Whites' owners must settle debts

Salisbury Journal: Football Conference chairman Brian Lee, left, with FA chairman Greg Dyke, right Football Conference chairman Brian Lee, left, with FA chairman Greg Dyke, right

SALISBURY City FC have been told they must get their finances in order if they are to preserve their place in the Football Conference.

New owners Mark Winter and Otail Touzar had a board meeting with the Conference yesterday evening and were informed that the city club will remain in the division as long as outstanding debts are paid.

That includes covering the players' wage bills, which the Journal understands to be thousands.

"I am pleased to say Salisbury is still a Conference club. We have a few conditions to meet which we are confident we can,” said dedicated supporter Mr Winter, 47.

City, who finished 12th last season on their return to the elite level of non-league, will be attending the Conference AGM today at Celtic Manor, Newport.

A statement from the Conference website reads: "In the case of Salisbury City, being represented by directors Mark Winter and Otail Touzar, the board unanimously agreed that the club can retain membership of the Ltd company and their place in the Football Conference providing financial payments are secured as directed by the board.

"Failure to meet the financial conditions imposed the club's membership would be revoked."

The pair have pledged to invest in the club to ensure it has a sustainable future.

Mr Touzar, a 31-year-old Moroccan businessman, is the main financial backer while Mr Winter, who coaches the Salisbury City under 11s side, will be running the club’s business on a day-to-day basis.

The White’s have suffered ongoing financial difficulties in recent years which culminated in a double demotion.

They are now back in the top flight of Conference football but need to settle their debts.

More reaction in Thursday's paper.

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