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The Annual General Meeting will take place in London on Wednesday 21 September at the Knights Templar, 95 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1DT. Start 19:30hrs. Map here.

1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of the 18th Annual General Meeting
3. Matters arising
4. Chairman’s report
5. Treasurer’s report
6. Secretary / membership report
7. Committee reports: Press & Publicity, Darts, Social
8. Election of officers
9. Any other business, inc APFSCIL

1. Apologies for absence
Gary Owen, Richard Walsh, Rick Goby, Dave Peters, Huw Davies, Ian Mercer, Colin Mansley, Ian Riley.

4. Chairman’s Report, 2004/5

If I was asked to sum up last season in one word then I would say ‘disappointing’ especially after the euphoria of the previous Championship season. After much hope and expectation in returning to the Football League, who would have predicted that Manager, Mark Wright and his backroom staff would walk out on the club just 24 hours before our most historic match for years?

However, the one thing that Chester City has acquired over many difficult seasons is bouncebackability! So we found ourselves lurching through the season with a selection of managers including the disappointing return of legend Ian Rush, unpaid tax bills and court appearances and we still managed to come out at the other end a League 2 club so I think the word grateful is probably a more accurate summary!

Despite this disappointment I am delighted to report that the Chester City Exiles had an excellent season. Far from lurching through the season, we once again increased our membership quite significantly thanks to the excellent website coverage, newsletter and technical support provided by Steve Mansley and the many articles in both ‘away’ and ‘home’ programmes and distribution of the newsletter organised by Sue Choularton. Our grateful thanks to both. Also thanks to Ian Riley who, although working remotely, has kept our accounts and records up to date and provided valuable financial advice when we needed it, so much so that the Exiles books are in a very healthy state at present.

While other Chester City supporters’ groups seem to have faded into non-existence or silence, the Exiles have maintained a very high profile. Like it or hate it, regular postings and comments on the DevaChat message board by various members of the Committee have proved invaluable in reminding Chester City supporters of our existence and providing a short cut to our joining instructions!

The highlight of our season had to be the postponed 20th anniversary sponsored match on 24 October against Grimsby Town. Although, it was probably never going to attract as much interest as it would have done in our previous Championship season, nevertheless it was an excellent day out and much enjoyed by all. Grenville Millington lived up to his billing as our guest of honour and kept us amused with many of his footballing memories. We had fun in choosing the Man of the Match with Michael Branch coming out on top by a single deciding vote.

An added bonus on the day (apart from the rare 2-1 home win) was that Harry McNally was also a guest in the Executive Lounge. This was all the more poignant as it turned out to be the last time many of us would see him before his sudden and untimely death in December. Steve, Sue and myself represented the Exiles at Harry’s funeral just before Christmas and we joined other supporters groups in sending a wreath to the funeral. Although a very sad occasion, it was as unique as Harry himself as it brought together some of our cult heroes such as Barry Butler, Stuart Rimmer, Gary Bennett, Graham Barrow, Roger Preece, Billy Stewart, Colin Woodthorpe, Graham Abel, John Kelly and Brian Croft to name but few. Harry would have approved of the frivolity generated by the ample flow of red wine at his Wake. How appropriate it was that we drank to Harry’s memory at our Exiles Christmas get together just a few days before.

Sadly, socials (of the drinking variety) were less frequent during the year but our match day meetings both before and after away matches more than made up for this and helped us gain some new members. Away matches at Notts County, Lincoln City, Rochdale, Cambridge United, Wycombe Wanderers, Darlington, Leyton Orient, Oxford and even the drenching at Macclesfield ranked high among my personal favourite ‘away days’.

I would like to thank and congratulate Rick Goby for organizing the darts team, fixtures and venues during the season and maintaining a dignified calm when faced with many postponed fixtures by the opposition! We look forward to an improved season next year as more members have shown an interest and I may even get a bit of practice in myself!

Another success recorded during the season was that our Exiles team won the APFSCIL ten pin bowling challenge in February conjuring up idle thoughts of the purchase of an Exiles trophy cabinet. Congratulations to all who took part.

Unfortunately, we were unable to break our duck of arranging a Meet the Manager (or Chairman) event during the season despite the high turnover of managers! We hope we can improve on this during the coming season although we now have to rebuild contacts in the club following the sudden (and unexplained) departure of Commercial Director, Ian Knox towards the end of the season.

It has been a great pleasure to Chair the Exiles during the past season. It is my hope that the Exiles will continue to be seen as the most professional of the Chester City supporters group in 2005/6 but at the same time I hope that all the supporters groups will work together more closely again to ensure a strong and united fan base which will be vital for the security of Chester City Football Club in the future. If our new Manager, Keith Curle and his new look Chester City side get some good results early in the campaign then this will make it an easier task all round! Here’s to a good season ahead for all of us.

Pauline Meakins, Chair Exiles
25 July 2005

5. Treasurer’s Report, year ended 30th June 2005

I’m sorry I’m not there to give this report in person.

This year we have spent £139 more than we have brought in. The main reasons for this are the sponsorship of the Grimsby game last season which cost us a net £537 after taking into account money paid by members for attending the game and the loss of £241 made on merchandise which is down to two factors. Firstly, the merchandise account contains purchases of £97 which should have appeared in the previous years account but the invoices for these purchases were not brought to my attention until after the AGM last year. Secondly, it has been decided to give away the outstanding stock of mousemats to members re-subscribing so the opening stock brought forward from last year has been written off.

There have been numerous items of one-off expenditure (e.g. A.P.F.S.C.I.L bowling event, the drum appeal contribution, Wayne Brown’s testimonial gift etc). Set against this, subscription income has increased healthily as has interest received following the transfer of the bulk of our funds to Standard Life Bank.

The fact that we have spent slightly more than we have brought in is not, in my view, important. Last year I commented that we may well have too much in the bank (£3,700) and we still have something like this in the bank. There may therefore be opportunities for some significant sponsorship for this coming season and the meeting may like to give this some thought. Personally, I would have thought we could spend something in the region of £600 - £900 on sponsorship this year.

If anyone has any question, feel free to let me know what they are and I will try and answer them.

Ian Riley, Treasurer
19 July 2005

6. Secretary’s Membership Report

I’m pleased to report that membership numbers for the last season have increased to a season end number of 88. A breakdown of location is shown with this report but the largest concentration is in the London-Bristol ‘M4 corridoor’ where we have 35 members. We have two members overseas in Eire and Canada. Once again an enamel badge was distributed to each member.

For the coming season we decided to offer a free mousemat/coaster set t the first 20 people to join the Exiles, this target has already been achieved.

Following on from our success the summer before we once again produced a DL membership leaflet to hand out at mathces in an effort to drum-up support. Leaflets were also left in the shop at Deva Stadium though handing them out at matches seems to be out most successful recruiting method to date.

The highlight of the season for us was our sponsorship of the home League Two match against Grimsby Town in October 2004. Around 20 members made the trip and were joined by our guest for the day former player Grenville Millington who stayed with us both before and after the match. Michael Branch was presented with his man-of-the-match award following the game. Members also had the brief opportunity to meet with the (then) manager Ian Rush. We also presented Wayne Brown with a print signed by over 20 players who took part in his recent testimonial match.

The return to the Football League was welcomed by everyone, one downside though is out lack of SKY TV appearances. The Blues appeared half a dozen times on SKY the previous season which allowed us to organise some excellent successful socials at the Famous Three Kings, these socials have been sadly missed.

Under Rick’s leadership the Exiles darts team once again competed in the APFSCIL 6-a-side league and results have shown an imprevement on the previous season, a couple of new regular players towards the end of the season also helped the cause.

We also took part in, and won, the inaugural APFSCIL 10-pin Bowling competition at Finsbury Park. We look forward to defending the trphy next year.

Once again Sue Choularton was crowned ‘champion Prediction Competition form collector’ with 36 entries, well done to her. As with the membership, Competition numbers were down on the previous year with a total of 189 entries received. We must ALL make an effort to get as many forms completed as possible before the 30 September deadline. Money collected through the competition is vital to keep our funds healthy.

Steve Mansley, Secretary
25 July 2005

7. Press and Sponsorship report, 2004/5

Chester’s promotion back into the Football League saw the Exiles get more away programme coverage than recent seasons as the League has more full-time editors, with more time and space to give us publicity.

Our return to the League also allowed us to get our own weekly Fanzine-style page on ITV Teletext p548 (134,000 weekly viewers).

Cambridge United were the first club to give us a feature and picture on their website – although several away clubs briefly mentioned us on their website as a preview to their match programme.

Our sponsorship of the Grimsby match in October, 2004, allowed us to get a whole page in that day’s home programme – something I don’t think any other sponsor achieved.

Details of our programme publicity is as follows:

AWAY: Recruitment/promo pieces in 12 away programmes – Notts County; Bury (full page, including photo); Lincoln City; Cheltenham Town (including photo); Rushden and Diamonds (including photo); Northampton Town; Macclesfield Town (including photo); Cambridge United; Swansea City (including photo); Kidderminster Harriers (including logo); Mansfield Town (including logo); Leyton Orient.

HOME: Coverage in four home programmes – August 28, Wayne Testimonial words and pic; October 21, Full page feature and logo to tie-in with sponsored game; October 26, Two pix showing our Grimsby MOTM presentations; April 16 – pic and news story on our 10-pin bowling triumph.

Sue Choularton, Press and Publicity
18 July 2005

7. Darts report, 2004/5

Although we again finished our League campaign in last place in Division 3, our season showed a notable improvement on the previous season. We finished with 41 points and two wins from ten matches compared with 45 points and one win from twelve matches for the previous season. Bournemouth had not been able to rejoin the League and, hence, we were two matches short for the season. Scunthorpe United were runaway Champions with only defeat all season: that being a 6-5 reversal against u ! Our other win was also 6-5 against Southampton. Towards the end of the season, we gained two new players: Darren Haydon and Steve Musson. We are still looking for additional players as some of our regulars from the previous season were not available to play many matches for various reasons. Steve Catherall took on Vice Captaincy for the season and also provided some excellent reports for the Website: thanks Steve!

The new season begins during the second week of September. I asked our players for their thoughts on continuing with Thursdays for our home fixtures and whether a change to Mondays might be more preferable: Tuesdays and Wednesdays were already ruled out as being unsuitable. There was little to choose between the two from the responses received, so I have decided to stay with Thursdays for the fixtures: with possible alterations to Mondays for postponements. The only problem with Thursdays is that another team from a different league also play at our City Retreat venue on Thursdays. Many of our opponents choose Mondays for their home matches so we are obliged to play our away fixtures accordingly. For this new season, I feel that we should now rejoin the Cup as well: this starts towards the end of January, generally.

Food fund for last season @ £1 per head for home matches only (away matches are no charge) :-
Versus Carlisle United and Burnley - £7 each match;
Versus Scunthorpe United and Blackpool - £6 each match;
Versus Southampton - free (we were messed about with the date by them at short notice).
Total Receipts - £26
Cost of League for new season - £16
Cost of Cup for new season - £12
Total Outgoings - £28

I plan to stay with this plan for the new season to cover our enrolment for the following season.

Enjoy the new season!
Rick Goby.

7. Social report, 2004/5

Last season, events were less than usual due to lack of effort on my part (new job, etc,), however since the last committee meeting, Gay and Steve Catherall have agreed to join myself as memebers of the social sec committee, so more events will be organised this season.

Bowling: I wasn’t there but from feedback everyone had a good time

Events proposed:

Night at the greyhounds for August / September. We need to agree on which venue would be better for memeber of the exiles, so could this be discussed at the agm: The 2 venues to consider are either Wimbledon or Walthamstow and also the night, which would be more suitable for everyone.

Following on from the football quiz, which took place back in May – where I have to say we did particularly badly – Tina asked whether we wanted to enter a team in the quiz league this year – starts in October I think but need to check again.

Richard Walsh, Social
24 July 2005

8. Election of Officers, 2005/6

The committee at present is:

Chairman: Pauline Meakins
Secretary: Steve Mansley
Treasurer: Ian Riley
Press and Publicity: Sue Choularton
Darts: Rick Goby
Special Projects: David Evans
Special projects: Robert Evans
Social: Richard Walsh
Social: Gary Owen
Social: Steve Catherall
Giles Park.

All have indicated a wish to continue in position for the coming 12 months.





























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