DIVIDED by rivalry but united in their mission, Northwich Vics and Witton Albion are sticking by their managers this summer.
Vics owner Jim Rushe is expected to offer Andy Preece a full-time contract while Albion chairman Mark Harris is waiting for Gary Finley to put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
Both Vics and Witton were relegated last season but the rival clubs are not planning on staying in the Blue Square North and the UniBond First South respectively.
Vics chief Rushe is busy trying to pull the Marston’s Arena club out of the financial mire and has now exchanged contracts to buy the stadium.
He told the Chronicle that he expects to part with £1.5m to become the new owner of the ground by June 12.
He said: “We have exchanged contracts and it’s in my hands now. I have put the deposit down and I fully expect to receive the finances and complete the purchase of the ground by the 12th of June.
“We are a community club again and people of all generations are coming back to join us.
“We haven’t sat down and talked about Andy’s contract but he is fully behind everything that we are doing here.
“I fully expect us to bounce back next season and slowly but surely things are moving in the right direction.
“It won’t change overnight but I am happy to let it happen slowly because I have never run a club of this stature before.”
Across town at Wincham Park, Albion are preparing to face the likes of Loughborough Dynamo, Goole and Gresley Rovers, but Harris says that keeping Finley as manager is key to any immediate promotion attempt.
He said: “We have agreed terms on a two-year contract which we fully expect him to sign. That sends out a message that we want to get back to the Premier at the first attempt.
“Behind every successful club is continuity on and off the field.
“We are going to be in a difficult division in First Division South with some excellent teams but I am sure we can be competitive.
“We have had to cut the budget and Gary is speaking to the players he wants to keep and who he doesn’t.
“Our plans will demonstrate to players, supporters and anybody interested in Witton Albion FC that we are focused on the job in hand.”