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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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THE Football Conference announce that Member Clubs have confirmed, in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Ltd Company, that they consent to a meeting to consider the recommendation to expel Chester City (2004) FC from membership, being convened with less than 21 days notice.

The matter is therefore scheduled to be heard on Friday, 26th February 2010 at Rushden & Diamonds FC, commencing at 11am.

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Craig Brown has praised in-form keeper John Ruddy and says he wants the Everton loanee to stay at Fir Park beyond the summer. Ruddy is currently at Motherwell until the end of the current season but has impressed with his recent performances.

The 23-year old has only conceded one goal in seven SPL matches since Brown took over and his hot streak has coincided with Motherwell’s unbeaten run in the league. The manager said he had been looking at other options to replace Ruddy when his loan spell ends but hadn’t seen anyone who could match the 6’ 4” Englishman.

“We have looked at other keepers but they’re not as good as John,” Brown admitted.

“He enjoys playing for Motherwell, we have spoken to him and he loves it here.

“But he’s not our player, he is Everton’s. If we could keep him it would be great for the club.”

Ruddy joined the Lanarkshire club on loan at the beginning of the season along with fellow Everton youngster Lukas Jutkiewicz. Both players agreed to move north until January but following their success in the first half of the season the deals were extended until June.

The loan move has led to one of the most settled periods of Ruddy’s brief career so far. The goalkeeper made his breakthrough at Cambridge United in the 2004-05 season and although the club were relegated Everton snapped him up for £250,000. Though fourth-choice at Goodison Park, Ruddy is regarded by David Moyes as a potential future England cap, a prediction backed up by the player’s inclusion in the England Under-19 squad in 2005.

Being far down the pecking order at Everton made the goalkeeper a popular loan signing for clubs facing an injury crisis and he had played for eight different clubs by the age of 21. Short-term loan deals saw him move from Everton to Walsall, Rushden and Diamonds, Chester City, Stockport County, Wrexham, Bristol City and Crewe Alexandra.

Motherwell may have to dig deep to sign the player on a permanent basis. If Everton were prepared to let the player move to gain regular football, his performances in the SPL would undoubtedly mean a number of clubs would vie for his signature.

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City’s away game at Rushden & Diamonds, postponed on 19 December due to the weather, will now take place on Tuesday 9 March 2010, with kick-off at 7:45pm.
A referee inspected the pitch at Nene Park last Saturday morning, and despite the frost covers, and insulating layer of snow, the game was called off – the conditions proving to be too dangerous, both for players and fans.  With overnight temperatures recorded at -6 at Nene Park.

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Chester City’s Blue Square Premiership match away at Rushden and Diamond’s Nene Park stadium is subject to an 08.30am pitch inspection.

The turf is currently covered in snow and the club have appealed for supporters to help clear the surface early on Saturday morning

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