THE owner of struggling Salisbury City has resigned.
Southampton businessman Mark Winter has stepped down from his position after purchasing the club last month with Moroccan partner Otail Touzar.
Mr Winter, 47, says he has ploughed more than £75,000 into the club, while claiming Mr Touzar, who is the major backer with 98 per cent shares, is yet to invest any money.
Over the past few weeks, Mr Winter said he had been working tirelessly to get Mr Touzar to hand over his shares but, despite help from legal advisors, he has been unable to do so.
The club has until 5pm on Friday to pay its football creditors and secure a bond of £50,000 to avoid expulsion from Conference South.
On the same day, a winding up order from HMRC of £29,000 is due, otherwise Whites will fold entirely.
“I wish I could give you better news, but as it stands, unless there is radical movement, I expect Salisbury to be expelled from the Conference on Friday (July 4). The HMRC winding up petition which needs to be paid shortly will then call closure on the club,” said diehard supporter Mr Winter.
“As fans, we need to face the real possibility that there will be no Salisbury City Football club playing next season.
“You will all no doubt draw your own conclusions, but I felt it was about time you all heard the reality of where we are.
“Touzar would have the world believe he is working around the clock to save the club. The brutal truth is he has done nothing to help the club. We have tried everything in our power to reason with him, even offering him money to give the club back.”
Mr Winter, Salisbury City's under-11s coach, and his fiancée Michaela Menzel have been involved in the club for the past six years.
He added it’s heartbreaking to walk away from the club he loves but was left with little alternative.
“The club, over the past six years, has become a massive part of my family’s lives.
“We have had some wonderful times and made lots of very good friends. Those memories, and those friends are something no one can take away from us.
"I, Michaela and all those that have supported our efforts over the last weeks are heartbroken to be taking the decision to walk away, but there really is no other option.”
“If there is an appetite for a phoenix club, count me in.”