Ian Ridley has stepped down as vice-chairman of Salisbury FC, just over two years after helping the club re-form.

In a statement released on Thursday Ridley confirmed his decision was down to “other issues and commitments, both personal and professional”, but he backed the club’s board to continue their rise up the pyramid.Salisbury City FC

In October 2014 Ridley helped establish Salisbury FC as a phoenix club after Salisbury City were dissolved.

The club were placed in the Wessex League Premier Division by the FA and won promotion, as champions, into the Southern League Division One South and West.

They also reached the FA Vase semi-finals in their maiden season, although were beaten by fellow phoenix club Hereford FC over two legs.

The Whites, managed by Portsmouth legend Steve Claridge, currently sit in fifth place in the Southern League Division One South and West and are in the hunt for a play-off place.

In his statement Ridley described his pride at playing a part in getting football back to Salisbury.

The statement in full read “It is with regret that due to personal circumstances, I am standing down from the board of Salisbury Football Club, though I hope to remain active in helping the club going forward as far as I possibly can.

Since joining Steve Claridge, Dave Phillips, Jeremy Harwood and Graeme Mundy in helping to establish the new club in October 2014, I have been immensely proud of the work we have all done in bringing football back to Salisbury and in seeking to move the club back up the football pyramid.

Because of other issues and commitments, both personal and professional, I can no longer devote the time, energy and resources to the club that I would like, however, and feel it best if others now take the club forward both financially and in future decision-making.

After having discussed the situation with Steve and Dave, I will remain as a consultant to the board and the club when needed and requested, as well as helping with fund-raising initiatives, and I hope still to attend games whenever possible.

I will always be grateful for the welcome and thanks from the marvellous band of Salisbury FC fans who have supported the new club in such great numbers and I hope the team can kick on from here to secure a play-off place to follow up the Wessex League Championship we all enjoyed last season.

Whatever the outcome of this season, it will certainly have been another enjoyable one with the team playing such attractive, attacking football.

Supporters may not always agree with decisions that are made – and healthy debate is the very lifeblood of a club – but having been on the inside at the Ray Mac, I can reassure supporters that we have a dedicated chairman who works tirelessly for the well being of the club and an excellent, shrewd manager who knows football and players inside out and is working astutely within a sensible budget to build both an improving squad and a progressive club”

Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)

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