Dartford reinstated into Conference Premier after troubled Salisbury City are thrown out

Friday 13th June 2014
DARTFORD have received the welcome news that they have been reinstated back into the Conference Premier at the end of a farcical week.

The Darts were relegated from the Conference Premier after finishing third-from-bottom but have maintained their league status after troubled Salisbury City were demoted over financial matters.

The Football Conference Ltd issued the following statement concerning Salisbury City’s membership.

“The club has failed to meet the requirement to settle all football creditors in cleared funds by 5pm Thursday, 12th June 2014. Furthermore, it has also failed to provide a financial bond of £50,000 by the same time and date.

“These elements constitute two of four requirements unanimously set by members of the Board of the Football Conference Ltd, in attendance and eligible to vote, on Friday, 6th June which, if fulfilled, would enable the club to retain its membership of the Conference National Division.

“If unfulfilled the club was advised at the meeting it would be liable to be expelled from the Competition and the Company under Article 5.2 or be relegated.

“At a Board meeting today (13 June) the Directors considered various issues relating to the club's financial stability, in particular the club's failure to provide the Bond and its failure to settle all its football creditors by the due date.

“The Directors in attendance at the meeting, and eligible to vote, unanimously agreed to invoke the latter part of its previous decision and relegate Salisbury City FC from the Conference Premier to Conference South.

“Furthermore, if a Bond of £50,000.00 (or a Bank Guarantee) is not deposited, and the football creditors have not been settled in cleared funds, by 5pm on Friday, 4th July 2014, the club will be expelled from the Competition and the Company.

“The consequence of today's decision means Dartford FC will be reprieved from relegation to Conference South and will be replaced in the constitution of this division by Salisbury City.”

A Dartford statement said: “After receiving a statement from the Conference confirming that we have been reprieved from relegation and that we will be competing in the Conference Premier next season, Dartford FC are now ready to prepare for the new season.

“This will obviously mean certain changes to the decisions already made for next season, both on and off the field, and after our scheduled board meeting on Monday evening, we hope to announce what those changes may be.

“We thank our supporters for their understanding during these uncertain times.”

Dartford manager Tony Burman, meanwhile, has appointed former goalkeeper Tony Kesell as his new goalkeeping coach for next season, following John Macrae’s retirement.

Tonbridge Angels, who finished second-from-bottom in Conference South last season, expect to take their place in the Ryman Premier League when the new season kicks off on 9 August.

The Angels lost their Conference South status after three years following their relegation in their penultimate game of the season, a 7-1 defeat at Chelmsford City.

“The interpretation of this (statement) is that Tonbridge Angels will be playing in the Ryman League Premier Division this season but clarification needs to be sought at the Ryman League’s AGM taking place on Sunday.

“A further statement will therefore be issued on Sunday.”

Earlier this week, Hereford United were thrown out of the Conference Premier because they were unable to pay a £350,000 bond, meaning Chester were reinstated in the Conference Premier.

It is the second time in four years Salisbury have been demoted for financial reasons, following their drop to the Southern Premier League in 2010. 

Visit Dartford's website: www.dartfordfconline.com