Salisbury City demoted Conference South after money issues

Salisbury City's Raymond McEnhill stadium
Salisbury City were demoted to the Southern Premier League in 2010

Salisbury City have been demoted one division to the Conference South after failing to pay creditors.

The Whites missed Thursday's 17:00 BST deadline set by the Conference to clear outstanding debt and also failed to provide a financial bond of £50,000.

As a result, relegated Dartford will remain in the Premier division.

If Salisbury fail to pay the bond and football creditors by Friday, 4 July they will be expelled from the Conference altogether.

Earlier this week, Hereford United were thrown out of the league because they were unable to pay a £350,000 bond, meaning Chester were reinstated in the Conference Premier.

It is the second time in four years Salisbury have been demoted for financial reasons, following their drop to the Southern Premier League in 2010.

In a statement on Friday,external-link Salisbury said they had paid off £75,000 of their estimated £150,000 debt, and could find the rest by next week.

And they also claimed a legal issue over their ownership was the Conference's real concern, with the debt situation being used as a pretext for action against them.

Salisbury were taken over last month by supporter Mark Winter and Moroccan businessman Outail Touzar, with the pair becoming responsible for the club's debts.

It was reported on Thursday that Winter had paid the £75,000 to try to save the club while Moroccan businessman Touzar, who owns a 98% stake, had not provided any investment.

The club have now "banned" Touzar and will attempt to overturn his ownership after information surfaced questioning the legitimacy of his takeover.

Their latest statement claimed the Conference were "using him as an excuse to throw Salisbury City out of the league" and are set to consult their lawyers regarding an appeal.

The Whites finished 12th in the Conference Premier last term, 10 points off the play-offs, but have been under a transfer embargo since April.

It is thought players and staff have not been paid for the last two months - with about £30,000 owed to them.

Dartford manager Tony Burman told BBC Radio Kent: "I'm very pleased. I want us to play at the highest level that we can in non-league football and we've been given an opportunity.

"We don't want to see other clubs go to the wall but unfortunately that's happened and it's given us an opportunity to stay in the league."

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