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CHESTER CITY EXILES
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PRESS RELEASE

25 May 2000
SIGN ON ATKINS – Chester City Exiles

The Chester City Exiles held a crisis meeting in London last night to discuss the current situation at the Club and have appealed to owner Terry Smith to secure the signing of Ian Atkins to remove the threat of at least three other Football League Clubs rumoured to be chasing him.

Collectively, members of the Chester City Exiles have clocked up 1000 years’ of support for the Club, if not more, and this adds up to many thousands of miles travel to watch their favourite team both home and away.

"The fans are desperate to keep Ian Atkins – and are concerned that Terry Smith has failed to give him an offer he cannot refuse", said Chairman, Pauline Meakins. "The mood of the Exiles was very gloomy at our meeting, but our one bright hope for the future was that if Ian would stay that he would keep together most of the team which we know is capable of fighting its way back into the Football League at the first attempt. Terry Smith made a good decision in signing him in January – we cannot understand why there has been such a delay in securing him now when Ian himself has stated he would like to stay on! He proved what a good manager he is just a few weeks and he should have been offered a contract long before the season ended."

"The fans have suffered enough and it is about time we were listened to! We want Ian Atkins – the fans respect him, the players respect him, football respects him. Why has he not been signed on?"

"To be relegated is bad enough but we cannot face another close season of uncertainty with no manager and no players signed up. Ian Atkins must be signed on quickly and we can start to rebuild for the start of the season in August."

"We were hoping to hear some good news this week but the only news coming out of the Club was the criticism of the ISA. Most of the Exiles are also members of the ISA and we were deeply hurt by the comments made by Terry Smith. We all love the Club and it is very damaging to the supporters to hear comments made by the owner. We all want success for the Club and the only way forward is together – not fighting. The comments were unjustified and damaging and could ultimately cost the club dear. To hear that Ian Atkins has been appointed Manager would go along way to heal the rift between Terry Smith and the supporters."

25 May 2000

For further information:
Pauline Meakins – Chairman, Chester City Exiles Tel: 01223 432266 (w) 01223 247064 (h)
Steve Mansley –Secretary, Chester City Exiles Tel: 01372 360967 (w) 01372 379834 (h)

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