City Fans United Board have
co-opted Adam Langan to the board until the Annual
General Meeting later this year. On joining the
board, Adam said: “I am honoured and delighted
to be joining the board in such a pivotal time for
our club, I am excited to offer my skills to benefit
the club I’ve supported for 20+years. I’m
extremely excited to solidify the links between
the council and the club and am extremely passionate
about improving the stadiums facilities and the
clubs infrastructure as these are the long term
assets that if improved will enable us to compete
at a higher level.”
16 May 2020
CLUB OUTLINE THEIR FIVE-YEAR VISION
The Football Club has produced
a draft five-year strategic plan for their vision
of the future of Chester FC. The club are urging
all stakeholders and supporters, whether you’re
a CFU member or not, to provide feedback on this
before Monday 1 June.
The plan is based upon six strategic pillars which
will enable the Club to achieve its ambitions:
Membership and Fan Engagement
People and Culture
Finance and Governance
City Fans United Chairman Andrew Morris said: “The
final strategic plan will reflect our shared vision
and ambitions for the Club so the contribution of
members and supporters is of vital importance. These
are unprecedented times for football and all clubs
are having to respond to overcome new challenges,
but we believe our ownership model is an asset and
means we are better placed than many to do this.”
You can read the five-year vision document, and
take part in the important survey by clicking on
the official website link here.
club are producing a limited number of home
retro shirts from the 1989/90 season –
the last at Sealand Road, to raise funds
for the Chester FC Community Trust and City
Fans United. The shirt is being made by
the original kit manufacturer Ribero.
The replica shirt is available in both adult
and junior sizes, and on a pre-order basis.
It costs £35.00 (plus £5.00
postage if needed). Orders are being taken
until 31 May and delivery time is 4-6 weeks.
More details of sizes, payment and how to
order can be found here.
12 May 2020
MURPHY ISSUES STATEMENT
on from today’s announcement that Stuart Murphy
has withdrawn his take over offer of the club, the
businessman has issued the following lengthy statement
to the local media.
“Following developments over the weekend,
I have reluctantly taken the decision to withdraw
my offer to take over Chester FC.
is almost two years since I agreed to support
the club with a commitment to provide the board
with a cash injection of £1m, to assist
with infrastructure projects to ensure medium-term
financial stability of the club.
My donation has gone mainly
towards buying new players for the first team
to help the club to remain competitive and get
us closer to a Football League return, where I
believe we rightfully belong.
It has become clear to me since
I became involved with the club that the current
model is unsustainable, which is why I have invested
a great deal of time and money devising the 1885
This ambitious project, which
includes redevelopment of the stadium and a host
of attractions and leisure facilities, will benefit
the wider community of Chester and will provide
a steady and vital stream of revenue for the club
Clearly the Covid-19 pandemic
has changed the landscape for football clubs large
and small and it is a fair assumption that we
are operating on the sharpest of knife edges.
With that in mind, I opened
confidential talks with the Board just over a
month ago to discuss the possibility of taking
over Chester FC, and I fear that without my continued
involvement, the club faces an uncertain future.
I was surprised to see that
some of the details of our discussions have been
shared with the media without prior warning and
while talks are ongoing.
I was also surprised to have
read comments from Chris Matheson MP this week
suggesting that I have his support for a takeover.
Our previous meetings regarding the 1885 proposal
have been positive and supportive but at no time
have I ever suggested that he backs my proposed
takeover, which has only arisen over recent weeks.
In these unprecedented times,
it is impossible to devise a cast-iron business
plan for the club, but I have an experienced team
supporting me and I believe we can overcome the
challenges that the virus has caused.
However, I am not prepared to
invest the significant sums required without having
control to ensure that the funds are used wisely.
My priority is to ensure the
future prosperity and competitiveness of the club
and I believe I have the wherewithal to ensure
this. I would be delighted to hear the Board’s
plans for ensuring the funding is in place to
sustain and grow our playing budget for next season
I have shown my passion for
our great club over the years and have additionally
commemorated fine players such as Gary Talbot
by additionally donating to name a stand after
In relation to the terms of
the small outstanding invoice and contributions
for some players, I am seeking clarification that
the government’s CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention
Scheme) has already paid the players since March
I want Chester FC to prosper,
to remain competitive and to establish the club
as a permanent fixture in the Football League.
I am not interested in short-term quick fixes
that will in any way endanger the club’s
Without my backing, I am not
confident that the club can remain competitive
and ensure no repeat of the calamitous problems
it has encountered in the recent past.
If the Board expresses its willingness
to revisit discussions about my proposals, I would
be happy to discuss them in an open forum.
I believe that our supporters
should have the right to decide for themselves whether
my long-term commitment is right for the club.”
TAKEOVER OFFER IS CONSIDERED
Fans United have today announced that they consider
the move by businessman Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc)
to takeover the club to have been withdrawn. CFU
have issued the following statement:
“The Board of City Fans United can confirm
we received notification from Stuart Murphy, on
behalf of Exacta Plc, on Sunday 10th May advising
his intention to end his association with the Club
the Board wishes to advise members we consider
Stuart’s approach to takeover the ownership
of Chester FC to be withdrawn.
We can confirm that to date
we have not received settlement of the outstanding
financial commitments for the 2019/20 season, however
we remain in discussion with Stuart regarding this
Chester FC would like to place on record its appreciation
to Stuart for his financial support and donations
received since his association with the Club commenced
in 2018 and we wish him well for the future.
The Board will provide further updates to members
over the coming days and weeks, and is committed
to fully engaging with the membership in developing
a revised strategy to ensure we can overcome the
challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to
function sustainably and remain competitive when
football returns as a 100% supporter-owned football
7 May 2020
STUART MURPHY MAKES TAKEOVER MOVE
Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc) has approached the board
to takeover the running and control of Chester Football
Club, bringing to an end the supporter ownership.
City Fans United have issued the following statement
“The Board of City Fans United wishes to advise
the members that it has received an approach from
Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc) to takeover the running
and control of Chester Football Club.
This marks a sudden and radical change to the previously
negotiated relationship between Stuart and the Club.
If agreed, the approach would end supporter ownership.
As a democratic supporter-owned football club, any
decision to change the ownership model can only
be taken by the membership at an Extraordinary General
Meeting attended by at least 50% of members and
with at least 75% voting in favour. Before this
can take place, the Board has a duty to assess such
approaches and if there is a serious and credible
offer, our members will decide the outcome as set
out in our constitution.
As the custodians of Chester Football Club, acting
on behalf of our CFU members and supporters, the
Board has therefore asked Stuart to provide:
A detailed three-year business
plan which can be shared with members.
Full settlement of outstanding
financial commitments which remain outstanding for
the 2019/20 season by Monday 11th May and an undertaking
that future commitments for 2020/21 will be maintained
as per agreements already in place.
This approach has been received during a time of
unprecedented uncertainty for the game and the economy.
We believe the absolute priority for the Board and
everyone involved in the Club should be to focus
on ensuring that we can navigate through these immediate
challenges together, alongside developing a longer-term
sustainable strategy for the Club suited to the
We have asked Stuart to respect the wishes of the
Board on this matter and work with us as we plan
our forward strategy.
The Board understand how much owning your club means
and how proud our members are as to what has been
achieved over the past decade. As such we believe
that due diligence and the highest levels of professionalism
are essential in dealing with all aspects of this
We can confirm to members that we have consulted
and engaged with a range of Stakeholders including
the Football Supporters’ Association and Chester
FC Community Trust in our discussions as well as
accessing legal advice.
The Board has again thanked Stuart for the support
that he has given the Club but note that the timing
of the takeover approach presents us with real challenges.
Given the current lockdown restriction it is impossible
to engage meaningfully with our membership in face-to-face
discussion and deliberation about a potential change
in ownership and the implications (positive and
negative) that any change in the model would bring
to the Club while social distancing measures remain
The Board commits to update all members once the
business plan and settlement of outstanding invoices
has been received, and wishes to thank you for your
continued support of the club during this difficult
In November Murphy announced ambitious plans for
a multi-million pound sports village at the current
Stadium, which he sponsors (1885 Arena). Those plane
included developing the main stand at the ground,
to include an increased capacity to 4,000, improved
bar and VIP facilities, improved disability viewing
platforms as well as a ‘40/50 bedroom’
hotel and spa.
He told members at a meeting prior to the last CFU
AGM in November: “We want to have it ready
by 2022 and it is going to cost a lot of money.
Investors won’t be a problem, I will be one
of them and I will be looking for four more people
to put the same amount of money in that I am.”
“We don’t want to own a football club,
we don’t want to run a football club, we want
to provide an amazing sporting village that benefits
the football club.”
HARRY SMITH 1930-2020
FC are sorry to learn of the passing of
former player Harry Smith who died in April
at the age of 89. Harry made 73 league appearances
for the club in the mid-1950s and also represented
the reserves in the Cheshire County League
on more than 100 occasions.
4 May 2020
CFU UPDATE SUPPORTERS
Fans United Board today issued a detailed statement
to its members and supporters regarding the position
of the club during the current coronavirus pandemic
lockdown. It stated that while it was not possible
to put an exact figure on the cost of the pandemic
to the club, the cancellation of five home fixtures
and several fundraising events mean that a potential
£100,000 worth of revenue has been lost. During
the period the club have also lost income from non-matchday
related events such as Liverpool Women FC stadium
venue hire, as well as end of season pitch hire
and the Awards Evening.
The club state that they are due to receive around
£13,000 which is the advanced annual solidarity
payment from the Premier League for the 2020/21
season, this is being brought forward three months.
The virtual matchday initiatives run over recent
weekends have also raised £4,000. The club
will be writing to Season Ticket Holders to outline
The full statement, including further details on
Fundraising and forthcoming Membership Renewal,
can be viewed on the CFU website here.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
was named CFU Player of the Season at Saturday’s
end of season awards night. Taylor made
34+3 appearances for the Blues before the
season was curtailed in March. The 23-year-old
defender, who joined from Kidderminster
Harriers in the summer of 2019, signed a
new 18-month contract at Chester in February.
The full list of award winners are:
CFU Player of
the Season: Joel
Player of the Season:
Player of the Season:
Golden Boot: Akwasi
Gary Roberts (at Southport)
Average Distance: Simon
The awards took place via a players video
link and can be viewed on the ChesterTV
YouTube channel here.
Joel Taylor picture © Rick Matthews
1 May 2020
END OF SEASON AWARDS
night the football club are to host a lockdown End
of Season Awards Night that will be broadcast on
the clubs YouTube Channel. It will be hosted by
joint managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson.The
club will be sharing a recording of the occasion
via Zoom at 20.00hrs utilising the YouTube Channel.
Viewers can subscribe to Chester FC TV here.
The Player of the Season and Goal of the Season
awards will be announced, along with a few other