31 August 1999
CITY FACE FINE
The football club are facing
a possible fine after yesterday's match referee was
attacked on the pitch by a spectator.
The club have acted swiftly in banning
the offender for life from the Deva Stadium and have
this morning issued the following statement:
Chester City Football Club has reacted
immediately following an incident at Monday's home
game against Rochdale at which a spectator entered
the field of play and approached a match official.
The Club revealed that prior to the
start of the season it had agreed to the implementation
of a Scheme with Cheshire Police, based on an initiative
introduced by Derby County FC. The Scheme sets out
a Club policy for dealing with persons who are involved
in unacceptable behaviour when attending matches at
the Deva Stadium.
In accordance with the policy a full
internal investigation commenced immediately following
the game involving Board Members, the Safety Officer
and the local Police. As a result of their preliminary
discussions the following actions were agreed:- the
member of the public involved in the incident with
the match official has been banned for life from attending
any matches at the Deva Stadium a review of the video
of the crowd control has been requested in order to
ascertain whether there should be further actions taken
against any other persons involved in the build up
to the incident.
The Board has indicated that it takes
its responsibilities in these matters very seriously
and this is reflected in the swift action it has taken.
The Club is rightly proud of its good record in relation
to crowd control. It deplores the actions of a very
small minority who, by their foolish actions have severely
tarnished the name of the Club and its loyal supporters.
The Club may now be penalised financially at time when
energies and finances could be better channeled elsewhere.
The Board, in moving swiftly, has
served a clear notice that it will not tolerate such
behaviour at the Stadium and will impose the sternest
punishment on any offender.
For more information contact Michael
Fair, Medial Liaison, Chester City FC, 01244 371376 or
Meanwhile Terry Smith, Scott
Cooper and Gary Shelton are going to watch the Sheff
Wed v Aston Villa reserve match tonight for possible
signings. What is evident from the matches played so
far this season is that City are desperate for some experienced
players in the team. None of the youngsters can be faulted
for their effort, they've all given 100%, but they're
just not good enough yet. They need to be playing alongside
more experienced pros to bring out the best in them.
Oh! to have another Peter Jackson, Ronnie Sinclair, Cyrille
Regis etc. for the remainder of the season, the effect
on the likes of Martyn Lancaster, Darren Moss and Darren
Wright would be so beneficial - we've seen it all before.
My main concern is that we're targeting the wrong kind
of players. The latest player linked with the club who
is described by the chairman as "raw but very quick" is
a Nigerian player from Partick Thistle though there's
not a trace of him on their websites. However details
are being sought!
The home Worthington Cup match
with Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday 14 September
with the away leg at Villa Park on Wednesday 22 September.
The Deva leg will be all-ticket. Details will be given
as soon as they are available.
25 August 1999
Midfielder Shaun Reid was
stretchered off with a suspected broken jaw in last victory
at Port Vale. Reid may need surgery after his jaw was
smashed in a collision with Vale's Anthony Gardner. He
spent the night in in the North Staffordshire hospital
and was x-rayed the following morning. "It was pretty
horrific" said City physio Joe Hinnigan. "Shaun's
a hard lad, and if he stays down you know he's in trouble.
There was a lot of blood about and I think he lost a
couple of teeth, or they were loosened in the clash and
he was choking on his blood. Our main concern was for
the paramedics to get him off the pitch and to get him
to hospital as soon as possible. The ref was brilliant
in stopping the play straight away and the lads have
said that their player wasn't to blame."
In the Chester crowd were two Dutch players who are currently on trial.
According to Terry Smith both have impressed in training and may be offered
contracts in the next day or two.
23 August 1999
NEW COACHING TEAM ANNOUNCED
Chairman Terry Smith has announced
a new five man Coaching Squad at the club. The new team consists
of David Fogg, Gary Shelton, Shaun Reid, Scott Cooper and Terry
Smith himself. The youth team, reserves, and first team will
all be training together from now on. It has also been announced
that the team will have three captains: Ross Davidson is the
defence captain, Nick Richardson the midfield captain and Luke
Beckett the forward captain. Not quite sure on the reasoning
behind this one!
20 August 1999
RATCLIFFE RESIGNS FROM CITY
After four years in charge at
the Deva manager Kevin Ratcliffe has resigned from Chester
City this afternoon.
has acted on a clause in his contract which allows him
to give a months notice should the club fall into new ownership.
According to the Evening Leader this clause also
demands that he leaves on full pay for the remainder of
his contract. If Ratcliffe evoked this clause it will cost
the football club something in the region of £40,000.
This is a clear indication that things aren't right behind
the scenes at the club. According to reports on BBC
Radio 5 Live he had "major differences of opinion
with Terry Smith". This news will come as a major
disappointment to CIty fans who thought with a new owner
coming on board things would begin to pick up. In a statement
made this afternoon Ratcliffe stated that he was also unhappy
at the recent departure of chief executive Bill Wingrove.
Ratcliffe had the smallest squad in the
League to work with, and has been unable to bring in any
loan players to boost the meager squad.
No-one has been available from the
club for comment this afternoon. There will no doubt be a
statement issued soon. Chairman Smith is due to address the
ISA Members Meeting in Chester on Monday night.
18 August 1999
BENNO HANGS UP HIS BOOTS
City striker Gary Bennett has
been forced to retire from the game through injury. Bennett,
in his third spell with the club made his debut for Chester
in 1985 after being signed by Harry McNally on a free transfer
from Wigan Athletic. His 14-year league career has also taken
him to Southend United, Wrexham, Tranmere Rovers and Preston
17 August 1999
Defender Martyn Lancaster faces
a three match ban following his two red cards last week.
He gets a one match ban for each offence plus another for
the accumulation of both cards. The ban begins with the Worthington
Cup first-round second-leg game at Port Vale next week.
ISA GENERAL MEETING
The next meeting of ISA will take place at the
Royal Mail Club on Monday 23 August at 19.30. Four committee posts need
to be filled including those of Chairman, Social Secretary and Press and
Publicity. Please send all nominations to ISA Secretary Les
The vacancies have arisen due to three members now
sitting on the Football Club board and the resignation of Ed Jones who
has reluctantly had to leave due to work re-location.
Chairman Terry Smith will be addressing the meeting
and all members are urged to attend. Members should also receive any
day now (if they haven't done so already) a mailshot containing:
1. ISA Membership Renewal Form for Season 1999/2000
and return envelope. Please renew as soon as possible.
More news on the ISA
2. Open letter from Paul Murray to Chester City supporters
3. CV's of the three ISA DIrector nominees David Evans. Mike Fair
and Paul Murray
4. 'Deva wasn't built in a Day' article by Les Smith.
14 August 1999
Neil Fisher has recovered from a leg strain
and looks set to play at Millmoor this afternoon. The City team is expected
to be: Brown, Davidson, Lancaster, Woods, Cross, A.Shelton, Richardson,
Reid, Fisher, Beckett, Jones.
KEV AFTER LOAN SIGNINGS
City manager Kevin Ratcliffe hopes
to bring a loan player to the side before next Wednesday's
home game with Northampton Town. It's reported that Chairman
Terry Smith has spoken to a first division club about sending
a striker and a central defender on loan. Five players have
arrived at the Deva for trials this week including three
from Northern Ireland and an American. "Kev will have
a look at the players to assess their ability" added
BECKETT TRANSFER REFUSED
Terry Smith has confirmed that
the club have turned down the transfer request made by striker
Luke Beckett. The striker still has another year to run on
YOUTH TEAM DRAW
City's Youth Alliance side kicked
off their season with a 0-0 draw against Mansfield yesterday.
12 August 1999
COMMERCIAL MANAGER APPOINTED
Dan Brooks has been appointed
the club's new commercial manager. Chairman Terry Smith commented: "Dan's
come in as commercial manager and he's working on a lot of
things, we're taking all the right steps but it does take
ISA MEMBERS JOIN THE CITY BOARD
Three members of the Chester City
ISA have today joined Terry Smith on the Board of the football
club. The three are David Evans, Michael Fair and Paul Murray.
Each has been given a specific role to play in the club.
Chairman Smith stated: "Paul Murray will be responsible
for stadium facilities; David Evans will assume responsibility
for the linkage with the football in the community programme
and working with the voluntary and commercial sectors; Michael
Fair will liaise with the media and ensure the smooth running
of match days. Additionally he will undertake a review of
all administrative procedures and make recommendations to
the board, including job descriptions for both employees
He also added: "It is an open secret that the lack of controlling
expenditure and the failure to maximise income have been the reasons for
the problems faced by Chester City FC in the past. The expenditure is now
firmly under control and the Board have taken immediate steps to appoint
a commercial manager. I would like to pay tribute to those who have worked
tirelessly to ensure that the club was in a position to play the game.
It is this team spirit dedication and loyalty that will ensure a successful
period for the clubs future."
YOUTH TEAM IN ACTION
The City Youth Team begin their
Youth Alliance season at home to Mansfield Town tomorrow.
The game takes place at Chester College Playing Fields,
Clifton Drive (kick off 12 noon).
FANS HELP BARNET
More that 500 City fans signed
the 'Keep Barnet Alive' petition last Saturday to help
Barnet supporters in their fight for a new ground.
KING FOR KIDDERMINSTER
Defender Phil King who played pre-season
for City has joined Kidderminster Harriers. He had been offered
a month-to-month contract at Chester.
10 August 1999
BILL WINGROVE LEAVES CITY
Chief Executive Bill Wingrove has
been sacked by the Football Club. He was given the news in
a phone call from Terry Smith on Sunday night. The news follows
a meeting between Smith and the ISA on Saturday night when,
by an unanimous vote, it was decided there could be no place
on the board for the former director.
Wingrove commented: "While it is
true I had agreed to resign as a director. I assumed I
was staying as chief executive. Terry offered me the job
of commercial manager, but I wasnt happy with that
and told him I needed to consider my position. If I had
resigned as chief executive I wouldnt have been working
at the club last week while he was away. Apart from my
own position I am greatly concerned about the way the club
is being run."
Said Smith: "I am sorry Bill
has reacted this way. I suppose he feels bitter, but he did
offer to resign."
DONALDSON TO SIGN
South African defender Craig Donaldson
is expected to complete his move to Chester today. He's been
on trial with City, though he's not expected to be registered
in time for tonight's Worthington Cup game with Port Vale.
Donaldson has played for South Africa at u-19 and u-21 level.
6 August 1999
John Murphy has signed for Blackpool
under the Bosman ruling. As he is under 24 years of age,
City will command a fee that will be set by a tribunal.
The home game against Northampton
Town scheduled for 21 August is to be moved to Wednesday
18 August (KO 19:45hrs) to avoid a clash with Chester Races.
Peter Jonsson has quit the Deva
without playing a game. The former Icelandic U-21 International
centre-half had been on trial with the club.
Pre-bought season tickets will be
available for collection at the club offices from 10am tomorrow
3 August 1999
SOUTH AFRICAN ON TRIAL
City manager Kevin Ratcliffe is reported
to be impressed with South African trialist Craig Donaldson,
who trained with the first team yesterday. Donaldson, a 23-year-old
midfielder, holds a British Passport and becomes the second
international arrival. Former Icelandic international, Petur
Jonsson, is also on trial.
ISA SHARE ISSUE
Will ISA members who recently purchased shares
for the football club please note that cheques received for the Convertible
Loan Stock have not been deposited due to the time taken to set up a bank
account for ISA Ltd. It is expected that this will happen very soon. All
money/cheques are safe and a letter which is currently being drafted will
be sent to members regarding conversion to shares as soon as all the legal
hurdles have been completed.
2 August 1999
BECKETT ON LIST
Striker Luke Beckett has been placed on the
transfer list at his own request. He still has one year of his contract
to run. Radio Merseyside reports that he is "disalusioned at the way
the club's being run". This news will come as a bitter blow to fans
on the eve of the new season as many believe that Beckett carries City's
main strike threat for next season. City will no doubt be commanding a
big fee for the young striker.
He's read things in the papers about himself and he wants
to better himself," said Ratcliffe. "You can't
blame him for that. But you know what kind of lad Luke is
and he'll still go out and give it his all."
SINGING THE BLUES An exhibition
of photographs by Neil Roberts
All City fans are invited
to a Private Viewing at the Executive Lounge, Deva Stadium,
Chester. Friday 6 August 1999, 6.30-9.00 p.m. Bar and
refreshments will be available. There will be about 40
photographs on show and admission is free. All photographs
are for sale (25% of proceeds to Chester City ISA).
PLAYERS AGREE NEW TERMS
Nick Richardson, Darren Wright,
Andy Shelton, Neil Fisher and Danny Carson have all agreed
new contracts with the club. Other players still to sign
include Ross Davidson and Shaun Reid. John Murphy, Neil
Cutler, Jon Jones, Jon Cross and Matt Woods are still
considering the new terms offered.
Due to the extremely short
timescale between the Football Club takeover and the
start of the season, new replica kit will not now be
available until late September. Manufactures Glory Years
(Super League) have their work cut out getting the players
kit prepared on time with the added extra of having to
now supply shirts with squad numbers and names.