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Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 13:39 UK

Salisbury takeover moves closer

Salisbury City

Administrators at Salisbury City have accepted a proposal from a consortium of businessmen to buy the club.

The bid from the three-man group, headed by William Harrison-Allan, was the only one received before Wednesday's deadline.

Administrator Mike Fortune told BBC Wiltshire they now have to strike a deal with HM Revenue & Customs who are owed almost £200,000.

"I'm reasonably confident that we are going to be able to meet the criteria."

The Blue Square Premier club were put up for sale more than five months ago for £1 by previous chairman Neville Beal and the consortium had discussed a deal with the club for more than three months.

I'm as confident as I can be. We're hoping by the end of October at a squeeze

Administrator Mike Fortune

"We'd been in talks with them (the consortium) for a while," Fortune explained. "We were confident in their proposals for the club.

"I'm due to meet with the consortium early next week to go over their offer in detail. The next stage is to transmit that offer to the Crown (HMRC) and get their views on it.

"We spoke to them a few weeks ago because we wanted to get their general take on what we're looking to propose to them. I'm as confident as I can be.

"We're hoping by the end of October at a squeeze (to complete the takeover)."

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

The average age (of the players) is pretty low and they've put up some wonderful performances

William Harrison-Allan

He was glad to see their offer accepted.

"We're excited," he said. "We're working very hard, we've put in significant money.

"It's three new directors so hopefully the Revenue will look on this kindly.

"We have paid the wages over the last couple of months so they can see that the new people are sticking to what they say and I'm hopeful that they, and the other creditors, will play ball.

"I'm cautiously optimistic."

The consortium also includes Jeff Hooper, who has a business background in wholesale floristry, and Wilton Carpet Factory managing-director Chris Bramall.

Earlier this week two new groups were looking at making an offer but nothing was received.

On the pitch, Salisbury have made a good start to the season despite limited resources and suffering a 10-point deduction and Harrison-Allan has been impressed.

"The average age (of the players) is pretty low and they've put up some wonderful performances. I think they are strong enough, with a few additions, to stay up this season and go onto better things next season," he said.

The potential chairman also praised the club's fanbase.

"The loyalty of the fans who keep coming despite not knowing what's going on, its great to say to them now that their money is being used for the right reason."

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see also
Salisbury offered for sale at 1
08 Apr 09 |  Salisbury
Salisbury takeover moves closer
13 Sep 09 |  Salisbury
New investors keen on Salisbury
29 Sep 09 |  Salisbury

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