By Chris Wright
The glorious Raymond McEnhill Stadium, home of Salisbury City
Despite finishing the 2013/14 Football Conference season in a comfortable mid-table position, Salisbury City found themselves demoted to the Conference South in June after missing a league deadline to clear their outstanding debts.
These debts were bought about by their former chairman, Moroccan businessman/alleged fraudster Outail Touzar, who took over in May and promptly refused to invest any significant amount of money in the club before scarpering back from whence he came several months later with around £4,000 of fans’ money in his back pocket.
Touzar has also severed all communications with those he left behind at Salisbury, who are desperately seeking to wrest back legal ownership of the club to preserve their livelihoods.
Salisbury have appealed to the FA to challenge the Conference board’s decision to relegate them, though the FA have since dismissed the appeal on the basis that the people currently running The Whites day-to-day are not actually the club’s legal owners.
Indeed, according to the Western Daily Press , a delegation of Salisbury City employees travelled to Wembley this morning for appeal hearing, only to be turned away by FA executives after being told they had “no right” to attend. The club have also now confirmed they were refused entry to the hearing.
The club have since released an official statement on the matter which, while not quite being the angriest thing ever written (that honour definitely goes to this Quietus review of Coldplay’s new album!), it’s definitely Top 10 material.
It’d be a shame to whittle a work of such triple-distilled venom down, so here it is in full (it’s a long read, but well worth it if you’re into world class FA-bashing):
“Salisbury City are being monumentally stitched up by the FA and Conference which will ultimately lead to the demise of the football club.
“We were due to go before an independent appeals panel at 12pm today to challenge the Conference boards decision to throw us out of the league.
“Yet barely 24 hours before our case was due to be heard the independent chairman objected to our appeal on the grounds we were not the legal owners and therefore had no right to appeal even though we were due to appear in the High Court 24hrs later and claim ownership of the club unchallenged.
“The FA, who had taken the unprecedented step of hearing and appeal