Fleet chief wants answers on Salisbury City saga

Steve Brown wants to know if his side will have a game on August 9. Picture by Keith Gillard.

Steve Brown wants to know if his side will have a game on August 9. Picture by Keith Gillard.

First published in Sport
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Ebbsfleet manager Steve Brown is demanding answers from the Conference over the Salisbury City saga.

The Fleet were due to travel to Salisbury City on August 9 after they were demoted from the Conference Premier.

But it is still unclear if the Wiltshire club will be able to compete in the Conference South, leaving Brown to question why the issue has still to be resolved once and for all.

He said: “It’s not a case of frustration, it’s a case of if we start on the ninth we have a plan A, and if we start on the 12th we have a plan B.

“I wish they’d come to a decision, though, as we’re bearing down on the start of the season and nobody knows if Salisbury will be allowed in our league or not.”

Brown added: “If I had a criticism of anything, it’s how this has been able to drag on until two weeks before the start of the season.

“It’s not right and I think it certainly needs to be looked into by the Conference.

“To not know at this stage if you’ve got a first fixture that’s going ahead is not good enough for the teams in the league.

“If Salisbury go we lose a home game, which is financially costly.

“The organisation of it all has been pretty poor.”

Brown does at least feel he is able to focus on the start of the new season more than he was this time last year.

The former Charlton defender took over in 2013 after the club were saved from extinction by KEH Sports, but was starting from scratch as he had no contracted players and very little plans to work with.

This time around, though, the club have retained most of their players from last season and announced they are to be based at a new training ground in Ditton, which Brown feels has led to a more focussed approach to the new season.

He recalls: “If you could have seen us running around behind the scenes last season, we were run off our feet trying to get everything organised - trying to get a training pitch, trying to get a team together and trying to get friendlies.

“It was chaos, so the difference this year has been a much more methodical approach with the fact I’ve got the signings done as early as I can, although there’s still a little bit of tinkering to be done if we need to.

“It’s a good squad and I will only add quality to it that will help us.

“In that respect I was able to keep the core of last season, add five or six players during the off season and it’s given me the chance to bed those players in from day one, as opposed to going into the first friendly with 11 players.”

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