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….