months ago my Chair’s report started with three
facts: 2008/2009 season was probably the worst in the
club’s history, the Exiles were still regarded
as the most pro-active and professional of all the Chester
City supporters groups and the future looked bleak unless
major changes were made in the way Chester City was
In fact, I was wrong. 2009/2010 proved to be the worst
season ever in our 126 year history and sadly the changes
in how the club was being run did not happen resulting
in the club being booted out of the Blue Square Conference
and then finally being wound up. It has been a very
traumatic year all round.
Obviously, the decline in fortunes
at the club impacted greatly on the Exiles: member numbers
declined, the Prediction Competition was thrown into
disarray and none of our members felt very sociable.
Even worse, concerns were expressed about having four
supporters groups and we suddenly found ourselves wondering
if we were now surplus to requirement with the emergence
of City Fans United (CFU).
However, while we may not look back
on the season with few fond memories, there has been
much to build up an optimism for the future.
Firstly, I would like to thank David
Evans who, as an elected member of the Board of City
Fans United, has been an excellent communicator with
the Exiles as well as being very active behind the scenes
keeping us informed and involved in the re-formation
of the new club. Sue Choularton, too, has also played
a key role in many of the CFU activities (including
the communications and researching the new kit) which
in turn has reflected well on the Exiles. A number of
the Exiles’ Committee also took time off to help
CFU promote their membership and fundraising from David’s
The bucket collection at AFC Wimbledon
will be one of our most memorable moments of this season,
again thanks to Sue for contacting the Commercial people
at AFC. Even a very wet March evening couldn’t
dampen the enthusiasm of the Exiles nor the generosity
of both AFC Wimbledon fans and our Welsh rivals. Raising
over £1,100 on the night was only eclipsed by
the warmth of the friendships forged between the three
sets of supporters on the night.
While the crisis deepened down at
the Deva, this energized the Exiles more and our members
came out in numbers to attend our three open meetings
in February, March and May and it was heartening to
meet some members who came up with various offers of
help and ideas to pass on to CFU. This gives us much
hope for the sustainability of a supporters’ run
club in the future. It also gave us an opportunity to
work more closely with key people from the Football
Supporters’ Federation (FSF) Steven Powell and
Tim Hillyer who attended two of our meetings.
Another memorable evening was the
Legends’ Evening in Chester in December which
CFU organized with again the Exiles playing their part
(thanks again to David, Robert, Giles and Steve and
I am sure Sue was involved too) for arranging the much
sort after Harry McNally t-shirts which went down a
storm. Also, thanks to Giles and Steve for arranging
the framed Harry photos which were auctioned at the
125 Celebration Night at Chester Racecourse on 12 June.
As we approach the 27th anniversary
of our existence, the Exiles’ have reached a cross
roads in their history but we hope that after this AGM
we will go forward together, stronger and much wiser
group of supporters with a role to play in the future
of Chester Football Club.
I would like to finish this report
by thanking all the Committee equally for their help
and support over the season with a special thank you
to Rick for his unstinting work in keeping the darts
team running and successful.
It is almost impossible to discuss
football without slipping in a cliché but there
can be no more truer statement than ‘Every Cloud
Has a Silver Lining’. The future is probably brighter
now than it has been for many a season.
Chair, Chester City Exiles
22 July 2010
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