OUTGOING chairman Mike Cranidge admitted that Bashley had been set to fold prior to the last-ditch U-turn which saw Angela Speechley-Price yesterday replace him in the hot seat.

Mrs Speechley-Price and Nick Ferguson, who were briefly part of the committee at AFC Totton, took up interim positions on the club’s executive alongside secretary Tim Allan at the 11th hour to prevent Bash from going under.

The duo had formed part of a three-strong party – which included Graham Speechley-Price, Angela’s husband – set to take over the ailing New Forest outfit in March but withdrew their interest after a rival consortium of existing club members came forward.

At the time, Cranidge insisted the option of the trio taking over “would not be revisited”.

But with the club having failed to assemble a viable team from its membership, the man who reluctantly stepped into the breach last summer approached the party in an effort to keep alive Bashley’s 67-year history.

The new committee have been co-opted until the club's annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, May 27 where they are expected to have their positions ratified by members.

Cranidge told the Daily Echo: “The party that had shown an interest failed to get together a workable team and I couldn’t take it further by myself.

“We had people committed to finding commercial investment and to putting up a bit of money themselves but no one was prepared to take up an executive post and that was the surprise.

“There was no one willing and able to step up from the membership which was a side of things that had been neglected.

“Thankfully, we now have a combination of internal and external support to ensure to club can continue. I’m just happy to be able to hand over the reins while we still have a future.”

In a statement released by the club, Mrs Speechley-Price said: "After speaking with my support team and with the assurances in place that we will inherit a debt free club, we have decided that we believe we can make Bashley FC work but the structure of the club will need to change. We will now begin the process of rebuilding the club.

"Mr Cranidge has, along with other Bashley supporters, done a fantastic job keeping Bashley afloat and should be applauded for this.

“We hope this will be the beginning of a new era for Bashley FC and hope we can depend on the support of the fans for the coming season."