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Mixed Fortunes For Non-league Clubs


Salisbury City, up for sale for £1, will meet two more prospective buyers in the next few days after already holding talks with prospective owners. A consortium of local businessmen and a stand-alone buyer have already held talks with the Conference club. Another potential buyer from Denmark is interested in the club, while there is also a second consortium in the wings. However, a quick sale is not expected.

Another Conference club, Ebbsfleet United, are set for a showdown with local authorities over plans to build a new 5,000-seat stadium to replace their current dated ground. The club have identifeid a site on the A2 corridor near Gravesham, but the location is on Green Belt land and Kent County Council would like to build an activity park there. The club considers that this is the only feasible site currently available and represents a last chance opportunity. However, the cash strapped club would still have to find the money to fund the move even if the planning objections were overcome.

Bath City are considering merging with student side TeamBath who have resigned from the Conference South. Bath City, who own Twerton Park, had been able to use the high standard training facilities at Bath University. According to the Non-League Paper questions about TeamBath's financial strcture put paid to them progressing further through the non-league Pyramid. The NLP refers to them as 'government funded', although any university today has a number of funding streams that do not depend on the taxpayer and the more successful ones rely on the public sector for less than 50 per cent of their funding.

Minimum Wage Threat To Non-League Clubs

Government proposals to extend minimum wage laws could threaten the finances of non-league clubs. It has been suggested that clubs should pay £5.73 for every hour players dedicate to the game, including training and travelling time. That means that every player who earns less than £70 a week could get a pay rise leaving clubs with a weekly wage bill of around £1,000 for an 18-man squad. In a league like the Ryman One South players could normally expect around £30 a week, while in the lower reaches of the Unibond it could be £40. In the Highland League in Scotland, players are typically paid £20 a week so wage costs could rise fourfold. However, many non-league clubs reward players on an 'expenses' basis and that should fall outside the scope of the minimum wages legislation.