THE anticipated seismic summer of change at Winchester City Football Club won’t be happening after all.

Back in January chairman Paul Murray and director of football Dave Malone announced they would be leaving the Evo-Stik South West club at the end of the current campaign and the search was on for new people to take control.

But, after careful consideration, both Murray and Malone have decided to stay at the Simplyhealth City Ground with a new chairman, Elliott Trodd, at the helm.

Malone will continue as director of football, Murray will take on the role of treasurer and Alan Davis becomes secretary.

Those appointments are all subject to confirmation at a committee meeting scheduled for next Monday (April 16).

New chairman Trodd, a partner in Charters Estate Agents, Winchester, has been overseeing City’s youth set-up since moving over from Eastleigh.

Over the last three months the City hierarchy have spoken to several people interested in taking control of the club, but none has been quite the right fit.

And, having saved the club from going under five years ago, Murray and Malone would rather keep the status quo – albeit with a reduced playing budget – than see Winchester fall into the wrong hands.

A club statement said: “Following weeks of speculation, we can now confirm that Winchester City FC has made significant moves forward in their quest to reorganise prior to the 2018/2019 season.

“The club has held talks with several interested parties, who have expressed an interest in taking control of the club. None of these discussions have resulted in a satisfactory way forward.”

Welcoming the appointment of Trodd as chairman, the statement added: “Elliott, who is 44, is currently head of youth football, where we have enjoyed a lot of success, and is a committee member. He is also a successful local businessman and lives locally.”

While neither Murray nor Malone intend putting in the same amount of money as they have this season, Malone said: “Elliott has some good contacts locally, so it shouldn't be too drastic.

“We’ve formed a consortium of people and we’ll go from there.

“We had lots of meetings and talks with interested parties but, at the end of the day, nothing fitted.

“I’m away more and more these days with work, but Paul and I haven’t put all this time and effort into building up the club to have all that hard work undone.

"When Paul said he would stay on, I felt obligated to do the same to make sure the club stays in safe hands. We’re getting the infrastructure right and we don’t want to see that messed up.”

The latest developments will come as good news to team boss Craig Davis who has had an excellent first full season in charge, keeping City in the play-off hunt.

“We haven’t got a huge budget and Craig’s done a very good job on the budget he’s got,” said Malone.

Davis’s willingness to give youth a chance also goes in his favour and it’s an area City are keen to build on.

“We had nothing of a youth system four years ago and we’ve built it up,” said Malone.

“We’ve got a good crop of youngsters coming through and we’re hopeful that over the next few years they will play a much bigger part.”