after owners Richard and Julie Bennett agreed a deal in principle to sell their shares.

The Bennetts put the club up for sale a couple of weeks before the end of the season, and have been in discussion with a number of parties.

They have now agreed to sell their stake to the consortium, and the takeover should go through subject to FA and National League ratification.

It means the squad will remain full-time, after concerns that they may be forced to revert to a part-time model.

Gateshead FC managing director Brian Waites said: “It has been a frantic and intense period.

“We have been overwhelmed by both the high level and quality of enquiries and wish to thank all those parties who have expressed interest in Gateshead Football Club.

“At this stage, we remain under non-disclosure agreements and unable to divulge the identity of any of the parties that we have been in discussions with.

“Our potential new owners have supported their interest with an exciting vision for the future and it is their intention to retain both the football and operational management teams.

“We will continue to work closely during the next few weeks with the consortium, Football Association and National League to conclude the deal as quickly and efficiently as we possibly can.”

Gateshead are managed by former Newcastle United star Steve Watson, who led them to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy and a 17th-placed finish in the league.

However, the uncertainty over the ownership of the club has hit his pre-season plans, with a number of players departing the club.

Goalkeeper James Montgomery, grandson of former Sunderland hero Jimmy, joined League Tow side Forest Green Rovers this week while four players quit the club earlier this month.

Russell Penn, Jordan Burrow and Wes York all joined York City while goalkeeper Dan Hansford quit for Southport.