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Posts Tagged ‘Deva Stadium’

The Chester City Former Players Associaion is continuing to grow and has recently passed the 50 membership mark with the signing of Noel Bradley.  He was soon followed in the ranks by Darryn Stamp, Luke Beckett, John Kelly, former manager Jim Harvey and Billy Windle.

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AFTER recovering the lease on the Deva Stadium, Cheshire West and Chester Council last night gave groups interested in using it to run a football club 25 days to come forward.

Council leader Mike Jones is warning all parties planning to preserve football in the city that they must notify the authority of their intentions by Monday, April 19.

Cllr Jones tells the Chester Chronicle: “We will obviously have to examine the business case of anyone interested in running a club at the Deva Stadium before making a decision on a new tenant, and we are running out of time to undertake this process.”

The council, which owns the Deva, set the date in order to satisfy their own demands and those of the FA.

Cllr Jones added: “This authority is willing to talk to anyone with the best interests of Chester and football at heart, and a good business case to support their aspirations.”

City Fans United, the Supporters’ Trust body with more than 1,000 members, has submitted their proposals to the council and has also informed the FA that they want to reform the now-defunct Chester City FC.

An FA spokesperson last night said they have received “several expressions of interest” in reforming the club.

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Today, 125 years of history of Chester City Football Club was ended at the High Court, and this was a sad culmination in a period of turbulence that has seen the club slip out of the Football League for a second time, fail to pay its employees, and failing to fulfil fixtures in the Football Conference, resulting in an embarrassing expulsion from their competition.

The decision to liquidate the club now allows a new era of football in Chester to commence, an era in which we feel will be a major boost to the community of Chester, and an era that all supporters can be proud of as it is they who will form the life of the reformed club.

Upon news of the liquidation, City Fans United has today submitted an application to The Football Association to reform the club, and we will be working extremely closely with Supporters Direct, who will help guide us through the process of reformation.

We will also be liaising with the Cheshire West & Chester Council, who have been very supportive of our plans to deliver an open, honest football club, properly run by the fans and which encapsulates the whole community.

Despite this being a sad end to the last 125 years, City Fans United are now prepared for the new era, and encourage anyone not currently a member of CFU, to sign up via http://www.cityfansunited.com and be part of the football club that intends to rise from the ashes of its predecessor.

We will continue to keep everyone informed as we move along the process through our usual channels of communication, including our website.

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Chester City FC (2004) Ltd have today been wound up by the HMRC over the matter of an unpaid tax bill.  Here’s a few memories from a recent visit to the ‘theatre of screams’ before it becomes overgrown and derelict…

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Chester City FC (2004 Ltd) are back in the High Court on Wednesday March 10 as they face a winding up order from HMRC.

The amount of money owed is £26,125.

Adding to the Vaughan Family woes is the news that the Council may seek to evict the club from Deva Stadium over late payments of rent.

Could these events signal the liquidation of our once proud club?

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Former Chester City midfielder Jonathan Walters says he was disappointed but not surprised to see his former club Chester City’s long-running financial woes lead to their expulsion from the Blue Square Premier last week.

The 26-year-old joined the Blues from Chester, then in League Two, in January 2007.

Walters told the Ipswich Town Football Club site: “It’s disappointing obviously to see the situation Chester are in. I’m not surprised though. There were signs of the problems they were having when I was there – people were getting paid late virtually every month.

“If you are only getting in a couple of thousand fans every two weeks to watch home games and from that you’ve got to finance away trips, pay wages and everything else – it’s difficult to see how they can afford to cover their outgoings.

“I think a lot of the League Two and even League One clubs face that problem and it’s only a matter of time before clubs start to go out of business.

“They introduced the penalty for clubs going into administration a few years back and that number seems to be on the rise. It’s a worry for the game. When you see Premier League clubs like Portsmouth struggling, you know there is a real problem.”

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The Football Conference have expelled Chester City following a vote of it’s member clubs this morning at Rushden & Diamonds’ Nene Park Stadium.

Needing 75% support of it’s motion to expel Chester City, the vote has been carried and Chester City Football Club have been expelled from the league.

The Board of the Football Conference has issued a statement following the meeting of member clubs at Rushden & Diamonds on Friday morning.

The statement reads: “Member clubs of the Football Conference, at a general meeting held today, voted in support of the Board of Director`s recommendation to erase Chester City (2004) FC Ltd from membership in accordance with Article 5.2.

“Chester City did not attend the meeting.”

City Fans United’s initial reaction to the news was one of sadness.

“This is a sad day in the history of the football club,” said CFU spokesman Jeff Banks.

“But the right decision was made. Conference chairmen have looked at the bigger picture and seen that this was the best way forward for the football club.

“We must now continue with our plans to form a new football club in the city.”

Barrie Hipkiss, once a player at the club and a fan for more than 60 years, said he was devastated.

“This is the last thing I wanted to see happen,” he said. “I feel for the players, the youngsters, the groundstaff, Tony Allen the secretary, because this is a bad day for them.

“I spoke to Bob Gray earlier and he said he was sure tomorrow’s game against Oxford would be on but he was looking at pounds, shillings and pence.

“I would have liked to see the club survive but realistically I could not see us fulfilling our fixtures and that was the key point.

“I have also lost a lot of respect for Stephen Vaughan. I volunteered at the club and gave a lot to it and he then comes out and calls the fans idiots.

“That didn’t go down very well and if he’s calling me an idiot, well, he’s lost my respect.”

Today’s decision by member clubs to expel Chester City from the Football Conference is “unparalleled in the history of our national sport” says the league’s press officer Colin Peake. He also warned that the club’s dire plight should act as “a wake-up call” to all clubs tempted to live beyond their means.

But he also stressed that moves by disenchanted Blues fans to encourage clubs to kick City out were not taken into consideration when the big vote was held.

“Chester City can appeal, but they cannot appeal against the decision made this morning,” added Peake. “The only thing they can appeal against is the decision originally of the Conference board to recommend to its members that Chester be erased from membership.

“The fans have been disgruntled, to put it politely, with the running of the club, and have had their own campaign to try and persuade other clubs to follow the recommendation of the board. But none of that was taken into account by the board. It was kept strictly on legal terms.

“Today’s events are unparalleled in the history of our national sport, and it is with much regret that these circumstances have evolved.

“The Football Conference are very sad that any club should go such a way, but especially one with a proud 125-year-old history. So it should come as a wake-up call to all clubs that they must live within their means, and that financial prudence can be the only way forward for football clubs at all levels.”

Peake also said that Chester City officials were invited to attend today’s crunch meeting held at Rushden and Diamonds’ Nene Park ground but chose not to.

Blues director of football Morell Maison said the decision could be good for football.

“This has been coming for a long time,” he said. “My first reaction was shock, but when you think, there are probably six or seven clubs operating at the moment in a similar position.

“Where Chester failed was the fundamental principle of football, they were unable to play games. Other club keep going because they play games.

“There is a lot of shock around the club at the moment but we have been in talks overnight to look at the options because there is still a business there, it still has a ground.

“I do not know what the Vaughan family are planning but I do know that the club could continue, get on an even keel, pay off it’s debts and apply for re-entry further down football’s feeder leagues.

“There are people who say they can get this club going well let’s see if they can.”

What now? Will the Danish consortium now back off, can a City Fans United led phoenix club rise from the ashes.

Only time will tell….More news as soon as we have it….

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