|31 August 2001
NO COACH & NO TUBE!
Due to a lack of interest
there is no supporters coach running to Barnet for tomorrow's
match. Note also there is NO TUBE between East Finchley
and High Barnet tomorrow a replacement bus service
is in operation so you'd better add extra time. Bookings
are currently being taken for Farnborough on Saturday
Replacement bus services to High
Overground train from Kings Cross
to New Barnet:
A: Between East Finchley and High Barnet calling at all stations Bus
B: Calling at East Finchley, Finchley Central and High Barnet ONLY.
Kings Cross 12:11 > New Barnet 12:31
Kings Cross 12:41 > New Barnet 13:01 then every 30 minutes
New Barnet 17:17 > Kings Cross 17:40
New Barnet 17:47 > Kings Cross 18:10
SMITH'S SOLD THE CLUB AGAIN!
Once again Terry Smith has claimed he's sold the
club, and, yes, once again he's stated that the new owners will be in next
week. Of course we've heard all this before. Only a few weeks ago Smith
disappeared off on holiday claiming the club had been sold (to Dan Brookes)
and the new owner was about to be unveiled no such deal had been
done. What hope is there that things will have changed this time round.
Smith stated: �Wages at the club are due to be paid today and other bills
are having to be paid but I�ve put £20,000 in today to cover the
wages and by early next week every debt at the club will be paid off. The
club owes me £356,000 in terms of loans but the new owners will be
starting with a clean sheet from Tuesday before the team face Telford United.
It�s been a tough summer and it was a tough pre-season with no income coming
in but I�d been aiming to leave the club on a good note.� Smith added �I�ve
arranged a meeting today with Morrisons and Chester City Council and I
want approvals for other events to be held at the Deva Stadium. The club
is now poised to move forward, I love the club and I care for it dearly.�
Why Smith would be interested in approvals for other events from the City
Council are strange if, as he says, he's sold the club? So another press
conference looms on Tuesday then, wonder if anyone will turn up this time.
30 August 2001
YOUTH TEAM THROUGH
Congratulations to City's Youth Team who won
3-0 at Guiseley yesterday in an FA Youth Cup preliminary first round match.
The team now travel to Marine in the second preliminary round on a date
to be confirmed.
SUPPORT THE LADIES
The Chester City Ladies are having a Grand
Race Night at the Catholic Club in Brook Street, Chester, on Friday
7th September (2 days before the long trip up to Chester-Le-Street).
The main reason of the event is to raise enough money to provide
transport for all of this seasons away fixtures (estimated cost will
be nearly £3,000). The event is being organised by the ever
busy Mickey Clifford (ISA) who has worked tirelessly to get all the
races sponsored, the horses sold and jockeys found. Please help the
Ladies team in their cause in what promises to be a fun night out.
The start time is to be confirmed. Ladies
Subs for the forthcoming season are due
for renewal on 1 September. Members can renew quickly by downloading
the PDF form from the Exiles pages. This is the same form for those
wishing to join as well.
28 August 2001
AWAY TRAVEL TO BARNET
Due to a distinct lack of interest there was
no supporters coach run to Hayes on Saturday, however, the supporters
club are hoping to run a bus to Chester�s match at Barnet on Saturday
(15:00hrs kick-off). It will leave at 09.30hrs and will cost £15.
The Exiles meeting place is the Old Red Lion which is on the main
road between High Barnet tube station and the ground. It's only a
two minute walk from the away end and will be familiar to those who've
been to Underhill before.
A bus is also being planned for Chester�s first-ever match at
Farnborough on Saturday, 8 September, which will leave at 08.30hrs
and cost £15. Anyone wanting to book a seat on one of the buses
being arranged should contact Barrie Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between
18:00 and 20.00hrs.
24 August 2001
Today's Daily Telegraph contains an article
on the club 'Fans Farce at Chester'. The piece contains many quotes
from new commercial manager Michael Beech on the lines of the fans
at the picket is strangling the club etc. Here is the online version.
There is also an article 'Shambles at Chester' in today's issue of
The Independent, you can read that here.
MATCH PROGRAMME SLAMMED
The September copy of Programme Monthly has slammed
the City v Rushden programme from May and has nominated it as the "particular
issue for the worst example of content." You can read the report here.
ON THE BORDERLINE UPDATE PAGE
The club's historian Chas Sumner has released
the latest On The Borderline update page detailing complete first team
fixtures and stats for last season. You can download a copy of the page
(in PDF format) from here.
A groin strain keeps striker Chris Malkin out
of the City side for two weeks. The Blues travel to west London to play
Hayes tomorrow (15:00hrs) looking for their first points of the season
following two defeats this week. Getting through the first minute without
conceding a goal would be a start. City's youth team travel to Port Vale
Dean Spink has been appointed assistant manager
at the Deva. Director of Football Gordon Hill said: �In the last
couple of weeks I�ve realised Dean is a leader, an elder statesman,
and a senior professional. I had a nice chat with him yesterday and
tested him about a few things. It�s great that I�ve been able to
appoint someone in-house as my assistant because I needed to bounce
things off someone during and after matches. Dean will remain as
a utility player which pleases me, and I�m going to announce the
news of his appointment this morning.�
22 August 2001
SECOND DEFEAT FOR CITY
Chester slumped to the second defeat of the
season 3-2 at Southport last night. Despite goals from Mark Beesley
and Darren Wright, City were always second best to a part-time team
who had no less that 21 attempts on goal throughout the night. The
defeat leaves Chester next to bottom of the table ahead of Dover
only on alphabetical order. City travel to Hayes on Saturday and
but won't be cheered on by many fans, even the once regular supporters
coach isn't running to Church Road due to a lack of interest.
City's match on bank holiday Monday against Nuneaton
Borough kick's-off at 15:00hrs and not 19:45 as stated in the match programme
20 August 2001
FA WANT ANSWERS
The Football Associations Financial Advisory Unit
have sent letter to Chester City FC regarding a number of financial matters
are are still awaiting a response from the club. They have not, as reported
on BBC Radio5 Live, yet been charged.
A press statement has been issued by the new commercial
manager at the Deva Michael Beech (why not the press officer?) stating
�This rumour [on 5 live] is obviously another attempt
to discredit CCFC and its employees, it is also a coincidence that on
Wednesday, August 15, it was found that files, documents and records
were found to be missing and are believed to have been stolen from CCFC.
These documents could be altered to give a false impression of CCFC.
We have no idea how long they have been missing.�
One assumes then that this matter was reported to
the police last week. It is rumoured that the Unit are investigating the
under-reporting of attendance figures at the Deva.
18 August 2001
HOME DEFEAT FOR CITY
City's defence lasted a mere 51 seconds before
leaking their first goal of the season at home to the part-timers
from Woking. The quickest goal of the season came after Warren Haughton
ran through on to a ball on the left to shoot into the bottom corner.
A second goal, an easy tap-in from a corner minutes before the break
rocked the home side who, despite one or two half chances, were unable
to get back on level terms in the second period. The crowd at the
Deva Stadium was just 745, less than half who attended the corresponding
fixture last season.
17 August 2001
Several players have signed new contracts
at the Deva. New club captain Carl Ruffer has signed for 2 years,
Martyn Lancaster (2 years), Chris Blackburn (2 years), Chris Malkin
(2 years), Wes Kilgannon (1 year) and Paul Roberts (1 year). City
are also trying to sign ex-Hull City defender Jon Witney who has
been training at the club, however he's also been offered a contract
from Lincoln City.
Club spokesman Michael Fair said: �It's a major boost to keep these three.
Blackburn was getting interest from Ipswich, Leicester and Manchester City
so to keep him was important for the club. We're disappointed not to have
bounced back to Division Three last season, but I think we adjusted to
life in the Conference as the season went on. We're now ready for the new
The club have announced a one year sponsorship deal
with an international alcoholic drink company Red Square, there is an option
of a second year with the deal.
City have two players doubtful for tomorrow's opening
Conference fixture with Woking. Defender Martyn Lancaster is suffering
from a dead leg, while striker Chris Malkin is struggling to be fit with
a groin injury. All eyes will be on the Deva attendance tomorrow with many
Blues fans mounting a boycott of home matches while Terry Smith is still
in control at the club, others will be swelling the picket line outside
the stadium. A gate of around 500 may not be too far off the mark.
16 August 2001
WHITEHALL FINALLY LEAVES
Steve Whitehall has finally left Chester City after
a week's delay with the paperwork (nothing new from Chester there then!).
Nuneaton Borough this afternoon issued the following press release.
After a week of anxiety Nuneaton Borough have finally clinched the signature
of Chester City's much fancied Steve Whitehall on a free transfer. The
transfer of the 34-year-old striker had been delayed due to unsigned paperwork
between Chester and the Football Association but the deal was completed
today (Thursday) and Whitehall will make his debut at Morecambe on Saturday
on the opening day of the Nationwide Conference season. Relieved Boro chief
Steve Burr said: "It's been a bit of a saga but it's not all done with
and Steve is with us I'm very pleased. It's a massive bonus for me and
the team. "He's a quality performer at this level of the game. Evidently
the Chester fans are up in arms about him leaving as they reckon he's one
of their best players but their loss is our gain."
15 August 2001
SMITH DECLARES NEW INTERESTED PARTY
Gerald Smith has stated in the Evening Leader
that he's been speaking to a local businessman regarding the sale of Chester
City. �I won�t say who it is because I believe that all business deals
should be done confidentially but we are talking to another party.� It
would appear that there's no way that the Smith's are going to agree a
deal directly with Phil Davies.
13 August 2001
BROOKS DEAL IS OFF
It's no surprise to hear that former director
Dan Brooks has pulled out of the possible takeover deal at Chester.
Brooks stated �We�re out of the game. Three times the deal was done
and three times it wasn�t. We kept on agreeing a deal and then we
didn�t. There was no relationship between Terry Smith and myself
on this. This was purely a business transaction. It�s the second
time we�ve shown an interest in buying the club. The first was a
couple of months ago while these latest talks have been on-going
for three weeks.�Brooks is believed to have spoken to the Supporters
Trust about representation on the Board, should he have gained control;
but this latest twist leaves Phil Davies and his backers as the only
party still showing an interest in the club, and it may take another
stint in administration before he could gain control.
SMITH MEETS FANS
Club director Gerald Smith, over from America,
has had talks with both Barry Hipkiss and ISA chairman George Rogers
in recent days. �What was said in the meeting was confidential but
the talks were frank and honest and I am more positive about the
situation. I hope things sort themselves out as soon as possible.
We all want to be inside the ground and support the side but fans
have said they won�t go back the way things are and they�re standing
by that.� said George following his meeting.
11 August 2001
WHITEHALL MOVES ON
Striker Steve Whitehall is the latest player
who's left the Deva Stadium, he's joined Nuneaton Borough on a free transfer.
Whitehall scored 16 goals for City last season. Gordon Hill has already
been told he couldn't bring players in until others left, but City must
now be down to one of their smallest ever squads.
Goalkeeper: Wayne Brown
Defence: Martyn Lancaster, Michael Rose, Stephen Rose, Carl Ruffer
Midfield: Chris Blackburn?, Sam Hill, David Kerr, Andy Porter, Scott
Attack: Mark Beesley, Paul Berry, Jimmy Haarhoff, Chris Malkin, Dean
Spink, Darren Wright
YOUTH TEAM DRAW
Two goals from Chris Hopwood gave City's youth
team a 2-2 draw away at Rushden & Diamonds in a pre-season friendly
10 August 2001
DAVIES STILL IN THE FRAME
Phil Davies, the local businessman who's
been trying to buy the Blues for almost half a year now has stated
he's still determined to get control at the Deva. Davies has gone
public and named the three other members of his consortium; they
are property developer Chris Farley, and fellow investment brokers
Gareth Stewart and Austrian Willi Koerner.
Davies has stated: �We�ve kept a low profile
for a while because we were humiliated last time. We do want the
club and are desperate to get it. We want people to be aware that
we�re still there and more determined than ever. I�ve been around
for five and a half months. Taking over at Chester City would not
mean any financial gain for me. I genuinely want to work in football
and I want to work with Chester City. We have a strong, well-organised
bid worked out which includes shirt sponsorship and I believe Graham
Barrow will agree to come back with me as manager. We are very
real and we�re not going away and if the fans could back us it
would be a big help.�
So City fans still have a glimmer of hope
that a deal with Davies can still be done. Dan Brooks insists that
he's also making progress with his offer, but Blues fans will be
highly suspicious that the bid is merely a front for Smith. Canadian
Brooks, a long-time friend and associate of Smith, was appointed
commercial manager at the Deva back in August 1999 and left the club
soon after our relegation from the League.
The Nationwide Conference Board met yesterday
and chairman Bill King has stated that the crisis at Chester City
wasn't on the agenda. As long as Chester provide proof of their Deva
Stadium safety certificate then there should be no problems for next
Chester City will field a reserve side
next season in the first division of the Lancashire League. They
kick-off their season on 22 August at home to Colwyn Bay Reserves.
Other teams competing will be: Accrington Stanley, Altrincham, Ashton,
Bamber Bridge, Barrow, Burscough, Guiseley, Lancaster City, Leigh
RMI, Marine, Morecambe, Northwich Victoria, Ossett Town, Rossendale
United and Southport.
The Blues have been drawn at home to Congleton
Town in the first round of the FA Umbro Cheshire Senior Cup. The
match is due to take place on or before 22 September.
9 August 2001
DAN BROOKS IN NEGOTIATIONS
Former commercial manager Dan Brooks has
admitted that he's been in talks for two months with Terry and Gerald
Smith in a view to buy the club. His lawyers are currently studying
documentation relating to this.
Speaking to the Evening Leader Dan Brooks said: �We
are in discussions and active negotiations with the club about
a potential sale. We are interested in the club but, as it stands,
we have not exchanged shares or signed a formal deal. These things,
administratively, take time. If successful the fans will know at
Brooks currently works for a north-west based
marketing, media and communications company called Datoga. Datoga
have links with a company called Catch44 whose website states that
throughout the 2001/2002 Nationwide Conference football season,
they will broadcast live commentary from over 1000 League and Cup
So it appears that Terry Smith hasn't sold
the club yet at all. The Conference Board meet today and no doubt
will be reviewing the latest installment of the Deva farce. As for
the whereabouts of Smith?, nobody knows.
Former City defender Mattie Woods has
joined fellow Conference side Stalybridge Celtic, whilst Manchester
City have stated that, following his two week trial at Maine Road,
they won't be signing midfielder Chris Blackburn. Since his trial
finished Blackburn has not reported back to Chester for training.
FINAL RUN OUT
Chester travel to Caernarfon tonight for
the last of their scheduled pre-season games. City are expected to
field their first team for the match at The Oval which, according
to the club, kick's-off at 19:30hrs.
8 August 2001
NO SHOW AT PRESS CONFERENCE
At this morning's 10:30 press conference
only journalists and players turned up, there was no mystery new
owner. Director of Football Gordon Hill and secretary/press officer
Michael Fair admitted they knew nothing of the identity of the new
owners and were now unable to contact Terry Smith. According to radio
reports it's also believed that Smith has cleared out from his house
in Elton. Director of football Gordon Hill said: �I spoke to Terry's
father last weekend and he said he would be in touch, but I have
heard no more.�
VICTORY AT GLOSSOP
A Chester team, that comprised mainly youth
team players and trialists, played at Glossop North End last night
and a goal midway through the second half by Jimmy Haarhoff, and
a header at that, brought City a 1-0 victory.
7 August 2001
OUR NEW KIT
City's new sky blue and black kit is manufactured
by Italian company Virma sportswear. You can check it out on the
distributors website at www.footballtown.co.uk.
Click on Virma and there's the kit. There's even a blue and white
version available. Complete kit there costs under £25. The
away kit is a rather garish looking yellow and black squares.
Read club historian Chas Sumner's article on
City's previous colour schemes.
WHEN SATURDAY COMES
More publicity about our plight. The latest
issue of WSC, in the shops around now, contains an article on Chester City
written by Colin Mansley. You can read the full article on the Hello Albert
just out is a new book by George
Rowland entitled The Ultimate Drop, which looks at relegation
from the Football League to the Conference. If you can bear to relive
the day again there's a section on City v Peterborough.
Illustrated with photographs throughout, this book
charts the experiences of the nine clubs who have dropped from the Football
League since 1987, including Lincoln City, Newport County, Darlington,
Colchester United, Halifax Town, Hereford United, Doncaster Rovers, Scarborough
and, of course, Chester City.
The book is available from Tempus publishing, priced £12.99.
ISBN number 0-7524-2217-0.
6 August 2001
SMITH STATES THE CLUB'S SOLD
In a hefty fax issued to the press Terry Smith
has announced that he has sold his major share in the club. Expect an announcement
from Smith on Wednesday regarding the new owner(s).
After five months of effort to find a buyer, on Monday of last week, Terry
Smith was finally able to find a legitimate buyer, and he signed the share sale
agreement this past week. He is very happy now to be away from the club. I have
realised that I do not have the money to develop the club in the way the supporters
want and so, for the good of the club I love, I want to be certain of its survival
and success. My place in the club's history was simply to save the club and then
to pass it over to more financially strong individuals. I have finally been able
to find such a purchaser and so have left the club in excellent hands. said
a club statement.
Club press officer Michael Fair said: We have had a meeting with
the non-playing staff and told them that this announcement has gone out.
Other than that, we know nothing more about it and we have not been able
to contact Mr Smith. The players will be told when they are next at the
You do have to ask yourself though, what kind of business person(s) is
going to buy a club that hasn't issued accounts to shareholders for six
years, is currently under investigation from the Inland Revenue and Football
Association, has many fans boycotting home matches, no major sponsor and
is facing a possible winding-up order?!. And all this just two weeks before
the start of the new season.
Meanwhile the deadline is fast looming for the club to put in writing their
assurances to the Nationwide Conference that they can guarantee stewarding
for the Deva Stadium for the forthcoming season. The Conference Board next
meet in London on Thursday.
DOUBLE DEFEAT FOR CITY
Chester City fielded two sides on Saturday losing
both friendly games in the process. One lost 2-3 at home, to what was in
effect Manchester City's Youth Team, Chester's goals were scored by Sam
Hill and a Wes Kilgannon penalty. Another side made up mainly of youth
players and trialists lost an entertaining game 0-1 at Denbigh Town. Jimmy
Haarhoff missed a penalty for the Blues in the dying minutes. Another low
attendance of only 440 spectators (charged £10) saw the match at
Manchester City will decide today if they want to
sign young midfielder Chris Blackburn who has been at Maine Road on a two
week trial. Blackburn's agent Mickey Walsh has stated that Rochdale, West
Brom, Stoke City and Kidderminster are also showing interest in the 19-year-old
who played against Chester on Saturday.
The club have released details of season tickets
but not, as yet, matchday admission prices for the coming season. A season
ticket for the Executive Lounge costs £350 (£250 OAPs). Stand
prices: £190; £140 (OAPs and unwaged); £100 (under 16s).
Terrace prices: £152; £121 (OAPs/unwages); £90 (u16s).
The only matchday admission price that has been released is for the Executive
Lounge and that will cost £20 (£15 OAPs). A car park ticket
for the season will be £25. The season ticket prices are the same
as for last season.
ON THE BORDERLINE UPDATE PAGE
The club's historian Chas Sumner has released
the latest update page detailing players/match stats for last season. You
can download a copy of the page (in PDF format) from here.
CHESTER CITY LADIES
The fixtures are now out for next season's
matches and can be found on the Fixtures pages. There's some new
opposition this season as well after the side were promoted to the
Northern Combination League. Home matches take place at the Cheshire
County Officers Club on Sunday's and admission is very reasonable,
in fact it's free and there will be a match day programme available
for all home games and even this is rumoured to cost as little as £1!
3 August 2001
TONIGHT'S GAME OFF
Tonight's match with Lincoln City has this afternoon
been called off due, according to the official Lincoln City website, to
a waterlogged Deva pitch.
CITY WELL BEATEN
Chester lost 2-0 last night in their pre-season
friendly at League of Wales side Total Network Solutions. Despite
City having the better of the opening period, goals either side of
half-time by Alexander (pen) 41, and Jenkins 48 swung the game and
eventually sealed victory for the home side. A Chester X1 beat
Brymbo Broughton on Wednesday night with goals from Jimmy Haarhoff,
Lee Woodyatt and three trialists.
CLUB UNDER INVESTIGATION
Today's Chester Chronicle reveals
that the Inland Revenue are currently interviewing former employees
regarding the tax affairs at the club for the period 1999-2000, it
also states that the Football Association's Compliance Unit are also
continuing their investigations regarding the running of the club.
Only last week former manager Graham Barrow complained that he still
hadn't received his P45 from Chester and, without it, was unable
to collect any benefits.
The Deva Stadium capacity has been increased
to 4,000. The club hope to have the full capacity of 5,800 in place
before the opening Conference match with Woking on 18 August.
1 August 2001
LINCOLN CITY FRIENDLY
A call to the club this morning confirmed
that Chester will be playing Lincoln City in a friendly on Friday,
kick-off 19:30hrs. No admission prices are known but expect the same
as last Saturday a whopping £8 for adults and £4
for concessions. Before then, City have an away friendly tomorrow
night (Thurs) at Total Network Solutions.