THE Football Conference will not try to persuade the Football Association to reverse its decision to place Northwich Victoria in Blue Square North next season.

League bosses, who last month kicked out the club for breaking finance rules, did make the Wincham outfit a member of their competition after all at their annual meeting on Saturday.

Vics will start 10 point behind their rivals.

“I hope all clubs trade within their means from now on,” warned Conference chairman Brian Lee at the weekend.

It will not stop him speaking to the FA about its condemnation of a ruling to expel Vics for entering administration too late.

That does not mean Northwich are in danger, for now.

“We’re disappointed and bewildered,” read a Conference statement this week.

Lee instead used his speech at the annual meeting to warn he planned to be harder than ever on clubs failing to pay their bills.

The Conference is already considered the toughest league on insolvency.

“Each and every club needs to operate according to the laws of the land and, like any business, honour its debts,” he said.

“When 68 teams agree to abide by the rules then each must accept there needs to be a level playing field.”

But the FA agreed with solicitor Richard Cramer, who fought Vics’ case, when he accused the Conference of having contradictory rules.

He said the league had been ‘drastic’ in its punishment of Northwich.

Embarrassed, the Conference has since called for a summit with the FA to talk about why Vics escaped relegation to the UniBond League.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting,” added the statement.

Meanwhile Vics are still banned from adding to their squad after failing to cough up cash owed to clubs from whom they borrowed players last term.

The embargo has been in place since March.

But manager Andy Preece told the Guardian he hopes to start signing players within days.

“It will be a huge relief once the situation is sorted,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to players about making a move here but not been able to sign an agreement, which makes those players twitchy about committing to us.”

Preece added that the team was owner Jim Rushe’s next priority after winning the appeal against expulsion from the Football Conference last week.

He needs to pay all outstanding transfer fees – in large part to Wycombe Wanderers for defender Will Antwi – before the Conference ends the ban.

“I hope to do that shortly,” he said on Monday.

He also must pay Vics’ other football-related debts, such as wages to players past and present plus backroom staff, as a pre-condition to a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to allow the club to exit administration.