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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 17:56 UK

Salisbury takeover moves closer

Salisbury City

The group looking to buy Blue Square Premier outfit Salisbury City are confident they can complete a deal within a month.

Businessmen William Harrison-Allan, Jeff Hooper and Chris Bramall are in advanced talks with the club, who are currently in administration.

Harrison-Allan, who would become chairman, told BBC Wiltshire: "We still have one or two hurdles to get over

"I am confident we'll get solidarity at the club."

Salisbury went into administration with debts of almost £200,000 to HM Revenue and Customs.

The cash-strapped club were put up for sale by out-going chairman Neville Beal for just £1 in April, and the consortium admits the main potential stumbling block is agreeing a deal with HMRC.

"You cannot rule for the Revenue," said Harrison-Allan. "The Revenue have been quite hard in a couple of other cases in football.

"Because we've been open with them I hope the Revenue take that as a positive, not a negative."

Harrison-Allan is a financial advisor based in south Wiltshire and is also chief executive of the Country Gentlemen's Association.

Hooper has a business background in wholesale floristry, while Bramall is managing director at the Wilton Carpet Factory.

Once the takeover is completed, Harrison-Allan says they want to keep general-manager Nick Holmes and first-team boss Tommy Widdrington at the club.

It's a club that needs to be supported by the community

William Harrison-Allan

"We'll give Nick and Tommy better contracts in terms of time. If we give them the time, that makes them feel more comfortable," he said.

"I've already spoken to the players and told them exactly what we expect to happen. I'm hopeful the future is much more solid in terms of existing playing staff and bringing more in.

"We've done a three-year business plan. I am confident we will get three years' worth of solidarity at the club.

"We are looking to put money into improving the ground over the next two stroke three years."

Harrison-Allan is also keen for the club to improve its links with the local community, including setting up schemes with schools around the area.

"It's a club that needs to be supported by the community," he added.

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see also
Salisbury offered for sale at 1
08 Apr 09 |  Salisbury
Holmes upbeat on Salisbury future
04 Sep 09 |  Salisbury

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