Gateshead have revealed the details behind the collapse of their proposed takeover, while confirming the club will adopt a part-time model moving forward.
The National League outfit looked set to be taken over by a Shanghai-based businessman this week, but the deal was revealed to have collapsed earlier today.
And the club's current joint-owner, Richard Bennett, has confirmed that the takeover hit a snag at a routine 'change of ownership' meeting held in Manchester last week.
The potential owner failed to satisfy the league's requirements and, despite being given opportunities to make amendments to the proposed deal, decided to withdraw.
That leaves Bennett and wife Julie, the club's other joint-owner, left to support the club financially ahead of the 2018/19 season.
It had been hoped that the Heed could secure new ownership ahead of Thursday, when club's have to submit their budgets to the National League ahead of the new campaign.
But while a number of prospective buyers remain interested, there is no conclusion near meaning that the club will revert to a part-time model moving forward.
In a club statement, Bennett commented: "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 given 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 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’ll look to remain competitive at the highest level of non-league football but we’ll 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 anyone was looking for but we strongly believe it’s 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”.