Gateshead fans have their say on ‘ideal candidate’ Chris Dunphy as he eyes takeover

Influential Gateshead fans have thrown their backing behind Chris Dunphy’s bid to buy the club.

By Mark Carruthers
Thursday, 28 March, 2019, 15:26
Gateshead Soul Independent Supporters Association.

The Echo exclusively revealed that the former Rochdale chairman had a “serious interest” in taking over at the National League play-off challengers and accountants working on his behalf are currently examining the Heed’s financial situation.

That could lead to Dunphy submitting a formal bid to Gateshead owner Dr Ranjan Varghese and the club’s chief financial advisor Joseph Cala.

Several other parties have expressed an interest in acquiring the Tynesiders and the Echo understands that football agents Colin Piechniczek and Gustavo Pozo have been told they have access to the books over the last 24 hours, but as yet they have been unable to do so.

Gateshead Soul Independent Supporters Association chairman Bernard McWilliams has been working alongside Gateshead general manager Alisha Henry to assess potential suitors for the club.

He said: “It has been a challenging process and one with many ups and downs.

“But the last week has seen some real progress and it has given us a better indication of where we are at right now.

“There has been interest from both home and abroad, but we feel that Chris Dunphy is our preferred bidder and we have made that decision based on a number of reasons.

“Chris offers us a clean break from the current regime and he brings genuine experience of running a football club.

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“He knows the game inside-out, he knows how to maximise potential at a club and he realises the challenges that lie in wait.

“His achievements at Rochdale speak for themselves and, in his own words, he left the club in a healthier place than he found it.

“They always seemed to be a community-based club and showed a stability that we have craved here at Gateshead.

“He is an ideal candidate to take over at the club and we feel that he has more to offer than the other interested parties.”

The Echo understands that Dunphy is planning to travel to the North East on Friday to hold further talks with key figures at Gateshead.

McWilliams added: “At the start of the process we were asked to find a potential owner that would buy the club for £1.

“We believe that we have fulfilled our side of the bargain in finding Chris and he isn’t put off by the fact that there are potential debts hanging over the club.

“The club know only too well now that Chris is our preferred bidder and we are more than happy to throw our support behind him.”