Vanarama Conference club Gateshead have announced that local business owners Richard and Julie Bennett have acquired the total shareholding of chairman Graham Wood.
Commenting on the change of ownership, Wood said: “Since I announced my intention to seek a new owner at the beginning of the month, vice-chairman and chief executive, Brian Waites and I have been busy considering offers from far and wide.
“However, it wasn’t until last week that we first discussed the possibility of Richard and Julie, the owners of Consett-based company Derwentside Environmental Testing Services (DETS) taking over the club.
“DETS has been sponsoring Gateshead for the last two years, the entire Bennett family come to our games and their enthusiasm for the club is quite apparent.
“I can truly say that Richard and Julie are my idea of the perfect successors. They are both local, Richard is from Newcastle and Julie from Gateshead, are very successful business people and possess the ambition and the means to continue with the objective of returning Gateshead to the Football League.
“We all recognise the benefit of a seamless transition and consequently I have agreed to remain as chairman until such time as Richard feels ready to take over the role. Julie, who is the finance director of DETS, will take over that position at the club. Brian Waites will continue in his existing role.
“Naturally, we realise that the transition has put us a couple of weeks behind in appointing a new manager but we can now move forward on that front and focus totally on preparing for the new season and another promotion push.”
Commenting on behalf of the new owners, Richard Bennett said: “We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to take over the club and we’ll be looking to build on the solid foundation which Graham Wood, Brian Waites and the support staff have created over the past nine years.
“We are thrilled that both Graham and Brian have agreed to stay on to help push this great club forward, commencing with another promotion challenge next season. We can’t wait to get started.
“For everyone at the club it’s business as usual and the appointment of a new manager is top priority.”