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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 1998
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DECEMBER 1998
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 End.
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.
STEWARDS WANTED
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 involved.
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
MATCH ALL-TICKET
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
LOAN SIGNING
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 David Flitcroft.

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 Brighton’s 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 match.
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