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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 1999
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JUNE 1999
29 June 1999
STOKE FRIENDLY

Chester have arranged to play Stoke City at the Deva Stadium on Sat 31 July. The game kicks off at 13.00hrs as Stoke have arranged a fans 'function' at the Britannia Stadium later in the day.

25 June 1999
TERRY SMITH ADDRESSES MEETING
Terry Smith will be speaking to the members of the ISA at next weeks general meeting. The meeting takes place at the usual venue the Royal Mail Club, Station Road and takes place on Tuesday 29th. Doors open at 19:00hrs for a prompt start at 19:30hrs. Here's an ideal opportunity to welcome our prospective new owner so please make every effort to attend. Non-members are welcome as there will be a joining facility on the night. "We need as many fans there as possible and they will be told what role they will play in the future of the club. Terry Smith will talk about his future plans and the bigger the turnout, the better. The deal is progressing well but the £80,000 pledged by supporters last month is an important part of the deal." - Mark Howell
HINNIGAN RETURNS
Joe Hinnigan has taken over the post of Physiotherapist at Chester. He was previously with Graham Barrow at Rochdale. The post became available with the departure to Sunderland of Stuart Walker.
FRIENDLY OFF
With the two sides due to meet in the first round of the Worthington Cup in August, City's pre-season friendly with Port Vale has been called off. The match was originally agreed as part of the deal that took Alex Smith to Vale Park so City may be asking for compensation over this.
23 June 1999
CITY DRAW VALE AGAIN
The first round draw of the Worthington Cup has been made and Chester will once again play Port Vale. City are at home first on August 10th, no set date yet for the away leg.
CONFERENCE CANCELLED
Tomorrow's intended press conference by Terry Smith has now been cancelled.
21 June 1999
ANNOUNCEMENT ON THURSDAY?
A press conference has been called for this Thursday (time and venue to be announced) by Terry Smith where he is expected to announce the latest position regarding his purchase of the club. The ISA also hope to be present at the meeting where they will also make a press announcement.

The ISA have made significant progress in their dealings with Mr Smith and are continuing to talk with both him and other interested business parties. Marketing plans have also been discussed to help improve the 'matchday experience' next season as efforts are being made for a complete re-branding of the club. “The prospect of us working with Terry Smith and with the genuine business local business community means we’re taking a great leap forward.” said ISA spokesman David Evans.

17 June 1999
WELSH FA MEET
The Welsh FA meet in the mid-Wales town of Caersws on Friday to discuss the vacant managers job, and City manager Kevin Ratcliffe is expected to be top of the shopping list.It is expected that a short list of candidates will be drawn up with Chester boss Ratcliffe the frontrunner. The list will be put to a full FAW council meeting in Cardiff next Thursday. The football committee meeting comes with Ratcliffe installed as favourite to replace Gould by the bookies. A Cardiff punter put a £500 bet on Ratcliffe today in the Jack Brown chain of bookmakers, and the former Everton and Wales captain was priced as 2-1 favourite. Joe Kinnear is still 3-1, with Brian Flynn and Ian Rush both 4-1.
15 June 1999
SMITH TALKS OF PLANS
The prospective new owner of Chester City, Terry Smith has spoken of his plans for the club should he be successful in its purchase.

Smith is hoping to clinch a deal to buy the Blues in the next 7-10 days once he, through David Acland, reaches an agreement with the creditors committee and major shareholder Mark Guterman.

Smith has some quite revolutionary plans for the future of the club with the ex-Great Britain American Football coach promising an influx of foreign internationals to The Deva Stadium. He also wants to attract players of premiership and first division standard to take City to within touching distance of football's top-flight in the next three years. "We've been looking to buy a football club for a while and Chester provides us with an ideal opportunity," said the 40-year-old Smith, whose backers include his Florida-based father, Gerald. "Americans love history and Chester is steeped in history. The football club has 114 years of history and you can not take that away from the fans."

There's no doubting Smith's enthusiasm and supporters will be pleased to hear such positive news. He's also been actively talking to the ISA and there's no doubt that the fans have a major part to play in the future of the club. Up to four supporters may be represented on the board under his scheme and there will also be the opportunity for smaller inverstors to buy into the shareholding of the club.

Regarding our manager Smith says: "Kevin was an outstanding player and he's got a great background. "I want to talk to him and with his expertise on the players the club has got we can sort things out. But I do have contacts from the American Soccer League and American internationals and internationals from EEC countries coming to Chester is a possibility."

Meanwhile manager Kevin Ratcliffe returned from a holiday in Florida today. "I don't know too much about what's going on and I haven't had any talks with the American guy yet," he said. "But what I do now is that I've got things to sort out at Chester City for next season although I must admit that I thought the club's future would have been secured by now."

Quotes Evening Leader
ISA FOOTBALL
The ISA will be taking part in a 7-a-side football tournament on Saturday 3 July organised by the Blackpool ISA. Other teams taking part include: Barnet, Blackpool, Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Hull City, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Rotherham United, Southend United, Rangers, Liverpool, Everton and Leicester City.

Matches are on a league basis (two leagues) with the top two teams progressing through to the semi-finals. The tournament starts at 12 noon and is expected to finish around 17.00. Then it's time for the evening social!

An overnight package has been put together, staying at the Hotel Concorde on Bloomfield Road. The cost is a very reasonable £35.00 which includes coach travel to and from Chester and the overnight accommodation. The coach leaves Chester railway station at 09.00 on the Saturday and returns from Blackpool at 15.00 on the Sunday afternoon.

If you are interested in playing or supporting the team please contact the ISA social secretary Ed Jones asap on 01978 754994 [h] 01244 348315 [w]. Bookings will be taken on a first-come first-served basis.
11 June 1999
MYSTERY BUYER NAMED
The Chester Chronicle have named the mystery American businessman behind one of the bids on David Acland's table for Chester City. He's a Manchester-based (aren't they always!) man named Terry Smith. He is a former American football coach and is believed to be the favourite at the moment to take control of the club, possibly by this time next week. Still in the frame is the consortium backed by Reg Brealey that consistes of three other businessmen.

Smith has also been involved in a bid for the Sheffiels Steelers ice hockey team and is believed to have been looking at other clubs in England. He's being backed by his wealthy father, a Florida businessman and is currently well advanced in his offer for the club.

City have realistically about another 21 days to find a buyer. This weekend's Football League AGM and nearby Carden Park will be attended by Acland and Bill Wingrove. It is to be expected that confirmation that no club will be allowed to start next season on August 7th whilst under administration or in receivership. Luton Town, Crystal Palace and Portsmouth are in a similar perilous position to Chester.

Smith has revealed that: "With my fellow investors I have been looking for a British club for some time and when Chester City became available we took it from there. I can't say much at this stage, but I would enjoy being involved with players and the competition involved."

Smith, who's aged 40, was born in South Carolina and went to Furman University. He came to England in 1988 to join the newly formed Manchester Spartans, who played at Sheffield's Don valley Stadium, where he was head coach, winning several championships and coaching the Great Britain team. He was the only coach to win European honours with club and country and was named as Great Britain and European coach of the year.

His father, Gerald, who has several car dealerships and two thoroughbread racehorse farms in Florida, is one of the franchise owners of an indoor soccer league in the USA.

The ISA have held talks with both Terry Smith and Reg Brealey and it is understood that they are currently negotiating for a position on the board with the former.
CATCHING UP TO DO
With the buyout drama dragging on, Kevin Ratcliffe's and the clubs plans for next season are being seriously hampered. Contracts for new players have still to be sorted as do sponsorship deals, kit deals etc etc. The players are due to report back for training on July 1st - just three weeks away.
KEV IN THE RUNNING
With the resignation of Bobby Gould from the Welsh managers job last week, Kevin Ratcliffe has once again been linked with the job. He stated in the Evening Leader that: "It's very flattering to be linked with the job. It's difficult to say whether I'll be applying for the job because I don't know too much about what's happening. But it's something you've got to look at and obviously you've got to be interested in it. At the moment I can't say yes or no but when you look at the situation at Chester when we've still not found a buyer, then you have to look at these things."

Ratcliffe's had a small taste of international leadership, he recently coached the Welsh B team to victory over Northern Ireland at Wrexham.

4 June 1999
ACLAND CLOSE TO DEAL
Administrator David Acland has hinted that he's very close now to closing a deal to save the football club. He's confirmed that there are three definite offers on the table all of which meet his criteria. The next step is to present these to the creditors committee, which is believed to be going on at the moment. With the League deadline looming very soon it appears a deal is imminent.
NO MANSUN CONCERT
Chester band Mansun won't be playing a benefit concert in Chester this summer. Their promotors, Manchester based SJM Concerts, decided that the Deva venue would have lost money. David Nicoll, who co-manages Mansun said: "The overall logistics and running costs would make the event unprofitable, which makes no sense to anyone." Mr Nicoll said to have made money the concert would need to have pulled in 16-17,000 people and this was simply too risky. He said the aim had very much been to support the Blues. "If we had made £10,000 we would pretty much have given the majority of it to Chester. We were not doing it for the money."  
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