29 February 2000
WORST EVER HOME LEAGUE DEFEAT
City's 7-1 defeat on Saturday
was their heaviest home reverse in their Football League
history, beating the previous record the 5-1 defeat
by Leyton Orient last Christmas.
Top 10 League defeats
1. Stockport County (A) 8-5 (6 May 1933)
2. Barrow (A) 9-0 (10 February 1934)
3. Oldham Athletic (A) 11-2 (1 January 1952)
4. Wrexham (A) 7-0 (25 April 1953)
5. Millwall (A) 1-7 (23 April 1960)
6. Brighton & Hove Albion (H) 7-1 (26 February 2000)
7. Rochdale (A) 6-0 (31 March 1934)
8. Peterborough United 6-0 13 March 1961)
9. Brighton & Hove Albion (A) 6-0 (11 September 1975)
10. Brentford (A) 6-0 (10 March 1979)
During the war years Everton won
9-2 at Sealand Road.
Speaking after the match City
manager Ian Atkins said: "If there's one good thing
that's come out of this defeat, it's that it has shown
me that there are certain players who turned out today,
who shouldn't be playing at this level."
26 February 2000
CITY SIGN HICKS
Stuart Hicks has finally joined Chester
in a two and a half year deal. He's expected to make his debut against
Brighton at the Deva today.
25 February 2000
INGLETHORPE JOINS EXETER
Orient striker Alex Inglethorpe, who was
penciled in to play in the Chester reserves at Bury on Wednesday
never turned up and has now joined Exeter City who were after the
player earlier in the season. Grecians manager Noel Blake said: "We've
been after Inglethorpe for some time so I'm very pleased to have
finally got him on board. "We know that Alex is a quality player
at this level. He has experience and a decent goalscoring record.
At this stage I need to be looking to bring proven performers to
the club." Meanwhile O's defender Stuart Hicks has yet to put pen
to paper with any deal at Chester. City lost the reserve game at
Bury 3-1 with Steve Finney netting the goal. Defender Ally Pickering
is suspended for the Exeter game a week tomorrow, while off the pitch
City chairman Terry Smith intends to sue the BBC over allegations
made in the recent 'On The Line' Radio 5 Live programme.
22 February 2000
HOBSON LOOKING FORWARD
City skipper Gary Hobson is looking forward
to playing against his former team mates at the Deva on Saturday. "I've
been playing at left back for the last four or five games that probably
means I will be marking Darren Freeman. I've been thinking about
that and I'm quite looking forward to it. I've got a bit of a groin
strain, but I think I'll be all right. I felt it after the Swansea
game and I was sore for a couple of days, but it's not so bad now.
I'll play no matter what." Although Carlisle have two games in hand
at the moment they don't look like winning," Hobson said. "They've
signed a few players though and we have got to start putting a run
It was the same at Brighton. Every time we played
at home we dragged ourselves a little bit closer to safety. "We
did it without winning away, so we have got a chance at Chester
if we can win at home. We are still fairly optimistic and a win
against Brighton could take us above Carlisle. "Points are more
important than games in hand. I learnt that a couple of years ago,
because the pressure builds even more when you are bottom. Irrespective
of who we are playing we need three points on Saturday. In our
last four or five games we have played quite well and should have
got something from all of them.
"I know Brighton are going through a patch of
form which has not been so clever, but I understand they played
well at Northampton and I know what they are capable of. When a
team goes on a run like they've had you know it is going to change.
I just hope it's not against us."
Quotes: Brighton Evening Argus
NO NEWS ON SIGNINGS
All seems to have gone quiet regarding
the two O's signings. Both Stuart Hicks and Alex Inglethorpe are
wanted by Ian Atkins and have agreed terms with the club until the
end of the season. Looks like it's all down to Terry Smith and Leyton
Orient now. Meanwhile defender Jamie Robinson misses Saturday's match
against Brighton with a one game ban, as does the Seagulls' former
City player Rod Thomas. Andy Crosby will be making a first return
to the Deva.
22 February 2000
CITY TO SIGN ORIENT DUO
Chester are poised to sign the Leyton
Orient pair Stuart Hicks and Alex Inglethorpe. Both were going to
be watched by Ian Atkins playing for Leyton Orient reserves at Northampton
yesterday but the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch;
both were training with Chester last week and have agreed personal
terms with the club. Hicks is a 32-year-old central defender who
has made over 350 league appearances for Scunthorpe, Huddersfield
and Preston. Inglethorpe is a striker who started his career at Watford
(with Julian Alsford) before joining Orient. As well as playing for
Orient he currently runs the youth team at Leatherhead. Atkins is
attempting to loan out some players this week with Kwik Ajet and
Goran Milosavijevic expected to join non-league clubs. Danny Carson
and Steve Malone have both gone on loan to Winsford United.
ATKINS STAYING PUT
City manager Ian Atkins has hit out at
reports that he's about to take the vacant manager's job at Cardiff
City. "I don't know where this story came from, it's rubbish" said
Atkins. "I haven't been approached by Cardiff, and as far as
I'm concerned, I've got an important job to do at Chester City."
18 February 2000
DOUBTS SURROUND SMITH'S PAST
Last night's Radio 5 On The Line programme
cast certain allegations over Terry Smith's past achievements in
the American football arena. It claimed Smith's stint with the New
England Patriots NFL team only amounted to two pre-season friendlies
before a knee injury forced him to quit. The programme also said
that Mr Smith organised an exhibition match at Sheffield's Don Valley
Stadium involving a team from Munich in Germany. It was claimed that
many of the "German" players were in fact British and included
students who played American football for their college in Sheffield,
interviewing those who took part. Terry Smith claims that the programme
was instigated by people who had grudges against him from his days
of coaching American football in Britain with the Manchester Spartans
and Sheffield Spartans. He described the allegations as lies and
TOUGH JOB FOR BLUES
Chester take on Swansea City at the Vetch
Field tonight in another difficult third division match against the
highly placed Welsh outfit. And The Swans won't be taking City for
granted as manager John Hollins explained: "His (Atkins') record
speaks for itself. He is well respected in the game and knows how
to get the best out of people. We had someone watch Chester's game
against Hull last week and you can already see a vast improvement
even though he's only been in charge for two months. The team has
a totally different look to it. They are stronger, better organised
and as Hull found out they are no pushovers anymore. It's not going
to be as easy and we certainly won't be taking anything for granted."Chester
have injury scares over Keister and Porter while for Swansea Richie
Appleby starts the three-match ban.
CITY TO SIGN HICKS?
City are reported to be interested
in signing 33-year-old Leyton Orient player Stuart Hicks. HIcks,
a big strong defender has certainly been around a bit having
played at Peterborough United, Colchester United, Scunthorpe
United, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Preston North
End and Scarborough before moving to Brisbane Road in 1997.
17 February 2000
SMITH ON RADIO 5 LIVE
City chairman Terry Smith will be
featured tonight in BBC Radio 5 Live's 'On The Line' programme
at 19.30 (909, 693 MW). Having heard the trailer this morning
it promises to be a very interesting programme!
15 February 2000
WINGROVE WINS TRIBUNAL CASE
Former club chief executive Bill
Wingrove has won his case for unfair dismissal and has been
awarded a £10,268. pay-out at a Liverpool industrial
tribunal. Things could get worse next month when former manager
Kevin Ratcliffe takes the club to court. After the hearing
terry Smith said it the decision would adversely affect the
third division club involving money which could have been better
spent elsewhere. The tribunal rejected claims from Chester
City FC that the chief executive had said that he did not want
to continue his employment at the club if he was forced to
give up his position as director. Mr Wingrove, speaking after
the ruling, said he was always confident the tribunal would
find in his favour and added: "Despite this incident I hold
nothing against Chester City Football Club and have fond memories
of my time there."
Chairman Terry Smith called the decision
a “joke”. “Every shred of evidence showed there was no written
contract, In testimony Mr Wingrove and Mr Guterman couldn’t
even decide who wrote the contract. There was no way there
was any type of unfair dismissal, If we had wanted to build
a case to dismiss him we would have prepared one five inches
I think it is unbelievable. Tribunals must
have to be highly biased towards employees to come to such
a decision. I don’t know how companies in the UK can survive
under these conditions.”
Mr Wingrove, 55, of Stoke-on-Trent claimed
he was forced out of his job last July shortly after Smith
had taken over. He told the tribunal he was first removed
from the board of directors and offered the job of commercial
manager. He reluctantly signed a letter agreeing to resign
from the board but resisted the change of job, which he considered
a demotion. On 8 August Mr Smith told Wingrove he wa accepting
his resignation from both the board and his employment with
Former City chairman Mark Guterman told
the tribunal: “Bill Wingrove wa always trustworthy and reliable
and I was happy to leave the day-to-day running of the club
to him. I decided to offer Mr Wingrove a manager-style contract
including bonuses for sponsorship deals and transfer deals.
I originally asked him to name his price to stay with the
club but he said the club couldn’t afford too much because
of the financial trouble we were in. I had been trying to
get rid of the club for a long time and he was keen to sign
a contract to ensure a continuity of employment. We decided
to keep the contents of the contract confidential and he
duly signed it in July 1998.”
Report from the Chester Chronicle
City's reserve team, containing
several first team regulars, were thrashed 9-3 away at Darlington
in the Pontins League. Steve Finney scored a hat-trick for
the Blues including a penalty.
14 February 2000
The March issue of Total Football
magazine contains a five page article on Chester City, concentrating
mainly on Terry Smith and Ian Atkins - nice photos too.
NEXT ISA MEMBERS MEETING
The next members meeting of the
Association will take place on Monday 28 February 2000 at the
Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester. The meeting will start
at 19.30. The guest speaker with be radio Merseyside/BBC Radio
5 Live commentator, author, and Chester City fan Charles Lambert
- not to be missed.
9 February 2000
SIGGI LOAN SPELL EXTENDED?
According to Teamtalk,
Walsall have agreed to extend the loan spell of striker Siggi
Eyjolfsson at the Deva Stadium for a second month. The Icelander
is still far from agreeing the deal with Chester himself. His
plans are to discuss whether to stay on with Chester for a
further four weeks with his agent after the latter returns
As part of the Great Escape 2000 ISA campaign,
there is a march from Chester to the match on Saturday against Hull City.
The march down Bumpers Lane starts at 2.00 from the Kwik Save car park.
7 February 2000
PLAYERS ON LIST
The following players have today
been told to find another club by manager Ian Atkins as they
do not feature in his plans for the rest of the season. Martin
Nash, Steve Finney, Steve Malone, Kwik Ajet, Danny Carson,
Carl Rendell and Goran Milosavijevic. Jon Jones has gone on
loan to Caernarfon. Meanwhile Angus Eve has joined up with
Trinidad and Tobago to play in the CONCACAF Cup and will now
expected to miss several City games as a result.
FANS PITCH IN
Manager Ian Atkins has described
the gesture of fans to pay for improved training facilities: "It
is a brilliant gesture" said City manager Ian Atkins.
City had been training at the Chester Racecourse but now the
ISA, along with the Chester City Exiles, the Official Supporters
Association and the Away Travel club have pitched in to pay
the £30 a day costs for the team to train at the Impressive
University College grounds in Clifton Drive, Chester. Atkins
added: "The players love training there as it's a super
Former City player Andy Milner has
joined Northwich Victoria from Morecambe and Ray Newlands has
joined Dave Felgate at Leigh RMI from Winsford United.
4 February 2000
PORTER / HOBSON SIGN ON LOAN
Chester have signed 31-year-old
Wigan Athletic midfielder Andy Porter on a month's loan. The
hard working player has just the experience City are looking
for having played over 300 games for Port Vale prior to his
move to the Latics. He goes straight into the side tomorrow
as Shaun Reid is struggling to be fit. Chester have also extended
Gary Hobson's loan period from Brighton until the end of the
The reserves lost 2-0 at home to Mansfield
on Wednesday. Having trials in the City team were Neville
Roach (given a free by Southend), Chris Collins (about to
be released by Southampton) and Neil Corrigan.
Chester have denied reports that Sunderland
have bid £400,000 for Darren Moss and Matt Doughty, and
manager Ian Atkins denied any interest in Orient player Simon
2 February 2000
BLUES TO SIGN WEBB?
According to last night's Evening Standard,
Chester are expected to sign midfielder Simon Webb, from Leyton Orient
on a month's loan. The former Tottenham player has failed to establish
himself in the first team at Brisbane Road this season, starting
only three games. O's manager Tommy Taylor said: "Simon is not
a 100 per cent fit and I think a loan spell at Chester would do him
the world of good".Note: As of 11.30am on Friday Webb had yet
to sign for City and reports on an Orient website state that the
move is off. No news whatsoever from Chester.
1 February 2000
PLAYER SEARCH CONTINUES
Ian Atkins is hoping this week to sign
Gary Hobson from Brighton on a permanent deal. The versatile defender
has certainly impressed on his month's loan at the Deva, and if this
is agreed then Hull City's Jason Perry will become a loan target.
Atkins is also having talks this week with Walsall with a view to
signing Icelandic striker Siggi Eyjolfsson on another month's loan.
Eyjolfsson scored his first goal for City on Saturday.