Gateshead set to drop TWO divisions after being suspended from National League

GATESHEAD have been kicked out of the National League which could see them drop two divisions.

The National League found the North-East club guilty of a series of breaches of membership rules.

Gateshead broke league rules on financial reporting and permitted loans, as well as defaulting on football creditors.

The club has also been fined £3,500 and docked nine points from this season, meaning the Heed, who finished ninth, have dropped to 17th, a point behind local rivals Hartlepool.

To add insult to injury, the National League ban means they will not be allowed to play in the tier below – National League North, meaning they will have to play in the next league down, the Northern Premier League next season.

A statement from the National League said: “Gateshead FC has been found guilty of failing to obtain security of tenure over its ground, defaulting on football creditors, and breaching League rules concerning financial reporting and permitted loans.

“The club has had 9 points deducted from its playing record for the 2018/19 season and been fined £3,500.

“The National League table has been amended accordingly.

“Furthermore, the club has been suspended from the competition and the League has refused the club a licence for the 2019/20 season.”

The ruling has capped a nightmare season for the club who lost manager Steve Watson in January.

The former Newcastle defender quit to take over at York City and his replacement, Ben Clark was sacked at the end of the season.

While players have been paid late, the club were also evicted from Gateshead council-owned International Stadium and have just one contracted player left, Scott Barrows who is set to leave when his contract expires next month.

Fans group Gateshead Soul, who helped pay for food and transport for unpaid players, still hope they can rescue the club and run it on a fan-owned model.

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