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CHESTER CITY EXILES
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PRESS RELEASE

20 June 2001
Graham Barrow Sacking

I am sure most supporters have been preparing letters of condolence as soon as Graham Barrow stepped through the door to rejoin Chester City. There was no way that Terry Smith was going to let anyone manage Chester City while he was in charge. His ego is too big and his feelings for the Club and its supporters are none existent.

Graham Barrow should be made Freeman of the City of Chester for stoically standing by the Club while all around him was being destroyed by Terry Smith. He remained a gentleman and a friend of the supporters and is respected by all who know him in football. But he and the supporters have been seriously let down by three official bodies that could have saved the Club from the crisis that it now finds itself in:

• The FA, whom we are told visited the Club on several occasions to investigate irregularities, but despite the rumours, has still not made any charges.

• Chester City Council, which has not publically come out in support of Chester City either to reassure supporters that they will do all in their power to see that professional football will continue in Chester or to deny rumours that the rent for the Deva Stadium has not been paid during the current ownership.

• Companies House, that has failed to prosecute the owners for not registering any accounts either during the current reign of Terry Smith and the Guterman era. (Surely it is immoral to even think that Guterman could even contemplate taking over for a second time a Club he once led into administration).

What hope do Chester City supporters have now that the last remaining loyal servant to the club has now been disgracefully and without reason sacked by the Club?

Terry Smith may think that he has now got complete control of the club – but what is a football club without its supporters? All that love Chester City will surely never go through a Deva Stadium turnstile again while Terry Smith is in charge. Our fear though is that we may not have a Club to support for much longer.

Pauline Meakins
Chairman, Chester City Exiles

6 June 2001
Exiles Open Meeting

Once again we have heard of another loyal Chester City staff member and fan's favourite Joe Hinnigan being shown the door at the club without any apparent reason for dismissal or any explanation from Terry Smith. "We all know that it must only be a matter of time before we read that Graham Barrow has been dismissed," says Chester City Exiles Chairman Pauline Meakins and that will be the saddest day of all for Chester fans and definitely the last straw.

As exiled Chester supporters our phone bills and internet costs are currently going through the roof at the moment in trying to keep up with the unbelievable happenings at the Deva Stadium. We all feel so helpless at the moment seeing the club being slowly destroyed before our eyes."

Therefore, the Chester City Exiles have organized an 'Open Meeting' in London next Tuesday, 12 June at 7.00pm for all Chester City fans in the region to get together and discuss the current crisis at the football club. "We have also invited along Graham Ross, Chairman of the Chester City Supporters Trust because as supporters we want to be able to have a say about the future of our club which at the moment we are not being given the opportunity to do so. The meeting will take place at the Windmill pub (back bar) in Mill Street, near Regent Street/Savile Row, (nearest tube station is Oxford Circus).

"This Open Meeting is not just restricted to paid up members of the Exiles but anyone who cares about the future of Chester City Football Club is very welcome to attend," says Pauline.

Pauline Meakins
Chairman, Chester City Exiles
30 May 2001
F.A.N.S. Save Chester City Football Club Statement by the Chester City Exiles

The Chester City Exiles apologise that they are unable to be here this evening to support the F.A.N.S-Save Chester City Football Club campaign but would like to take this opportunity to wish George Rogers and his campaigning team every success in the forthcoming General Election on 7 June.

It has been a source of great concern to members of the Chester City Exiles who have not had ready access to the media, to see such a rapid and disastrous decline in the fortunes of the club over the past two seasons. For most of us, even though we live miles away, Chester City Football Club is our heritage and we do not want to watch the club to die as a result of incompetent ownership and ineffectual policing by football's governing bodies.

The presence of a successful football club is vital to the prosperity and public profile of a city like Chester. These days it is impossible for parents to be able to afford, or to even obtain tickets, to take their children to watch teams like Liverpool and Manchester United (with apologies for mentioning their names!) Therefore the City of Chester has a duty to its younger generation to ensure that the city has a team of League status to provide them with the opportunity to see firstclass football matches live and hopefully encourage them to become the supporters of the future.

We fully support the F.A.N.S to Save Chester City Football Club and we hope that this campaign will not only be successful in raising the profile of the problems both at the Club and within football as a whole, but will ultimately help to secure the future of the Club for generations to come.

Pauline Meakins
Chairman, Chester City Exiles
19 April 2001
Views of the Chester City Exiles on the ban of Barrie Hipkiss

Being Exiled supporters, news of Chester City tends to find its way to us rather later than the rest but the shocking news of Barrie Hipkiss's ban from the Club reached us before lunchtime on Thursday – such was the incredulity of the action. We were gobsmacked! Football clubs would not exist without the Barrie Hipkiss's of the world and you cannot measure in financial terms the value of supporters like him.

All Chester City supporters local and exiled regard him as their elder statesman and mentor – the supporter that always keeps a sense of perspective and commands great respect from Chester City fans both young and old. To ban him is like banning the Archbishop of Canterbury from the Church of England. Terry Smith cannot seriously expect that supporters will join his Democratic Supporters' Association when their chief supporter has been banned. He may think that his knowledge of sport psychology will work in football but Terry Smith has a long way to go if he has not yet learnt that a successful football club is built on the lifelong commitment of its supporters and not the personal ego of its owner.

It is time Mr Smith realized that he has gone one step too far with the supporters of Chester City and will never again have our respect. It is time he moved on.

Pauline Meakins
Chairman, Chester City Exiles

18 April 2001
Views of the Chester City Exiles on the formation of the Chester City Democratic Supporters' Association

Chester City Exiles response to Democratic Supporters Association Terry Smith had the golden opportunity to form a strong association with Chester City supporters when he first took over the Club 20 months ago but he immediately went back on his word after promising fan involvement in the running of the Club. Not only did he spurn supporters' cash (of which Exiles supporters offered substantial amounts) but after allowing three supporters onto the Board he immediately gagged them. He also failed in his promise to bring Division One football to Chester City within three seasons and offered no words of apology to the supporters for surrendering our League status after an unbroken 69 years.

If Terry Smith wanted to involve the supporters he has had nearly two years to do it but has not been interested. Before issuing the statement about his plans for a Democratic Supporters Association, it would have been courteous to have discussed this first with all of the supporters' organizations but as far as the Exiles are aware he has not. The Exiles felt very let down last year when Mr Smith arranged to meet them at Barnet but he failed to turn up and did not send any message of apology.

Therefore, the Exiles committee do not believe this is a genuine plan to involve the supporters and we would feel happier if he first produced an audited set of accounts so that any future decisions of this Democratic Association would be based on sound financial information not his word alone.

In getting Chester City relegated, alienating staff, abusing supporters, failing in his managerial skills and not getting the Club promoted back in its first season has demonstrated that Terry Smith does not have the knowledge or expertise to run an English Football Club and therefore the Exiles do not want to be associated with such failure. We recommend that Mr Smith should now hand over the Club to those who do have the genuine experience and vision to get Chester City Football Club back to where it belongs.

Pauline Meakins
Chairman, Chester City Exiles

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