LEAGUE SUSPENDED FOR TWO WEEKS
The National League board met this morning to discuss
the feedback from clubs regarding their three proposed
options. As a result, the board have suspended the
National League North and South for two weeks with
immediate effect. The away trip to Blyth Spartans
and the home games against Southport and Darlington
will need to be rearranged. Twelve clubs in the
National League North last night called for a suspension
to the season until concerns in the future funding
21 January 2021
CLUB STATEMENT ON FUTURE FUNDING
Following yesterday’s zoom meeting between
the National League and National League North/South
clubs on future funding for the remainder of the
season, clubs were asked to consider three proposals
and report back by Friday. The options were:
Individual clubs taking out loans from January
The National League taking out the loan and
then distributing the money to its clubs as grants.
Suspending the season.
The board at Chester FC have considered the options
and issued the following statement.
The Board of Chester FC wishes
to provide an important update for our members and
supporters regarding the 2020/21 National League
divisional meetings on Wednesday, it was confirmed
to clubs the £11m package of financial support
for January to March will be in the form of loans
While discussions continue with
the Department for Digital, Culture, Media &
Sport (DCMS), the National League has asked clubs
for their views on three options under consideration.
1. Clubs to apply for
loans from Sport England. Applications
assessed on an individual basis against strict
criteria with loans repayable at 2% interest over
10 years with no interest or repayments for the
first two years.
2. National League to operate a loan from Sport
England to be distributed to clubs as grants.
This would impact on future central distributions
as the National League will be responsible for
repayment. Grant applications would be assessed
based on need and the National League has committed
to have an open and transparent distribution model.
3. Suspend the season. An immediate
break in the season to allow clubs to access the
furlough scheme with a decision on how to resume
taken at a later date. There will be no loans
or grants available to clubs, however those experiencing
financial hardship can submit independent applications
to Sport England for support.
As a club we have been clear and consistent in
our view that playing behind closed doors was
not viable without grants. This was the basis
upon which we decided to commence the season in
October and remains our position.
We can confirm we have responded
to the National League advising we are prepared
to consider continuing the season on the basis
outlined in option two, but this is subject to
the league providing satisfactory answers to a
number of questions, including how the grants
will be distributed, the impact on future central
payments and how these will be calculated for
We would also want to understand
what support will be available for clubs to implement
COVID-19 testing to bring the health and safety
of our league in line with the EFL and Premier
League as this remains paramount, and how this
will be funded.
Like you, we are supporters
of our club as well as custodians and our desire
and hope is that we can continue playing, however
this cannot be at any cost.
The failure to honour the assurances
given to clubs when agreeing to start the season
without fans and the unfair allocation of grants
covering October to December, as well as the decision
not to publish the findings and recommendations
of the independent review panel, has placed many
clubs in an unacceptable predicament.
We again appeal to the DCMS,
The FA and the National League to work together
to protect these precious football clubs and the
essential role they play in their communities.
20 January 2021
sad to report that former chairman Ray Crofts
has died. Crofts joined the board of directors
in 1980. Following the resignation of Eric
Barnes he was made made chairman in 1989
and will be best remembered for overseeing
the club’s two years in exile at Macclesfield
before returning home to the newly built
Deva Stadium. He remained chairman before
having to step down in November 1993 due
LATE GOAL DENIES BLUES
Just when they thought they’d secured three
points with an 89th minute wonder goal from Jamie
Morgan, Chester were denied victory at Bradford
(Park Avenue) as the home side struck back in added
time to share the points.
In a game played in appalling conditions of heavy
rain and a blustery wind on a 3G Horsfall Stadium
pitch, the Blues raced into a two goal half-time
lead through Danny Elliott, who missed a penalty
but scored from the rebound, and John Johnston who
chipped in from the edge of the box.
But soon after the break, with the wind now in their
favour, The Avenue were level with two goals in
four minutes as Luca Havern scored at the back post
from a corner, before top scorer Lewis Knight equalised
before injuring himself in the goal celebration
and being substituted.
Both sides created chances and with a minute of
normal time left Jamie Morgan controlled a ball
with his chest before smashing home an unstoppable
25-yard volley past Dan Atkinson in the home goal.
Chester almost added a fourth but substitute Adam
Nowakowski blocked the effort.
But back came Avenue in stoppage time, and Nicky
Clee’s far post cross evaded Louis Gray and
was turned into his own net by Josh Askew to complete
a remarkable game.
Table after Bradford draw
16 January 2021
Today’s game at Bradford (Park Avenue) has
been postponed because of snow. It is hoped to play
the match this Tuesday 19 January, kick-off 19.45hrs.
The league game at Bradford (Park Avenue) has been
rescheduled for this Saturday 16 January, kick-off
15.00hrs. It was originally rearranged for next
Tuesday, but due to a Covid-19 outbreak at Brackley
Town their game at Bradford this weekend has had
to be postponed.
12 January 2021
CLUB STATEMENT REGARDING FUNDING
The football club have joined with several others
in the National League North to issue a joint statement
to the relevant authorities with regard to the next
batch of funding, totaling £11m, that this
should be in the form of a grant and not a loan.
When National League clubs agreed in October to
start the season playing behind closed doors, this
decision was based on reassurances that grants would
be provided to compensate for essential revenue
lost from fans not returning on 1st October.
Had these assurances not been
provided then many Clubs at our level may have
taken the decision not to commence the season.
Matchday revenue from supporters
attending games and its associated income streams
are the lifeblood for our clubs. We are grateful
to the Government, The FA, and the National Lottery
for recognising this and the roles our clubs play
in their communities. We thank them for the grant
support we have received to date.
The initial package of £10m
was to cover the first three months of the season
with the clear understanding that grants would
continue until it was safe for crowds to return.
There was absolutely no mention of loans at that
We have all worked diligently
to comply with elite sport protocols and ensure
a prudent approach to financial management based
upon the reassurances given in October.
We the undersigned clubs therefore
call on the Secretary of State Oliver Dowden,
the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and
The FA not to betray the trust National League
clubs placed in them by agreeing to commence the
season and to ensure the additional £11m
in support is in the form of grants not loans.
Alfreton Town – Wayne
Blyth Spartans – Anthony Platten
Brackley Town – Francis Oliver
Bradford (Park Avenue) – Martin Knight
Chester – Andrew Morris
Darlington – David Johnston
Farsley Celtic – Joshua Greaves
Gloucester City – Alex Petheram
Kettering Town – David Mahoney
Kidderminster Harriers – Neil Male
Southport – Ian Kyle
Spennymoor Town – Tony Wilson
8 January 2021
Tomorrow’s league game at Bradford (Park Avenue)
has been postponed due to a frozen pitch and heavy
RED CARD OVERTURNED
The club have confirmed that the red card given
to Simon Grand in the 1-0 home victory over Guiseley
on Tuesday has been overturned by the league.
7 January 2021
The home match against Southport has now been rearranged
for Tuesday 26 January, kick-off 19.45hrs.
6 January 2021
BACK TO BACK VICTORIES
Chester followed Saturday’s victory over AFC
Telford United with a narrow 1-0 win over Guiseley
last night. The three points list the Blues to second
place in the table, three points behind leaders
The only goal of the game came as early as the sixth
minute as Kevin Roberts headed home at the back
post following a Brad Bauress corner from the right.
Chester were reduced to ten men in the 68th minute
as Simon Grand was shown a straight red card for
a foul on Kaine Felix. The club have since announced
that they will appeal against the decision. Despite
losing a man advantage the Blues defence, with on-loan
Conor Taylor making an impressive full debut, held
Chester will look to make it a hat-trick of wins
when they travel to Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday,
Table after Guiseley win
Pictures | Match
2 January 2021
OFF TO A WINNING START
Chester kicked off the new year with a 3-0 home
defeat of AFC Telford United, completing the festive
double over the Bucks.
The Blues opened the scoring as early as the eighth
minute with a first goal for the club by Josh Askew,
coolly finishing after being put through by Declan
Weeks. The visitors saw plenty of the ball in the
opening period and both sides created chances but
the Bucks were reduced to ten min in first half
stoppage time as defender Lee Vaughan saw red for
a challenge on Lee Clark.
Chester made their extra man count after the break
and doubled their lead through Weeks on 56 minutes.
The points were wrapped up 15 minutes from time
as Anthony Dudley scored his fifth goal in as many
Two players reached personal milestones in the match,
captain George Glendon made his 50th appearance
for the club and Simon Grand his 100th.
Victory lifts Chester to third spot, though they
have played more matches than those sides around
them. They are back in action on Tuesday night with
a home game against 20th placed Guiseley, kick-off
Table after AFC Telford win