|31 December 1998
POWER FAILURE THREAT TO MATCH
A power failure in the south
stand nearly caused Monday's game with Mansfield to be
postponed. The failure of the floodlights was the main
problem, though this was rectified an hour before the
kick off. All the travelling contingent from Mansfield
had to sit in the west stand though, giving a strange
three-sided look to the ground.
FORMER MANAGER DIES
John McGrath who managed Chester
City between 1983-85 died from a suspected heart attack
on Christmas day aged 61. The former Newcastle defender
was best known for his managerial spell at Preston North
CHEAP ADMISSION FOR CHILDREN
Children will again be admitted
to the west stand for just £2.00 at this Saturday's
League game with Southend United.
The football club are currently
looking for volunteers to act as matchday stewards at
the Deva Stadium. Those who may be interested in helping
out the club should contact safety officer Eddie Riley
at the football club (Tel: 01244 371376) leaving their
details. A two hour course in basic training will be
given by Eddie to highlight the duties and responsibilities
23 December 1998
SAM'S HERE FOR ANOTHER MONTH
Great news for City fans as
Sunderland have agreed to extend the Sam Aiston loan
period until the end of January.
22 December 1998
The home match with Brighton & Hove Albion
on Friday 15th January has been made ALL TICKET. The match will stage the
third Fans United event The United Colours Of Football.
GOOD NEWS FOR JON
Early Christmas present for Jon Cross as it
now appears that his knee is not as badly injured as first feared. The
knee is badly swollen and bruised and though he won't be training for some
time his lay-off will not be as long as first expected.
KEV'S PRAISE FOR ON-LOAN SIGNINGS
There's no pleasing some! Manager Kevin Ratcliffe
was obviously delighted with City's victory on Friday night, though disappointed
that City let Rotherham back into the game instead of killing them off. "We
let them back into it and that's a bit disappointing. We could have done
to them what Cardiff did to us in the Cup," he said. "When you
start right it makes it much easier. It give the lads a lift and sets you
up with a platform. We've done excellently. We've taken our chances and
rode the storm restricting them to long range efforts." He also had
praise for City two on-loan signings Mike Conroy and Sam Aiston. "Mike's
got that little bit extra about him. He's worked his socks off and the
second goal was a great finish," he said. "As for Sam I'd have
a sleepless night knowing I was going to have to face him the next day.
He just needs to improve the quality of his crosses."
17 December 1998
BAD BREAK FOR JON
Full back Jonathan Cross looks likely to be
out for a long time following a serious knee injury in yesterday's reserve
match with Scunthorpe United at the Deva. He was taken to hospital at half
time with what looks like a serious cruciate ligament injury, the kind
suffered by Nick Richardson 18 months ago. No doubt more news will be forthcoming
in the next few days when various tests have been carried out.
16 December 1998
MIKE SIGNS JUST IN TIME
City's latest loan signing Mike Conroy left
it pretty late before signing for the Blues on Saturday. The midday deadline
was only a few minutes away before his signature was registered with the
powers to be at the FA. Conroy is determined now he's here to make the
most of his opportunity.
" Nigel Worthington told me Chester were interested in training at Blackpool
on Tuesday,", he said. "I spoke to Kevin Ratcliffe on Thursday night
and came down for training on Friday. I was aware that there was some kind of
problem with the loan (believed to be between Blackpool and Fulham) and it was
sorted out just a few minutes before the deadline. But I'm just glad to be playing.
I've lost my place at Blackpool and coming to Chester has given me the chance
to play first team football. I know Dave Flitcroft from my days at Preston and
that has helped me settle in. I also got a lift in with Nick Richardson and Matt
Woods so I'm getting to know the lads. I've come here to help Chester out and
help myself out and I'm looking forward to my time here. I know the club's in
administration at the moment but the lads seem to have their chins up, the manager
seems to be a good guy and the win will give everyone a lift."
In fact Conroy had the ball in the net on his debut, classy finish too,
only to have the effort ruled out for offside. He could be just the experience
we're looking for up front. John Murphy is playing his best ever football
for the Blues at the moment and with Conroy up alongside him things can
only get better.
14 December 1998
EXTRA TIME FOR CITY
David Acland has been given an indefinite time
to find a new buyer for the financially troubled club. Administrators Begbies
Traynor had been given a provisional deadline of Friday to find suitable
buyers. But at Manchester County Court today the deadline was extended
indefinitely after Acland said he was confident a new owner will come forward
either before Christmas or early in the new year. Chester have their game
against Brighton being broadcast live by Sky Sports in January. The revenue
from the broadcaster, around £30,000 has been crucial in securing
a stay of execution for the club.
BAN FOR CROSBY
City defender Andy Crosby has received
a four match ban starting December 22nd following his red card against
Hartlepool last week. He will miss the Christmas games against Hull
City and Mansfield and the matches against Southend and Orient in
the New Year.
11 December 1998
Chester have signed experienced 33-year-old
striker Mike Conroy on loan from Blackpool. The loan deal will again
be partly financed by the supporters, who helped in bringing Sam
Aiston back to The Deva from Sunderland. His previous clubs include:
Clydebank, St Mirren, Reading, Burnley, Preston North End, and Fulham.
The club have also turned down an offer of £30,000 from Rochdale
for striker John Murphy.
9 December 1998
DALE INTERESTED IN BIG JOHN
According to the local Rochdale
press, both Chester and Rochdale have agreed a fee somewhere
in the region of £30,000 for City striker John Murphy.
With both Gary Bennett and Luke Beckett still sidelined through
injury, this sale, if it went ahead, would leave us without
a main striker. Meanwhile there are rumours that Kevin Ratcliffe
has turned down a £25,000 bid from Hull City for winger
6 December 1998
CREDITORS ALLOW MORE TIME
At Friday's meeting at the Deva, administrator
David Acland was able to secure more time to find a buyer for the Football
club, he now has until the end of January. The December 14 court hearing
goes ahead where Acland will inform the high court judge of the current
situation. A committee of creditors was formed at the meeting and they
will vet bids now before putting them to the Creditors. Only three people
sit on the Committee: the Inland Revenue, a representative from ColorPrint
(the former programme printers who are owed £12,000), and a representative
from the Deva Stadium caterers.
The TNS consortium's interest may be waning as they have yet to make an
offer for the club despite announcing that they would last week. Meanwhile
the city council have deemed illegal a suggestion by the Pickering consortium
that the rent for the stadium paid by Morrisons for the next 120 years
be loaned and paid back over that period. This decision is a blow for the
consortium who were banking on it to bolster their bid of £50,000
already tabled. The Pickering consortium are so far the only people who
have tabled a bid. Their initial offer of £100,00 has been reduced
to £50,000. Consortium member Mark Astbury stated: "We're still
interested and we now have the backing of over 500 individuals and companies
who want to purchase shares if we buy the club"
CITY REDUCE PRICES FOR TUESDAY'S MATCH
Chester take on Hartlepool United on Tuesday
night (7.30 ko) in the first round of the Auto Windscreens Shield. Admission
prices have been reduced to £7.50 in the stands and £5 terrace
with schoolchildren admitted for £1.00. If the scores are level after
90 minutes the golden goal rule will apply for another half hour, then
the game will be decided on penalties. Chris Priest and Ross Davidson both
miss the game through suspension, while Jon Cross and Shaun Reid will miss
Saturday's home match with Darlington for the same reason. However, Nick
Richardson, Shaun Reid and Alex Smith all fit for the cup clash. Matt Woods
and Dave Flitcroft are also available after suspension.
4 December 1998
FANS UNITED 3
Chester City Football Club has been fortunate
to be granted live coverage by Sky TV of their home game against Brighton
on Friday 15 January 1999. This decision is due to the precarious position
of Chester City and Brightons previous threat of extinction making
it a fitting match to highlight the plight of Clubs in the lower divisions.
With this in mind the Chester City Independent Supporters
Association together with Brighton fans believe it to be the ideal opportunity
to designate the day as the 3rd Fans Football Day
Chester City ISA are requesting all Football Supporters,
regardless of their alliance to be represented at the game, if not in
person then by sending their Club colours in the form of a scarf or shirt
which will be displayed on the terraces and receive National coverage.
This will reiterate the need and desire to retain grass roots football.
As in previous games a bucket collection will be made
at the match to aid the continuing fight for the survival of Chester
City FC. Money already raised with the assistance of Southend Utd , Brentford
and Conference side Altrincham has made a difference to the ISA campaign
through leaflets promoting games, players expenses, sponsorship of the
successful youth team and a contribution towards a loan player required
to meet a crisis following injuries and suspensions.
Please help us in making a difference to our Club and
highlight the problems faced by many lower division clubs at the present
time please show your support.
Details of the Fans United 3 campaign will appear
on the ISA site.
ACLAND MEETS CREDITORS
It's a big day for Chester City as David Acland
meets the Chester creditors at the Deva Stadium this morning to outline
his recommendations for the paying off of the existing debt. With at least
two potential buyers still holding talks it is fair to assume that Acland
will ask the creditors for an extension to the period of administration
so that take-over talks can continue.Thanks to the fantastic work done
by the ISA to raise national awareness of the situation at Chester and
similar smaller clubs, Acland seems confident that City can come through
their next high court appearance on December 14th. "I think everyone
wants us to survive now," he said. "The coverage we've got has
been superb. We're one of 11 clubs on the brink and we're still at the
forefront of national coverage. The likes of Oxford and Portsmouth haven't
had features on Radio Four, Sky and Football Focus but we have."
1 December 1998
ISA HELP FOR CITY
Chester City ISA have made a 'substantial' contribution
towards the wages of loan player Sam Aiston who has returned to Chester
again from Sunderland. They have also helped out groundsman Gary Kent with
a contribution towards the cost of winter feed/dressing and remarking for
the pitch for the remainder of the season. "We're not prepared to
say how much money is involved for Sam, but the donation to Gary will be
about £350." said ISA spokesman Mike Fair.
TNS IN TALKS
Total Network Solutions Director of Football
Andy Cale held talks at the Deva Stadium yesterday and the company are
expected to put in a bid before the creditors meeting at the end of the
week. TNS haven't ruled out the possibility of a joint venture with the
local David Pickering led consortium. Andy Cale said: "There is common
ground and as we said last week, we're interested to hear from anyone who
wants to invest in the club. We will be formulating a bid by the end of
the week." At the creditors meeting this Friday administrator David
Acland may well be asking for some extra time to tie up a deal.
CITY LIVE ON TV
Chester's home game with Brighton has been brought
forward a day and will now be played on Friday January 15th and shown live
on SKY TV. The club are expected to net £30,000+ from SKY from this