Dubai businessman in legal row over football club takeover

Non-league Salisbury City FC bans Otail AS Touzar; takes legal steps to overturn his ownership

A Dubai-based businessman who was part of a consortium that last month signed a deal to take control of English non-league football club Salisbury City has been banned by the club.

In a statement, the club said it has taken steps to remove the current owner, Moroccan-born Otail AS Touzar taking legal advice.

Salisbury City added that information had surfaced questioning the legitimacy of Touzar's takeover of the club.

"Following consultation with legal experts, Mr Touzar has been banned from the club and will be served with legal papers in the forthcoming days to overturn his ownership," the statement said, without giving further details.

Last month the club, which plays in the Conference Premier, one division lower than the English League 2, said a consortium of Touzar and local businessman Mark Winter had reached agreement to take control.

Otail said at the time that that the deal was likely to be the first of a number of football transactions to be announced this year.

Now, Salisbury City admitted it is facing expulsion from the Conference on Tuesday after the league's board decided to consider relegating them, due to the legal issue surrounding the ownership of the club.

The statement said the threat hangs over the club despite £75,000 ($127,286) being transferred into the club solicitors client account to meet unpaid debts.

It added: "It staggers belief that this is a Conference board who were quite happy, along with the FA, to endorse the appointment of Otail Touzar but following forensic investigation by the club to expose his financial situation, are now using him as an excuse to throw Salisbury City FC out of the league.

"Following legal advice, Salisbury City FC will now consider taking an injunction out on the Conference or taking the case to an FA independent appeal board... as a result of their imminent action it leaves Salisbury City FC with no choice but to take legal steps to safeguard their future."

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