| 29 January 1998
SPENNER TO RETURN?
Spencer Whelan looks set to
return to the City side on Saturday after coming through
last night's 1-1 draw at Hull with the Chester reserves.
Full back Martin Giles also looks likely to keep his
place against a side he supported as a boy. Giles, the
only natural left footer in the side, was born in Shrewsbury
and supported his home-town club until he started as
a trainee at Chester City three years ago under Derek
28 January 1998
JENKINS GETS CALL UP
City skipper Iain Jenkins has been called into
the Northern Ireland B squad for their game against the Republic of Ireland
on February 11. "I'm delighted to get the call up," said Jenkins,
who has already won two full international caps.
27 January 1998
CITY AIM FOR THREE MORE POINTS
Chester take on Cardiff City at the
Deva tonight looking for three more points to boost their promotion
standing. Manager Kevin Ratcliffe will either keep the same side
as at Cambridge on Saturday, or may decide to start with Rod Thomas
in place of Rod McDonald. Spenner is still unavailable, so Matt
Woods will again deputise alongside Julian Alsford at the back.
Anyone going along tonight is welcomed to send in a match report.
There will be another fans forum in
the social club at the Deva Stadium next Monday night (7.30pm).
Those attending to answer questions will be chairman Mark Guterman,
manager Kevin Ratcliffe and striker Gary Bennett. Spaces are limited
to 100 supporters as that is all that can be accommodated in the
CHAIRMAN REVEALS LOSSES
Chester Chairman Mark Guterman has revealed
that the football club are currently losing £350,000 a year.
And Guterman, who rarely talks about the club's finances, explained in
the Evening Leader that: "There's no money to bring players in because
my money is going in to keep the club alive."
City forked out a hefty Inland Revenue demand before Christmas but the £75,000
they received from Sky for the live FA Cup clash with Wrexham was a much
"We're losing money about £350,000 a year," added property
developer Guterman City's chairman for three years. "You can't even
think of buying players when you're losing that much money. I've got an £80,000
bill to pay and that will be almost £1m of my money I've put into the club."
Guterman has no directors on board to lessen his financial burdens. But
he is prepared to step aside if anyone potential buyer can match his cash
input. "I've stated may times before that people can come forward
and I'll always be interested in talking to them. And if they can do a
better job than me than I'll stand aside. But we've never had any offers."
26 January 1998
RATCLIFFE LINKED AGAIN
Not for the first time, Kevin Ratcliffe's name
has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Third Division Cardiff City.
The Bluebirds sacked manager Russell Osman on Friday and Kenny Hibbett
is currently in charge of things in a caretaker role. Cardiff are to advertise
the job soon, though by all accounts aren't rushing into a decision. Both
Ian Rush and Lou Macari (who worked with Cardiff chairman Samesh Kumar
at Birmingham) have also been mentioned as a possible successor. Ratcliffe
joined Cardiff as a player in August 1993 and played 25 games (scoring
one goal) for the club helping them to the championship that season.
Ratcliffe, who is currently on a four year contract at the Deva, has since
commented: "It's all speculation and no-one has approached me about
the job." But he has had talks with Cardiff chairman Samesh Kumar
before about taking over as manager of the south Wales side. "I did
have talks with him last season before Russell Osman got the job," added
Ratcliffe. "But I turned it down because I've got a job to do at Chester
Obviously he's going to move on sometime but it's hard to see Cardiff
as a step-up on the managerial ladder. Managing Everton or taking over
as the Welsh coach would be prime posts for the 37-year Deesider the
second longest serving manager in Division Three. Cardiff may not be the
ideal move for Ratcliffe, whose family are settled locally in Ewloe.
23 January 1998
CITY LOOKING FOR FIRST WIN
City travel to the Abbey Stadium tomorrow looking
for their first-ever League win at Cambridge at the eleventh time of asking.
Both Neil Fisher and Matt Woods played in the reserves 2-1 defeat by Scunthorpe
on Wednesday night (Fisher scoring the goal), and are expected to feature
in the starting line-up. Defender Spencer Whelan may also be in contention
for a place, provided he's fully recovered from a knee injury. Chester
will be looking for a third away day victory on the trot following encouraging
displays at Hull, and especially Lincoln. Last season the match at Cambridge
ended 2-2 with the Blues fighting back after being two goals down in the
opening five minutes. Goals from Andy Milner and Stuart Rimmer earned the
point in an exciting encounter.
Chester City (from): Sinclair, Jenkins, Fisher, Whelan, Alsford, Flitcroft.
Priest, Richardson, Thomas, Bennett, Rimmer, Woods, McDonald, Jones, Murphy,
Cambridge United (probable): Barrett, Chenery, Wilson, Ashbee, Foster,
Campbell, Wanless, Brebner, Kyd, Taylor, Butler. Subs from: Barnwell, Duncan,
Williamson, Joseph, Beall.
21 January 1998
RESERVES IN ACTION
City's reserves play Scunthorpe United at home
in the Pontins League tonight. Both Neil Fisher and Matt Woods who have
recently recovered from injury will get a run out as will Gary Shelton
who has played only twice for City this season and celebretes his 40th
birthday in a couple of months.
DAVIDSON HAS OP
City full back Ross Davidson is
expected to be out for a month following cartilage surgery
at the weekend. Spencer Whelan, who missed Saturday's defeat
by Barnet, is also suffering from a knee ligament injury
and is doubtful for Saturday's trip to Cambridge.
19 January 1998
CITY CHAIRMAN BLASTS 'DICTATOR' SHEEPSHANKS
Mark Guterman used Saturday's
match programme with Barnet to launch an attach at the Football
League's temporary chairman David Sheepshanks (currently
chairman at Ipswich Town). Mr Guterman is worried that plans
to restructure the Football League are geared up to satisfy
a small number of 'big' clubs in the first division and would
prove disastrous for the likes of Chester City.
He stated: "I believe that Chester City FC, and many other clubs are
currently under threat by a group of first division chairmen who seem determined
to destroy our league system. You will have read in the press about the
various proposed changes to the league system and I would like to take
this opportunity to explain my stance on the matters being considered.
Fourteen months ago, a group of first division chairmen set out, in the
midst of a disorganised football league, to gain control.
They were well organised and persuaded gullible chairmen of lower division
clubs to vote with this first division revolution which promised all things
to all men.
Mr Sheepshanks who led the coup, is still sitting in power as a dictator,
holding control and telling us that they will hand over power in the near
This new age they promised us with commercial opportunities aplenty has
not materialised and proposed commercial contracts seems to be withering
away rather than flowering.
The only new idea they have put forward with any form of enthusiasm is
an idea which they say will increase income.
It is the plan to re-organise the league which they have put forward in
the form of various options, named after planets. I believe the option
they are intending to push ahead Mars entails reducing the
first division to 20 clubs and increasing the second and third divisions
to 26 clubs. 'Mars' was put forward as the only viable option for the first
division and it is the one being pushed by Mr Sheepshanks and his gang.
No one has proved to me or even put forward any figures which show that
this new system will benefit lower division clubs like Chester.
I believe that we have to stick with the present system ('Earth') until
a real alternative is put forward which provides real benefits to every
team in the first, second and third divisions. We will never support ideas
that simply line the pockets of 'wannabe elitists' of the first divisions.
rom the reports that I have received, it appears that the 'Mars' option
would mean that the 20 clubs in the first division would be able to negotiate
their own TV contracts. This would mean that they would effectively be
taking the lion's share of monies from the football league.
What 'planet' are they on? Do they think that we only fell to 'Earth' yesterday?"
13 January 1998
DAVIDSON BLOW FOR CITY
Full back Ross Davidson could be sidelined for
up to six weeks. The full back, who limped off towards the end of Saturday's
victory at Lincoln, has had a cartilage injury for a couple of weeks and
aggravated it in training prior to the Lincoln game. This is a big blow
for City. Davidson has only just returned following a six week lay-off
after a hernia operation and had settled straight back into the side giving
it stability at the back.
Also injured at Sincil bank were Ronnie Sinclair (toe), Chris Priest (foot),
and Spencer Whelan (knee). When Davidson was out of the team recently,
Martin Giles capably stepped into the breach, but he is currently suspended
after being sent off for the reserves. Ryan Dobson is also sidelined through
injury. Neil Fisher is currently out with a thigh injury but may may resume
9 January 1998
LINCOLN PITCH INSPECTION
There will be a pitch inspection at Sincil bank
tomorrow morning sometime between 09.00 and 10.00. Those, like me, travelling
a long distance should ring Lincoln City Football Club on 01522 880011
to check before travelling.
8 January 1998
CITY DUO OUT
Chester players Neil Fisher and
Rod McDonald are both ruled out of Saturday's promotion clash
at Sincil Bank. City's only other injury worry is that of Rod
Thomas who has missed training with a virus, not unlike that
which struck down several Blues players just before Christmas.
News from Lincoln regarding the game looks good. With last
night's reserve match postponed the pitch is playable and weather
forecasts for the area in the next few days are good.
7 January 1998
CARDIFF MATCH DATE
Chester have re-arranged their recently
postponed home game with Cardiff City for Tuesday 27th January.
5 January 1998
JON ON THE MARK
Jon Jones scored twice as City fought
back from 1-4 down to beat a Stockport County u-21 team 5-4
in awful conditions on Saturday.
2 January 1998
CITY LOOK FOR FRIENDLY
Chester are hoping to arrange a
'behind-closed-doors' friendly match next week. Tomorrow's
East Fife friendly postponement, along with the reserve game
at Hull next week, will leave the players short of match practice
when the travel to Sincil Bank next Saturday for the clash
with promotion rivals Lincoln City.
IN THE TREATMENT ROOM
At least the blank Saturday gives
the chance for several City players to recover from their injuries.
lain Jenkins (back), Rod McDonald (hip), John Murphy (knee)
and Mattie Woods (chest infection) should all be in contention
for the Lincoln game.
The home fixture with Barrow and away match at Southport later this month have both been rearranged.
|BLUES SLUMP TO ANOTHER DEFEAT
A dreadful first half from Chester who concede four goals at relegation threatened Maidstone.
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