| 29 August 1998
CAMBRIDGE NEXT UP FOR CITY
Next game for the Blues is
on Tuesday night when Cambridge United visit the
Deva Stadium. One of City's bogey teams this, until
last season, the only time we'd beaten the U's in
the league was the first time we met back in 1972.
No doubt the team will be buoyed by today's victory
at Roots Hall and will looking for three more points
to move them further up the League.
28 August 1998
BENNO LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURN
Chester traveled south today
as they prepare for the visit to Roots Hall tomorrow.
They take on a Southend side currently leading the
division with Rotherham United. City are expected
to name an unchanged side from the one that drew
2-2 with Hull City on Sunday. Shaun Reid's recovery
takes another step forward with an outing for the
youth team tomorrow. The game also marks the return
of Gary Bennett who spend a year and a half at Southend
in the late 1980s. "I scored a few goals there
playing on the right wing," Bennett who hasn't
scored in the League since last November said: "I
think I just need one to go in off my backside; any
goal would do at the moment. But it's just not falling
for Murph and me although I don't think it will be
long before we give some time a hiding. We're playing
good football and we're always going to score goals."
In a superb gesture of goodwill Southend have agreed to make a collection
for the ISA at Chester's away game tomorrow to raise cash for the players. "This
is a magnificent gesture and demonstrates that while there is rivalry among
supporters we all have the love of the game in common. It is a pity that
Mr Guterman does not seem to share this attitude". said ISA chairman
27 August 1998
PICKERING MEETS OPPOSITION
David Pickering was met by
two specially hired security guards when he attempted
to gain access to the Deva Stadium this afternoon.
Around 50 fans turned up at the stadium to watch
the proceedings. He confirmed that he would be asking
Mark Guterman to prove once and for all that he owns
the majority shareholding in the club. The event
was shown on both BBC and ITV regional tv, with interviews
with Mr Pickering, Gary Talbot and Dave Flitcroft
amongst others. Mick McGuire from the PFA was also
interviewed. He stated that the Players Union had
been helping out with wage payments at Chester for
12 months now, and that they had been studying the
financial situation at Chester and would be issuing
a report in a week or so. The office staff at Chester,
who are still awaiting their wages, have been given
some money from the ISA's Fighting Fund.
Mark Guterman hasn't been at the ground for seven weeks now, and hasn't
spoken to manager Kevin Ratcliffe for four weeks. The club is believed
to have current liabilities in the region of £500,000.
26 August 1998
CITY LAND PLUM TIE
It's the League Cup tie Shaun
Reid dreamt about, away at brother Peter's Sunderland.
Chester will visit the Stadium of Light for the first
leg of the Worthington League Cup tie (w/c 14 September)
with the return at the Deva a week later. This will
hopefully be a big money spinner for the Blues and
gives both players and fans the chance to visit one
of the best grounds in the country. Details of ticket
arrangements will appear asap. I assume the Deva
game will be all-ticket with these available in advance
of the first-leg, though nothing has been confirmed
PFA TO MEET CITY PLAYERS
Mick McGuire, assistant chief-executive
at the Manchester-based players-union, will meet
with players at The Deva tomorrow. "I'll be
coming to Chester to keep the players informed of
the situation, we want to help the club out to secure
it's long term future. We were approached to assist
the club and we will continue to advise them on the
best ways forward for the club." said McGuire.
The PFA are monitoring the situation at Chester after once again bailing
out the club and helping with the monthly wage bill, reported to be about £40,000.
McGuire has been liaising with City's PFA rep Nick Richardson.
City's game at Barnet on October 10th has been
put back 24-hours due to England playing at Wembley on the Saturday,
and the away trip to Cardiff has been brought forward 24-hours and will
now take place on Friday March 5th.
GUTERMAN REMAINS QUIET
City chairman Mark Guterman has failed to discuss
tomorrows possible occupation of the Deva by David Pickering and has
claimed he is close to selling the club.
"I'm negotiating with another consortium," said Mr Guterman. "I've
had two serious offers and one semi-serious one."
25 August 1998
PLAYERS NOT PAID
Once again the players haven't been paid today as
promised by the chairman. It's now seven weeks since they were last paid.
PFA spokesman Nick Richardson admitted that things got "a bit heated
in the dressing room" and that "a lot of the lads were at the
end of their tether" when news spread that the cheques hadn't arrived.
Fortunately the PFA have stepped in again and assured all the players that
all monies owing will be paid tomorrow. It's not clear though how the other
staff will be affected.
This Thursday David Pickering and his consortium
intend to occupy the Deva Stadium until chairman Mark Guterman proves that
he still owns the majority shareholding in the club. And Pickering's proposed
actions are in response to chairman Mark Guterman's failure to talk to
the would-be buyers. Confusion has arisen since it was revealed that the
parent company (owned by Guterman) that owned the majority shareholding
Dovedene Ltd were struck off the companies register last November for non-compliance.
The intention of the occupation is to bring these matters to a head, and
to prove once and for all just where the majority of the shares now is.
ISA spokesman Michael Fair said after last night's meeting when the plan
was revealed: "Members gave their full support to the proposed actions
of the consortium led by David Pickering for later this week. In the recent
past, Mr Pickering has challenged Chester City chairman Mark Guterman to
prove his majority share ownership in the club. To date he has failed to
do so. Consequently the consortium will attempt to take control of the
club on Thursday at 2pm when they will enter the club premises. This action
will have the effect of either forcing Mr Guterman to finally provide proof
of ownership or step aside and let the local business interests and the
community and supporters to take control."
FANS SHOW OF SUPPORT
More than 200 attended a meeting of the Independent
Supporters' Association last night. The current membership total now stands
at over 330. ISA chairman Mark Howell said: "This was another tremendous
response from City supporters. Many new members joined last night and it
was clear from the meeting that members now feel better informed about
the grave situation at the club. The fact that so many people have joined
the association shows the true depth of feeling the fans have, not only
for the future of the club but also the situation players currently find
themselves in with little prospect of receiving their next pay packet.''
22 August 1998
Well done to Mike Fair and Mark Howell from the
ISA who both spoke on Radio5's 606 programme tonight, highlighting the
goings-on at the Deva, the formation of the ISA and the fighting fund started
last week. There were also a couple of callers (including Mark again) on
Baker and Kelly' s programme on Talk Radio, which also gave the address
of this web site.
21 August 1998
HULL NEXT UP AT THE DEVA
Chester take on Mark Hateley's Hull City this Sunday
(ko 3pm) looking for their first league win of the season. The match has
been put back 24 hours as the Chester police can't cope with this and Chester
races on the same day! Chester will expect to name an unchanged side from
the one that held Port Vale to a 2-2 draw last Tuesday.
19 August 1998
BLUES THROUGH TO ROUND TWO
A great night for City as Port Vale were held to
a 2-2 draw at the Deva Stadium allowing City to go through 4-3 on aggregate
following their win at Vale Park last week. I can't remember the last time
we knocked out a team from two division's higher! The draw for the second
round takes place on Wednesday 26th August at 10pm live on Sky TV. What
was really encouraging was the fans response to the ISA Fighting Fund appeal.
Around £1,150 was collected on the night in an effort to help the
players through these troubled times. Last weeks wages were not paid and
several players are financially having difficulty attending training sessions.
ISA spokesman Michael Fair said: "We would like to thank all the
City fans for backing this campaign, their response has been magnificent." The
ISA were expecting to raise about £500 and say that the extra cash
will be used as a reserve fund for the players.
14 August 1998
PLAYERS REFUSE TO TRAIN
Radio Merseyside has reported that the players
will not be getting paid tomorrow, and may not be getting any wages for
another 10 days! As a result the players are currently refusing to train
until they are paid their travelling expenses by chairman Guterman (and
I don't blame them). The players have agreed though to fulfil their league
and cup fixture commitments.
BAD BREAK FOR LUKE
Striker Luke Beckett is expected
to be out for 6-8 weeks after breaking a bone in his foot on
Tuesday night. "He'll be out for two months," said
a disappointed Kevin Ratcliffe. "He could be back sooner
but we're thinking the worst. It's a bad blow for the lad because
he's had a great start, two goals in two games. It's also a
big blow for us. But these things happens, unfortunately they
keep happening to us far too often. We've just got to get on
This will mean a recall for Gary Bennett
who replaced Beckett from the subs bench at Vale Park. It
could just be the kind of challenge that Bennett will relish.
Benno hasn't scored a first-team goal for the Blues since
last November at Notts County. Winger Rod Thomas may also
be included in the side who take on Brighton (at Gillingham)
tomorrow. Thomas scored in a 1-0 win for the Reserves at
home to Halifax in the week. "This was my first serious
workout for three weeks and my knee felt fine," said
Thomas. "It was good to get on the scoresheet as well."
Brighton skipper Gary Hobson is the
Seagulls' only injury doubt. Hobson, an ever-present at the
heart of the defence since January, hurt his back during Tuesday's
Worthington Cup defeat at Northampton.
13 August 1998
Striker Luke Beckett went for x-ray's
at Sheffield hospital last night after hobbling off in the
2-1 victory at Vale Park. The striker injured himself making
a tackle in the first half and has a broken bone in the foot.
Full marks to Vale for dropping last night's entrance fee to £6.00,
though they did charge a £4.00 car parking fee.
11 August 1998
PREPARE TO STUMP-UP
Take in a visit to the cash point
if you're travelling to Vale Park tonight. The cost of the
seats in the Hamil Road away end (Under our old roof!) are £15.00,
with concessions at £11.00. You'll find full details
at the official Port
Vale website. Travel details to Vale Park can be found here.
10 August 1998
COURT CASE ADJOURNED
Chester City's winding-up order
due in the Manchester County Court today has been adjourned
until Monday October 19th, no explanation has yet been given.
7 August 1998
EIGHT INTERESTED SAYS GUTERMAN
Mark Guterman has stated that eight
people are seriously interested in buying the football club.
According to the chairman he has a number of "substantial" investors
making serious enquiries. Guterman said: "There have obviously
been timewasters but there are about seven or eight who are
seriously interested. I know of two of them and others are
represented by large legal firms which suggests they are serious
He has hinted that a couple of names will
be in the frame in the next few weeks, with a possible takeover
shortly after we all await this with interest.
Meanwhile David Pickering has stated
that he is still to receive details of the club accounts he
requested after replying to the chairman's advert placed in
last Friday's Financial Times. Indeed, checking today with
Companies House the accounts up to May 1997 have still not
been lodged, and, according to the Compliance Section, Chester
FC will once again be named in the London Gazette with the
serious possibility that the company will be struck off from
the companies register.
6 August 1998
CITY IN COURT AGAIN
Chester City Football Club face
yet another winding-up order in the Manchester County Court
on Monday August 10th. This has been actioned by the clubs
solicitors Halliwell Landau. Chairman Mark Guterman states
that the matter has been settled out of court and will be dismissed
BLUES RARING TO GO
City kick-off the new season on
Saturday with a home game against Leyton Orient. The only injury
doubt at the moment surrounds Alex Smith who played 70 minutes
at Leek without any ill effect from his recent ankle injury.
Spencer Whelan is injured, but would have been suspended anyway
and Shaun Reid's comeback has been delayed a month following
his knee injury at Runcorn.
Meanwhile Mark Guterman has assured season ticket holders that their tickets
WILL arrive prior to Saturday's match. He's blamed the delay in their distribution
on the printers. Mark Howell, chairman of the newly-formed Independent
Supporters Association, said: "The tickets are not coming until later
in the week. Nobody has got tickets for the match. It is going to be absolute
chaos with everyone trying to pick up their tickets." He added: "It's
no surprise to us. It is very indicative of the state of the club at the
moment internally. With just two staff in the office it is not surprising.
These things happen and we don't think the financial situation at the club
ISA TO MEET CONSORTIUM
The four members of the local consortium
fronted by David Pickering have agreed to meet the Chester
City ISA committee on Monday night. They will discuss, amongst
other things, the meeting which took place between the chairman
and fans last night, and, no doubt ways in which they can work
together for the good of the club.
CHAIRMAN MEETS THE FANS
Mark Guterman met four supporters
from the ISA committee at the Lord Daresbury hotel last night.
Mark Howell, Sandra Povey, Chas Sumner and Bernie Curd had
a two hour meeting with the chairman. Mr Guterman made it clear
that he is resigned to selling his shares in the club and the
the local consortium fronted by businessman David Pickering
would have as much chance as any other interested party in
gaining control of the club.
It was agreed that most of the meeting was to be 'off the record', but
I hope to have more news, especially relating to the questions stated below,
after the weekend.
5 August 1998
Last night's scheduled meeting between
Mark Guterman and Mark Howell, the chairman of the Chester
City Independent Supporters Association was postponed. It is
believed the meeting may take place tonight. The ISA have come
up with a number of questions for the chairman to answer and
it is believed he will do so at the get-together. The questions
posed are: As soon as any news is available
from the meeting you'll read it here first.
4 August 1998
FINAL RUN OUT
Chester travel to Harrison Park
tonight for their final pre-season friendly against Leek Town.
Shaun Reid and Chris Priest may have a run out for City, both
have been suffering from knocks. Alex Smith and Rod Thomas
are both expected to resume training this week though won't
be in contention for a Saturday recall.
CHESHIRE SENIOR CUP
Chester have re-entered the Cheshire
Senior Cup this season. In the first round they have been drawn
away at Tranmere Rovers in the week beginning September 21st.
The last time we entered the cup we actually won it, that was
back in 1930/31 when Chester beat Crewe Alex 6-1.
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