Former Newcastle United left-back Olivier Bernard has purchased non-league side Durham City.

The 34-year-old becomes the chairman and owner of the club, and he has big ambitions for the side that call themselves 'The Citizens.

"I want to make Durham one of the best feeder clubs in the north east," he told reporters. "At the moment, I don't think the area develops enough youngsters."

The Frenchman played 145 times for the Magpies between 2000 and 2005, and wants to give something back to the community that watched him play.

Durham City are in the ninth tier of English football.

They got as far as the Northern Premier League in 2009, but in true non-league style, they were informed their pitch wasn't good enough to progress further up the ladder.

Bernard added: "At the moment, I am not thinking about the problem of the pitch because that is a few promotions away.

"I want to raise the profile of the club and get links with Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

"Look at the England team, how many of them are from around here? I'll do everything I can to get players to Durham and help develop them."

Newcastle Utd and Leeds Utd supporters will both remember the industrious nature of Bernard, marauding down the left-side with an intent and passion that many modern players now lack.

His second spell at Newcastle was plagued by injuries, and he never could really get going, putting a slightly negative tinge on the end of his career.

Bernard blamed Graeme Souness for his man management - and also laid the blame on him for the death of his career.

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