Whites to talk to Claridge

Daily Echo: Steve Claridge Steve Claridge

JOURNEYMAN Steve Claridge is to have talks with Salisbury City about the managerial vacancy on Saturday.

The TV pundit and former professional footballer, 48, is to meet with Whites’ new CEO Paul Smith to discuss the number one spot, writes Joel Holt.

“I’ve spoken to Steve but he’s away on holiday at the moment,” said Mr Smith.

“I had a long conversation with him about coming to the club and he’s interested in coming here.

“Steve is a personal friend of mine and I will be sitting down with him on Saturday.

“All things considered, other people have applied for the post and we’re not going to shut the door on other candidates.”

Claridge, who has played more than 1,000 professional matches during his longstanding 24-year career, has been linked with the job alongside other potential candidates following the departure of Mikey Harris.

Harris, among 15 first team players, parted company with the Whites after their on-going financial plight but Harris’ successor is expected to be appointed when the club is reinstated in Conference South.

The club, which were expelled from the Football Conference earlier this month for not settling their debts, have lodged an appeal to the FA to rejoin the division.

This was done on Monday, just days after the club took legal action to remove major shareholder Otail Touzar, as former chairman William Harrison-Allan and Jeff Hooper voided the sale of the club made to Mr Touzar and Mark Winter in May.

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

The new directors said: “We 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.”

“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.”

Mr Smith added that once the new squad is selected, they’ll be going part-time.

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