THE Sydenhams Wessex League have left the door ajar for the potential late addition of Salisbury City to their ranks.
As yet the Wiltshire crisis club have not officially approached the league about the possibility of joining the Sydenhams Premier Division.
But, following consultation with the Football Association, the league has put clubs on standby to attend an EGM at Totton & Eling Sports Club next Wednesday (August 27) to vote on the matter.
Salisbury are due to return to the High Court on Tuesday with the aim of seizing ownership of the club from current owner Otail Touzar.
The Whites are currently not affiliated to any league, but one possible lifeline would be inclusion in the Sydenhams Wessex League (SWL) which kicked off nearly three weeks ago.
SWL chairman Ian Hoare confirmed: “Back in June we had an unofficial approach from Salisbury asking what would happen if they applied to come into our league but, since then, all sorts of things have gone on with High Court appearances etc.
“Salisbury have not approached us since but the FA have asked us whether, if the situation did arise, we would take them in.
“We are in a position where we could take them in because we are one club short in the Premier Division this season.
“But, irrespective of what the board thinks, it’s down to the clubs to decide and everything has to be done correctly so there is no case for appeal against us.
“We have had to give clubs notice of a definite date for an EGM, but if no one from Salisbury speaks to us in the very near future we will cancel it.”
Even if Sydenhams clubs did feel inclined to throw Salisbury a lifeline, time is running out for the Whites.
“It’s a shame when any club goes out of existence but we’ve already started the season and the longer this goes on, the less chance there is for them,” said Hoare.
One club definitely not in favour of Salisbury joining the Wessex ranks is title favourites Winchester City.
Director of football Dave Malone – once a director of the Wiltshire outfit – said the only way it would be acceptable is if the Whites were hit with a 15-point deduction.
He reasoned: “It’s a bit like Sholing coming down from the Southern League last season. Whether they’ve got the players or not, they are not a Wessex League club.
“They’d be coming in late and they’d be bringing players in from a higher standard, so it’s not a level playing field, is it?
“I feel sorry for Salisbury. It would be sad to see a huge club like them going off down the swanny.”
Hoare acknowledged: “I think the fear from our clubs would be Salisbury ‘doing a Sholing’, but I wouldn’t think they’d have the player base.”