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Vanarama Conference Premiership


Chester out - or are they?

The board of the Conference has recommended that Chester City be removed from the competition after they pleaded guilty to breaching five rules, including failure to fulfill fixtures.  However, for that to happen, they will need three quarters of member clubs to back their decision.  The Non-League Paper has conducted a straw poll of clubs and four have said they will be voting to keep Chester in the league while others are undecided.   At least one chairman thinks it is not proper for one football club to vote on the death of another, refusing to have the blood

Chester face expulsion from Blue Square Premiership

Having failed to carry out their last two fixtures, Chester City face expulsion from the Blue Square Premiership unless they can give financial assurances about their future.   They failed to send a team for their midweek away fixture with Forest Green.   Accounts of what happened vary: some say that the unpaid players refused to board the coach, others that the coach driver refused to set off until his company was paid.   Yesterday's derby against Wrexham was called off becaues the police refused to provide cover having not been paid for previous matches.

Salisbury City FC Go Into Administration

Blue Square Premiership club Salisbury City have gone into administration. A winding-up order was filed against the club with Salisbury reportedly owing the taxman around £200,000. The club was put up for sale for £1 in April, but no buyer has been found. It was considered by the club that administration was the only hope of getting a buyer in. Salisbury is a 'stand alone' city with a good sized population that should be able to sustain a Conference club, but the cathedral city does not have a strong football tradition.

Conference TV Rights For Sale

The Blue Square Premiership is confident about selling its television rights after the collapse of its five year £12m deal with Setanta, although whether it will raise as much money remains to be seen. Martin James of Sport 360, the Conference's official advertising agency, commented, 'We're not talking Top-Up TV or anything like that.' A free to air bidder is a possibility.

Anyone Want To Buy a Conference Club For £1?

Is there anyone interested in buying a debt free, mid-table Conference club for £1? If you are, then get in touch with Salisbury City, although you would have to dig deep into your pockets to subsidise the team. The current directors will relinquish control next month. Chairman Neville Beal commented, 'We couldn't dig any deeper. We have put a lot of money, but clubs at this [Blue Square Premier] level need a bit more.' Earlier this season sponsors and supporters tried to raise £100,000 to underwrite wages, but only managed to raise £35,000.

Conference Clubs In Tax Trouble

At least nine Conference clubs have tax bills threatening their existence. A higher number of clubs than expected from the Blue Square Premier, North and South have fallen foul of the stringent quarterly checks after the summer launch of the Financial Reporting initiative. This was set up by the Conference and the FA to monitor the returns of clubs to HM Revenue and Customs. Conference chairman Brian Lee said, 'Part of the problem is that football is an incomparable industry.

Wrexham AFC's Ambitious Plan

Blue Square Conference side Wrexham has revealed an ambitious £40m investment plan designed to transform the former league club's finances and lead to the rebuilding of the historic Kop. The club has lodged revised plans for a £40m Glyndwr University village with space for 800 students, the income from which it is hoped will clear the club's massive £3m-£4m debts. Any further profit would then be used to finance the rebuilding of the historic Kop stand, which is currently out of action.