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Tony Hemmings played the non-league circuit for a number of years with the likes of Hednesford, Macclesfield and Ilkeston, and also played for Chester City.
He is still involved with football at 41 as assistant manager at Gresley but that has not stopped him planning for the future, and carving out al alternative career – as he told Givemefootball.
Q: What have you been studying?
A: I am currently at Derby University and am studying for a BA Hons in Applied Community and Youth work. I am hoping to qualify and gain my degree next year.
Q: Will this help you in your current work?
A: Yes. I am a student officer at Bunton College and my job is looking after the welfare of the students and that involves a wide range of skills and abilities from tutorials, sexual health, road safety, liaising with the police, organising trips out as well as sports such as football and netball.
Q: How did the PFA help out?
A: I am an ex-player and needed information. So I asked about the courses and they spoke to me about my options, sent me the form and generally were very supportive. I got 50% for the course plus the same for books, stationary etc. I would send in the receipts and the PFA would refund the monies.
Q: Any advice you would give to current or former players?
A: My advice, especially in the current climate is to get as much support as possible. Use the PFA as there are some great guys in the service who will give you support when you really need it.
I have only been in the job a couple of years but am re-training and learning new skills and the PFAS are advocates of new skills.
Q: How important was the financial assistance given by the PFA?
A: It was a godsend. I have a young family to look after and I wanted to study at the same time as I was holding down a job. The help allowed me to take the money side out of education and allow me to access this qualification.
Q: Will the qualifications help you?
A: it will give me security in my post. It has opened new awareness for me and the qualifications will give me confidence when putting in for jobs. I was at level 4 but this degree will bring me up to level 7 and 8.
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Chester City have been put up for sale for just £1 in the hope of sidestepping tomorrow’s High Court date in London over an unpaid £26,000 tax bill.  The Blue Square Premier bottom club are due to face a winding-up petition, brought by HM Revenue & Customs.

But if they find a new owner prepared to pay off the crisis club’s current debts, Chester can still be saved.

And after turning down one deal, Chester’s current owners, the Vaughan family, are still negotiating.

An official statement from the club read: “Stephen Vaughan Junior is prepared to sell 100% control of Chester City Football Club for one pound.

“There is a serious situation at the football club and I have been in consultation with the PFA and the Football League all week trying to get players squeezed through”

“The new owners will take on all existing creditors and will need to guarantee to pay existing creditors of the new company.”

Would you be prepared to buy the Vaughan’s out?  Time is ticking away!

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Rumours of player discontent at the Deva Stadium have circulated following Chester City’s exit from the FA Trophy at the hands of Blue Square North side, Fleetwood Town.

According to a report in today’s non-league paper, Chester City’s players are planning a staged walk out from training in midweek following non payment (again!) of their latest monthly pay packets.  They will be taking advice from the Professional Footballers Association regarding their suggested actions.

An unnamed player told the non-league paper, “A number of us met Bob Gray, the managing direction, after the game against Fleetwood Town and were told wages due at the end of November will be paid on Friday.  This situation isn’t a one-off, it is happening regularly. 

“We’ve told Mr Gray we wouldn’t turn in for training this week, and if monies weren’t forthcoming as promised, we would consider not playing against Rushden next weekend.  We will take advice from the PFA, but the situation appears to be getting worse.  The lads are fed up.”

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The Football Conference Limited issues the following statement in relation to Chester City FC, as of 3rd December 2009….

The Football Conference and the Football League have been working together to reach a decision over the release of discretionary payments in favour of Chester City FC, thereby retaining the integrity of both competitions and enabling legal undertakings and orders were met by the Club. As part of a commitment made by Chester City FC towards settling these matters, Chester City FC agreed to make up any potential shortfall between the funding due and football creditors. The Club has, therefore, lodged a payment of £36,600 with the Football Conference. Upon clearance of such payment and release of that funding, the threat of expulsion from membership will be withdrawn.

Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference states: “Together with my fellow Directors and staff at the Football Conference; and with our other football partners, particularly the Football League and the PFA, everyone has worked tirelessly to save Chester City FC from expulsion. The Club’s recent history should send a warning signal to every club. He added: “In anticipation a satisfactory conclusion will be reached, we are hopeful those who have supported the club through such difficult times, especially the fans on the terraces, appreciate the position we as a competition faced in dealing with this situation. We wish all those currently connected with Chester City FC will ensure the club deal promptly with all matters of financial prudence in the future and our combined efforts will not have been in vain.”

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Bookmakers have suspended betting on City’s match against Eastbourne tomorrow after news leaked that Chester may have to field a weakened team. Rumours have been circling that Chester City players have refused to play over a pay row, whilst these reports are not confirmed, it has lead bookmakers to suspend betting on the fixture as word spread on a number of forums.

The news has spread fast with many fans in the know lumping on Eastbourne Borough to win at a handsome price of 2/1. Even Chester City fans on the Deva Chat forum have got involved as well as punters around the world on the OLBG forum. It echoes similarities to Weymouth last season when the they could not afford to pay the players wages. The players then left and found other clubs leaving the club to field a youth side which subsequently lead to heavy defeats.

Latest figures on BetFair show that £31,000 has been traded on the Chester City Vs Eastbourne match compared to the £833 traded on Ebbsfleet United Vs Mansfield Town. It is thought that up to £2 million may have been gambled on this fixture through the many internet websites and high-street bookmaker shops. The crunch deadline for Chester City to pay their football debts is now just three days away with worried fans no nearer to knowing the club’s fate.

Worse than that, they are being kept in the dark. Despite repeated efforts from the media, no-one was able to to contact anyone at the club to confirm whether or not the outstanding money will be paid. And as D-day approaches, there are real fears the Blues will now be thrown out of the Football Conference.

Fans’ groups, other clubs, officials from the Football League and Conference plus the PFA were all willing to discuss the club’s crisis. But City officials wouldn’t answer the phone – or even come to the door when reporters called at the Deva Stadium.

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