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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2000
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NOVEMBER 2000

30 November 2000
SUPPORTERS TRUST MEETING
Tonight sees the launch of the Chester City Supporters Trust. The meeting takes place at Chester Town Hall and proceedings start at 19:30. Several speakers are lined-up and there will also be a Q&A session. All supporters and members of the local busiess community are urged to attend.

The following message of support has been sent to the Trust by Culture Secretary Chris Smith:

"I welcome the establishment of the Chester City Supporters Trust and fully endorse its objectives. Last week, I met representatives of the Trust and was impressed by their plans for the club's future and commitment to making them work. It stands every chance of success if as many Chester fans as possible get behind it.

"The Government wants to help supporters of clubs across the country gain a greater say in the affairs and future of their clubs. That is why we set up the Supporters Direct scheme. It is based on the simple principle that supporters can achieve more for their clubs and communities working together than they can alone.

"If a decision is taken to float Chester City as a plc, we would encourage Chester City supporters to work through the new Supporters' Trust in buying shares. That way they will maximise their voice and influence and help safeguard the club's best interests in the long-term." 
29 November 2000
OXFORD NEXT
City's first ever win at Home Park (and only the second time Plymouth have lost to non-league opposition), set's up a home tie with second division Oxford United at the Deva on Saturday 9 December in the second round of the AXA F.A.Cup. This means the postponement of the scheduled Conference game at Telford. No doubt details of whether the Oxford game will be all-ticket or not will be announced soon.

28 November 2000
GAME GOES AHEAD
Following a one hour pitch inspection by a local referee AT 09:00 this morning, tonight's match at Home Park has been given the go ahead. Drying winds are forecast through the day, though if there is any heavy rainfall later in the day the game will be called off. If you can't get to Home Park, tonight's match is live on Talk Radio 1053/1089 Medium Wave or you can hear commentary via their website at http://www.talksport.co.uk/

REPLAY LATEST
City are travelling down to Plymouth at 9am this morning for tonight's AXA FA Cup first round replay. Argyle say there are no plans for an early pitch inspection despite 24 hours of continuous drizzle. Chief Executive Roger Matthews said: “The forecast is for drizzly rain until 9 am tomorrow and then it will clear up. We have cleared out the drains again and the water seems to be running off the pitch now. I know the press have sounded doubtful but I think we will be OK to play the game.”

27 November 2000
BAN FOR BEESLEY
Defender Paul Beesley has received a two match ban following his sending off against Plymouth Argyle last week. The ban reflects the fact that this is his second red card of the season. Beesley will miss the home games with Woking next Saturday and Hull City in the LDV Vans Trophy the following Tuesday night.

24 November 2000
CITY SIGN STRIKER
City have signed 24-year-old Canadian striker Simon Vickers. Announcing the signing, club chairman Terry Smith said: “I am delighted I’ve been able to get him on board through people I know, including agents, and he’s signed with an option which depends on the number of goals he scores for us. Simon’s parents are British, and I know he has been a target for Scottish Premier League clubs since he played for Clyde last season, but he wanted to play in England. Simon has a tremendous goalscoring record, and I know he impressed Graham Barrow after attending training sessions at the club on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.” Vickers played in four of the last ten games at Clyde, all as substitute without scoring.
HEDNESFORD MATCH
The much-postponed Nationwide Variety Club Trophy first round replay tie at Hednesford has now been scheduled for Monday 11 December. Kick-off 19:45hrs.

CUP REPLAY
Plymouth Argyle have ordered extra sand bags and plastic sheeting to cover muddy sections of their pitch in an effort to ensure Tuesday night's FA Cup replay at Home Park goes ahead. Argyle's last three home matches, including one scheduled for last Monday, have all been postponed due to the weather. More rain is forecast for the weekend. For the latest news on whether the game will be on or not check the official Plymouth Argyle website.

22 November 2000
FANS TO MEET CULTURE SECRETARY
Representatives of the proposed Chester City Supporters Trust are to meet Culture Secretary Chris Smith MP in Chester on Friday. Earlier this year, Chris Smith launched an agency, Supporters Direct, to help football supporters buy stakes in clubs.

Solicitor Graham Ross, chairman of the trust fund's working party, who is among representatives meeting the Culture Secretary on Friday said: “We're one of the first groups to form one of these trusts. At the meeting, we'll be bringing him up to date with where we are with the launch of the trust. I believe that Chris Smith will say that he wants us to become a community club. This is a gesture of confidence in the trust fund from the Culture secretary and we've had total support from his department in the steps that we're taking in the formation of the trust. Our primary aim is to be able to make the supporters a major player in the future of the club.”

The trust fund if officially launched on Thursday 30 November at Chester Town Hall. The meeting starts at 19:30hrs and all City supporters and members of the local business community are urged to attend.

On the trust Chris Smith said:  “It will help to improve football not only where you have clubs that are struggling financially, but also by involving the supporters much more strongly in the work of the clubs. All too often, clubs forget that the fans are the supporters who follow them through thick and thin.”

21 November 2000
CITY PLAYERS IN TRIAL
Five City players, Wayne Brown, Paul Beesley, Chris Blackburn, Paul Carden and late inclusion Matt Doughty, played in last nights trial match between an FA X1 (a representative northern Conference team) and a Unibond League X1 at Lancaster, the FA team winning 4-0. Paul Carden was the pick of he bunch will all five players making a good contribution. Paul Carden hit the bar and all the players enjoyed the experience.

“I hit the bar,” said Carden (speaking to the Evening Leader), who was impressed with the way a team of players, who were thrown together an hour and a half before kick off, gelled. “It was a great experience, pulling on the proper England kit, wearing the number seven shirt and playing against Chris Waddle. The manager said he wasn’t too worried about the result but we played well and we’ll just wait and see if we’ve done enough to make the England squad for the Italian game in February. All our lads played well and enjoyed it. We all went up in the same car to the game and although we weren’t allowed to keep the shirts, we were presented with a leather watch with the England badge on it.”

This was a trial match for the FA semi-pro side who will play Italy, Wales, Holland and the Highland League of Scotland next February.
20 November 2000
CUP REPLAY
City's replay with Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the AXA FA Cup will take place at Home Park on Tuesday 28 November, kick-off 19:45 – be a good time to get our first ever victory there!. The winners of the tie will face Oxford United at home on Saturday 9 December in the second round. This replay means a third postponement of the Nationwide Variety Club Trophy match at Hednesford Town planned for the night before. If only Steve Finney had scored that penalty first time round.

LDV VANS TROPHY DRAW
Once again City have been paired with Hull City in the first round of this competition (formerly the Auto Windscreens Shield). However we have a home tie this time round and that will take place at the Deva on Tuesday 5 December. Kick-off 19:45. City are one of eight teams from the Conference in this season's competition; the others are: Rushden & Diamonds, Hereford United, Yeovil Town, Dover Athletic, Doncaster Rovers, Scarborough and Morecambe.

PROGRAMME INCREASE
Without any prior announcement City have increased the price of their matchday programme 25% from £2 to £2.50. Now although like last weeks edition, it's at 48 pages the largest and probably the best ever produced, do fans really want to pay that much for a programme?

EXILES PREDICTION COMPETITION
Weekly updates are now being posted on the Exiles pages for those who entered this seasons competition.

17 November 2000
WOODS MISSES CUP TIE
Defender Matt Woods misses tomorrow's home FA Cup first round tie with Plymouth Argyle as he's serving a one match suspension. There seems to be great confusion over this as the FA have Woods down for a booking at Morecambe earlier in the season where it in fact appears that the offender on the night was David Kerr!. Meanwhile Steve Whitehall should play after shrugging off the hamstring injury that forced him out of last weekend's 1-1 draw with Stevenage Borough, he's due for fitness test today. Should a replay be necessary it will take place on Tuesday 28 November at Home Park.

MONEY RECEIVED
Chester have confirmed that the first installment, believed to be £75,000, of the Luke Beckett transfer fee has finally been received from Chesterfield. Barnsley, Beckett's previous club to Chester receive 20% of the fee.

NEW TROPHY SPONSORS
The Football League Trophy has new sponsors in the form of van manufacturers LDV. The draw for the first round takes place live on SKY's Soccer AM programme.

14 November 2000
CITY STILL AWAITING BECKETT MONEY
The 14 days that the Football Association gave Chesterfield to pay the first installment (£75,000) of the Luke Beckett fee have passed without the Derbyshire club paying a penny. City are now awaiting a response from the FA/Chesterfield as to why nothing has happened. To add a twist to the tale, the Evening Leader reports that Chester have actually received a £150,000 bid from Colchester United for Beckett, the U's having agreed to pay the fee in full straight away. City manager Graham Barrow called the whole Beckett transfer fiasco "a total disgrace". "Technically he's a Chester City player. We could have been sitting on top of the League if Luke Beckett was still with us." Beckett scored his third goal in three games for the Spireites on Saturday.

SHIELD DRAW
The draw for the Football League Trophy has been delayed another week. Previous sponsors Auto Windscreens have pulled out this season, reportedly over the League upping the sponsorship asking price. The final of course also loses its prestigious Wembley setting with redevelopment taking place there over the next two years.
10 November 2000
SUPPORT CHESTER
WORKING TOGETHER TO PUT THE TRUST BACK INTO CHESTER CITY FC

A Statement by Chester City Supporters Trust

You may have read in the Press recently about the setting up of a Football Trust in Chester by a group representing all five supporter groups of Chester City FC; Chester City Official Supporters Club, Chester City Exiles, Independent Supporters Association (ISA),The Executive Club and the Disabled Supporters Group to turn Chester City FC into a supporter owned club. You may also have read about other initiatives also promising ownership, in one form or another, by the fans.

There is a danger of confusion, as the group setting up the Trust, we are issuing this Notice to set out the facts:

OUR OBJECTIVE
To make the club fully accountable at all times to its supporters as to its financial position and decision making
To have the club run to the highest standards of business and football management
To operate in synergy with the supporters and the wider community and not for personal ego or private profit
To ensure all profit is ploughed back into the club for football purposes alone
To support and encourage youth programmes and activities both within the Club and in the community
To return the club to its rightful position...in the Football League
To achieve the above by either full ownership of the club or a minority shareholding working with private investors fully bound to these principles.

HOW CAN THIS BE ACHIEVED?
By the formation of an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) and through that body to seek to acquire a shareholding in the club.
An IPS:-
ensures a legal framework so that the Club can be owned, at least in part, by and fully accountable to, the public
operates with full openness and accountability to the public
makes decisions on a fully democratic basis
prohibits any one individual making any financial gain
puts a high priority on youth programmes and public and business community links

WHAT SKILLS DO WE HAVE TO RUN A FOOTBALL CLUB?
If we succeed in full ownership, the club will be run to the highest standards of business and football management. Such skills and expertise will be provided both by a Board balancing expertise with supporter representation and assisted by an advisory group formed from the professions, from business and from football administration. Offers of assistance for the Trust are coming in from all quarters including major businesses, the FA and certain Premiership and Football League clubs.

ARE WE IN COMPETITION TO OTHER INITIATIVES?
No...

The IPS provides the legal framework for supporters' share ownership either alone or in partnership with any other initiative that genuinely shares in full our aims and objectives.

Whoever you feel is best placed to run Chester City FC in the future and whoever may become the majority owner, by supporting the Trust you are giving yourself and all supporters a real democratic and accountable voice in that outcome.

DO NOT BE CONFUSED BY:-
'Chester Supporters Group'. They are not connected with ourselves (the Chester City Supporters Trust – formed by all five supporters associations) but are a self-named group of supporters of long standing and local private investors. They have yet to set out in public how they will provide shares to the public and how they will achieve the sort of accountability set out in our aims.

Should they succeed in acquiring ownership from Mr Terry Smith, then we, through the IPS, will be able to assist them achieve their stated pledge of supporter ownership. Support of the 'Chester Supporters Group' does not require lack of support for the Trust. Quite the reverse.

Terry Smith's plan to form a PLC to sell shares direct to the public. There are laws to protect the public from being sold shares in a company. If it was easy to achieve, many small private companies would seek to raise money in that way, In fact it is expensive to set up , draining much needed finances from the football requirements of the club, and the club would have to establish an extremely high level of business management and record keeping before being allowed to take that step. It would take a lengthy period of time and have a low prospect of success. Mr Smith is to be congratulated in standing by his pledge of supporter ownership. The quickest, cheapest way to achieve that aim and the one most likely to succeed, is by selling shares to the Trust.

The Chester City Supporters Trust is the ONLY way presently available to achieve supporter ownership of the club that GUARANTEES the above stated aims and objectives.

Join us at the launch of the Chester City Supporters Trust on Thursday, 30 November at 7.30pm at Chester Town Hall. As well as setting out the details of how the IPS will operate and how you can be a part of the future for the club, you will hear speeches from various organisations supporting our project including Supporters Direct, the Government, the City Council together with players from five decades of footballing history in this City.

For further information contact:-
Graham Ross
The Chester City Supporters Trust,
c/o Ross & Co, Solicitors, Hinderton Hall, Chester High Rd, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TS – Tel: 0151 336 3000.

NEW TROPHY REPLAY DATE
The replay date for the Nationwide Variety Club Trophy match at Hednesford Town is set for Monday 27 November.

SMITH RESIGNS
ISA Press Officer Les Smith has resigned from the committee.
6 November 2000
TROPHY MATCH OFF
Chester's Nationwide Variety Club Trophy match at Hednesford Town tonight has been cancelled.
3 November 2000
FA CUP MATCH
City's first round FA Cup match with Plymouth Argyle on 18 November will not be all-ticket, despite the Deva capacity still being 3,000.

CITY PLAYERS SELECTED
Four Chester players have been called up to play for a representative northern Conference team against a Northern Premier League side on 20 November at Lancaster. This is a trial match for the FA semi-pro side who will play Italy next February. The players involved are, Wayne Brown, Paul Beesley, Chris Blackburn and Paul Carden – congratulations to all.

NO INJURY WORRIES FOR BARROW
There are no fresh injury problems for City who travel to Essex tomorrow to play Dagenham & Redbridge. The pitch at Dagenham is fine, just hope the City team leave more that adequate time to travel down with the motorways in overload mode during the rail crisis.
1 November 2000
FRIENDLY MATCH OFF – AGAIN
Chester's friendly against a Manchester United X1 at the Deva Stadium tonight is cancelled.
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