DOVER ATHLETIC director Roger Knight tonight has issued a statement regarding concern among fans over our non-contracted players.

Essex club East Thurrock submitted a seven-day approach for Dean Palmer and are free to speak to the player on Thursday – although Whites boss Clive Walker has made it clear that he wants him to stay at the club.

Roger – the stand-in chairman this week in the absence of Jim Parmenter, who is away on business – said the club would seek to do everything they possibly can to keep the best players, including Palmer.

He said: “I understand the fans’ concerns regarding the future of some of the players. From a new board point of view, we have asked Clive to identify as quickly as possible the players he would want to keep in the team.

“Obviously, Clive will need time to assess strengths and weaknesses and it would be unfair to apply unnecessary pressure so soon after his appointment.

“We are aware that a number of players are non-contract. I’ve spoken to some of them and it’d seem for the moment at least they are prepared to see how things progress.

“The board will soon be reviewing the playing squad with Clive and also player budgets for the future but I must stress, the club’s survival is paramount. Financially it’s still very much an uphill struggle and raising money to pay off existing debts, along with creating an overall achievable budget, has to be our main priority.

“It’s a fact if clubs come in for our non-contract players, and are able to offer better terms, we are unlikely to be in a position to increase our current arrangements.

“But not many clubs at this level are bigger than Dover and the players know this. They also recognise the incredible potential of the club and the fact it has tremendous support.

“While this may concern and disappoint some fans, we still have a club to support, which without doubt would not be the case if the present board had not stepped in, and I can assure everyone that we are working tirelessly to ensure the club returns to a higher level where it belongs.”