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Chairman's plea for investment
WILLIAM Harrison-Allan has stressed that Salisbury City is not in financial jeopardy but an investor is needed if the club is to move forward in the foreseeable future.
The chairman, pictured right, who bailed out the nonleague side with Jeff Hooper and Chris Brammall as part of a consortium board when they suffered a double demotion in the 2009/2010 season, announced on Sunday the Old Sarum club is seeking a lucrative investment to ensure a stable and bright outlook.
Currently, Harrison-Allan is supporting 80 per cent of City’s funding, a figure he cannot afford to preserve single- handedly.
“We’re not in trouble,” he said, “but it’s a budget I cannot afford moving forward.”
Getting someone to help boost the finances this month – with players’ contracts terminating at the end of April - is crucial to determining the scale of M i k e y H a r r i s ’ p l a y i n g budget next s e a s o n , which is currently around £400,000.
Even the prospect of stepping down as chairman is something he’s considering, providing it helps the club long-term and things don’t spiral out of control.
“Ultimately my business interests come first, therefore, I’d be willing to step down if someone comes in with a large investment," added the entrepreneur, who owns Ask Eric, The Dove Inn and CGA.
“ T h e announcement for donations is more of a rallying cry to get people to make a donation. My aim is to make sure we have a club going forward and at the moment there’s too much uncertainty.
“We need someone to come on board this month so we know where we are and what budget we can work with.”
Dreadful attendances – averaging around 900 when 1,200 was forecasted after promotion from Conference South was achieved last May – have been instrumental to the cash pot suffering, along with a lack of sponsorship and commercial activity.
The Challenge 2000 match against Kidderminster Harriers, which saw the club giveaway 10,000 free tickets to help grow the fanbase, recorded a bumper crowd of 2,216.
But a gate that high is what the Ray Mac needs more often than not with stewarding, police, staff and fourth officials’ fees, quickly accumulating.
“We’ve introduced different variations of ticket offers, including kids go for a pound and reduced season ticket rates, but they haven’t been that effective,” Harrison- Allan continued.
“If no one comes in then there will, of course, be significant changes put in place.
Some players could potentially be put on part-time contracts and other unwanted changes could occur.”
“Hopefully we’ll get big attendances at our next two home games – Lincoln City on Saturday and Welling United on Easter Monday.”
The chairman held a meeting for supporters last night at the Ray Mac.
To make a donation, contact 01722 776655 or email secretary rae.hughes@salisburycity- fc.co.uk.