AN OPEN LETTER
TO CLUB OWNER STEPHEN VAUGHAN
At an open meeting held
on Monday in central London, Chester City Exiles agreed
the following open letter to club owner Stephen Vaughan,
other supporters and potential investors in the future
of professional football in Chester:
is a passionate business. It is unique in the way it
can unite people and bring pleasure. It is because it
has the power to evoke such passion that it can also
divide. It is not surprising that, as Chester City has
undergone one of its worst ever seasons and has slumped
to its lowest ever position since entry into the Football
League in 1931, opinions are mixed about the way forward
and spirits are low.
Chester City Exiles believe that at
this time it is imperative to adopt a measured approach
to the way forward.
We would like to pay tribute to the
way Stephen Vaughan rescued the club from near oblivion
under Terryy Smith. The personal risk that he took and
the money he has invested saved the club and gave us
the chance to regain our Football League status.
Anyone who takes the decision to put
their head above the parapet and try to make things
happen invites criticism and worse. The easiest way
to avoid criticism is to sit on the sidelines and do
nothing. Stephen Vaughan has never done that.
The Exiles believe that the way forward
is not to leave the burden of the football club on Stephen
Vaughan’s shoulders alone. The next few days are
perhaps the most critical in our club’s 124-year
history as we approach creditors’ meetings and
Football League AGMs.
We remain optimistic about the future
and refute assertions that there is no way forward.
Yes, there are hurdles to overcome and big challenges.
There can be no dispute that our future
fortunes depend on stimulating greater support from
within the city and surrounding areas. We believe that
for a variety of reasons (dating from the late 1970s)
that led to the forced exile of the club to Macclesfield,
this potential has yet to be realised. These factors
have caused our club to fall behind similar clubs with
just as many challenges and no bigger natural catchment
areas, such as Crewe, Tranmere, Walsall and Gillingham.
Chester City and lower league football
as a whole faces difficulties such as the economic climate
and the growing concentration of wealth at the top of
the game. It is not easy, but these conditions also
The chance to experience the intense
excitement of live football (and yes, the highs of supporting
Chester City are perhaps more intense precisely because
of the lean times we endure) is now almost not open
to the young people of Chester. Only their local club
can provide that. And in difficult times, the community
spirit that can be engendered around a local club is
at a premium.
Similarly, there is opportunity for
Chester’s business community. Of course the club
does not have the allure of a Premier League brand.
Association with the club will not bring a quick buck.
But being part of building Chester City, and enabling
it to realise its potential, will bring immense personal
satisfaction and ultimately instil a loyalty among a
dedicated group of supporters that could bear commercial
fruit in the long run.
The Exiles believe we need to display
the same vision, ambition and courage to act decisively
together, that Stephen Vaughan demonstrated in taking
us from the terminal decline that Terryy Smith induced.
We therefore call upon all interested parties to put
the future of Chester City Football Club first, set
aside personalities and historical differences and present
a united front.
It is unfair and unreasonable to leave
our future to one man. We welcome the invitation extended
to supporters groups this week to discuss working with
the club, which is a very positive step to working together.
We are ready to do whatever we can
as Chester City Exiles to build a club we can all be
proud of. We do not have millions of pounds but we do
have undiminished passion for our club. We are ready
to join with anyone sincere about football in Chester
to build a brighter future.
Chester City Exiles