SALISBURY City say they have restored ownership of the football club after taking legal action to remove major shareholder Otail Touzar.

Following recent legal steps taken by former chairman and Salisbury businessman William Harrison-Allan and Jeff Hooper, the sale of the club in May made to Mr Touzar, with 96 per cent of the shares, and supporter Mark Winter for £1 has been voided, writes Joel Holt.

Southampton businessman Mr Winter has now been unveiled as one of five new owners along with Jackie Goddard, David Phillips, Graeme Mundy and Jeremy Harwood forming a consortium board.

The new owners say their 'immediate objectives' are to settle debts and lodge an appeal, which they have a week to complete, to be reinstated in the Conference South following relegation from the division.

"The new board would like to reassure the club's supporters that while this has been an extremely difficult and trying time for all concerned, we will be striving to pick up the pieces and take the club forward," the new directors vowed.

"Naturally given the mess the new owners are inheriting, patience, support and unity in the community are imperative if we are to meet with success.

"While we cannot undo the damage done in the past few months the main priority is to move forward collectively and rebuild a club we can all be proud of.

"There is still a lot of work to do, but getting past the biggest hurdle of them all is worth something of a celebration."

The club, which has been demoted twice by the Football Conference in recent weeks, say plans for appointing a new manager and assembling a team are under way following the departure of 15 first teamers.

The Echo's sister paper The (Salisbury) Journal understands pundit and former Pompey star Steve Claridge has been linked with the number one job.