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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2000
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
OCTOBER 2000
30 October 2000
ISA MEMBERS MEETING
City goalscoring legend Stuart Rimmer is the guest speaker at tonight's ISA members meeting. The venue is the Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester – starting at 19.30hrs.
27 October 2000
CUP NEWS
Chester have sold just under 200 tickets for tomorrows game at Easington, two coaches will be making their way to the north-east. Should a replay be necessary that will take place at the Deva next Tuesday at 19:45. The draw for the first round proper will take place tomorrow night at 17:35 live on Sky Sports and Talk Sport radio (MW285).

REARRANGED DATE
Monday's Nationwide Variety Club Trophy replay match at Hednesford Town has been postponed and will now take place the following Monday 6 November.

NEW MAN AT THE DEVA
Following the resignation of Martyn Maund the club have appointed Jonathan Parker as the new Community Affairs Officer. Parker is a former associate of Dan Brookes.

25 October 2000
FA CUP TICKETS
City's 400 ticket allocation for Saturday's game at Easington Colliery are on sale today at the following times:
Season ticket holders 10:00-18:00 · Non-season ticket holders 18:00-20:00
Prices are £6 and £3. If there are still any left, they will be sold on a first come, first served basis on Thursday morning. No tickets will be available on the day of the game, Easington are expecting the game to sell-out.


23 October 2000
FANS LAUNCH BID TO BUY CLUB
PRESS RELEASE
Following on from last week's announcement by Terry Smith to put Chester City FC up for sale, a consortium of all five supporters clubs have come together to launch a joint plan to acquire the club and turn it into a community owned club, run for and by the supporters.

The five groups (The Official Supporters Club, The Independent Supporters Association, the Exiles, the Executive club and the Disabled Supporters Association) are forming an Industrial and Provident Society enabling public subscription, and which will be launched at a public meeting at Chester Town Hall on the 30th November.

The Working Party have been working on the IPS plan for several weeks with a view, initially, to acquiring a minority interest in the club. However, in view of the fact that the club is now up for sale, the aim is now to make a bid for control. These plans are to be revealed to the full City Council meeting on Wednesday the 25th October.

The new Society is being formed with the support, and under the guidance of, the Government sponsored agency Supporters Direct, set up to ensure greater supporter representation in the running of football clubs.

Chairman of the Working Party, Wirral solicitor Graham Ross, says:-

"Community ownership is the new future for many smaller clubs. Football at this level can rarely give the returns businesses, and their financial backers, seek. As a result, the future of clubs is heavily dictated by the personal financial acumen and worth of particular individuals. This leaves too much to chance.

Chester City has been through a painful period in the hands of two individual owners in recent years. It is time to stop allowing the club to be used as a 'toy' to satisfy entrepreneurial dreams. The only way to gain the full support of the community, is to make the whole club accountable to that very community. The public are no fools. If they see their club in the wrong hands they lose interest, gates reduce, funds become unavailable and the club fails. It is time to reverse that trend."

The Working Party have confidence in being able to raise the necessary investment from a combination of public subscription and private investment.

"It is our wish to involve the whole City in the fortunes of Chester City Football Club." says Ross "After all, a successful club contributes to the promotion of the city bringing visitors and media coverage. But importantly we want supporters to feel a true sense of belonging and involvement. Under the Society's ownership, members will be able to attend general meetings to discuss issues and make comment and also acquire voting rights as to the make-up of the Society's Board. No longer will there be confusion as to events at the club."

Contact Graham Ross

23 October 2000
FA CUP TICKETS
Saturday's FA Cup match at Easington Colliery is ALL-TICKET. Details are expected to be announced today regarding City's 400 allocation.

ISA MEETING
Please note that the next ISA members meeting will take place next Monday 30 October and not tonight as stated in Friday's Chronicle. The guest speaker will be City's record goalscorer Stuart Rimmer.

20 October 2000
SMITH PUTS THE CLUB UP FOR SALE
It's been announced this morning that chairman Terry Smith has put the football club up for sale, citing health problems as his reason why. Smith says that working 100 hours a week at the club for 15 months has taken its toll and he now wants to spend more time with his young family. Smith also blamed a section of the clubs supporters and local media who he claimed “were always out to attack him”. He also stated, once again, that the club was in “the best financial state it has ever been in” – though, like with the previous owner, still no sets of accounts to back this up have been issued to shareholders.

Smith said: “I have tried to do my best for the club at all times, but I have overworked myself in the process. I have had such a strong desire that I have given everything else up in my life for the past 15 months to keep the supporters happy and to make Chester City FC successful. My 100 hours a week at the club has meant I have not been with my four very young children as much as I should have.

In deciding who to sell the club to I would ideally like to pass the club on to the Chester supporters, but any new buyer also needs to have the financial resources to continue to carry the club forward.”

DUO SIGNED
Both Steve Whitehall and Andy Porter have signed today for Chester City after sorting out their problems with Oldham Athletic and Wigan Athletic respectively. This is great news for City fans. Both these players have shown real quality when they've appeared in loan spells at the club.

LEIGH MATCH ON
It appears that club secretary Michael Fair is the safety certificate holder at the Deva and not Martyn Maund so there is no doubt about City's Conference fixture being off tomorrow.

FA CUP
It has been confirmed that next weeks match with Easington Colliery will take place on the north-east clubs own Welfare Ground. The capacity is set to be 1,000, though they are hoping to raise it to 1,500 for the all-ticket match. City should receive 400 tickets for the tie. News of the allocation is expected to be made at tomorrow's match.

VARIETY CLUB TROPHY
Monday 30 October has been provisionally booked for the replay at Hednesford Town. The winners of the tie will travel to Southport in round three.
19 October 2000
MAUND RESIGNS
Chester's Community Officer Martyn Maund has resigned after just three weeks in the job. What this means for Saturday's match with Leigh remains to be seen. City have already had a warning from the Conference following the postponement of the Hayes game a few weeks ago and could ill afford to cancel another game which would surely result in a points deduction.
NEXT ISA MEMBERS MEETING
The next meeting of the Association takes place on Monday 30 October at the Royal Mail Club, Station Road. Starting at 19.30, the guest speaker, who needs no introduction, will be Stuart Rimmer.

18 October 2000
SECRETARY RESIGNS FROM BOARD
Club secretary Michael Fair has resigned from the board of directors at the Deva though he will still be staying on in his secretary's role at the club. Fair follows in the footsteps of David Evans and Paul Murray who have also quit the board in recent months. Fair said: "A number of matters about how the company is being managed have concerned me. While I could influence the decision-making process on the board, I said I would stick at it but that has not been the case recently. It's not been an easy decision to make and I don't want people to misinterpret things although the timing is unfortunate." (following on as it does just a week after a visit from the FA's Compliance Unit). "I'm just sorry it's worked out the way it has but I've discussed the matter with the chairman and I will stay on in a football administration role, I still have this affinity with the club and there are things be done here where I can make some contribution." added Fair.

16 October 2000
CITY HEAD NORTH EAST
[Cup] Chester City have been drawn away to Easington Colliery FC in the fourth round qualifier of the FA Cup. Easington, based in Peterlee, County Durham, (on the coast halfway between Hartlepool and Sunderland) play in the Northern League Division One. On Saturday Easington beat Whitby Town (two divisions higher) 1-0 in the third round. The game takes place on Saturday 28 October. Easington are hoping to be able to stage the match at their Welfare Ground which has a capacity of 2,500, however Durham Police may switch the tie to possibly Durham City or Hartlepool United.

GREYGOOSE RELEASED
Goalkeeper Dean Greygoose has been released by Chester City, leaving Wayne Brown as the sole experienced keeper now at the Deva.

13 October 2000
WHITEHALL YET TO SIGN
[Steve Whitehall] Well, it appears that Steve Whitehall hasn't yet signed for City. According to the Chronicle he has things to tie up at Oldham before putting pen to paper, though hopefully this will be today. Whitehall trained with Oldham yesterday whilst things were ironed out between the clubs. Both Halifax Town and Shrewsbury Town are also believed to be interested in the striker. Meanwhile Paul Carden has passed a fitness test and should be available for tomorrows game at Forest Green Rovers, while midfielder Scott Ruscoe travels to Gloucestershire with the team but is not expected to feature.

11 October 2000
FA COMPLIANCE UNIT AT CITY
As reported widely on north-west radio and television yesterday, the Football Association's Compliance Unit has been at the Deva since Monday. As their name suggests, they are there to check that the club are complying with the rules and regulations of the FA. This is a wide ranging role which includes checking of players payments, transfer monies etc. According to the club this is a "routine visit." City's new director of community affairs Martyn Maund, said today: "The FA compliance team paid a routine visit to the club this week. The visit went well and the team have suggested some useful hints to help the club achieve best practice."
FINNEY JOINS GRECIANS
Striker Steve Finney has gone on trial to third division Exeter City. With the arrival of striker Steve Whitehall at the Deva, Finney would seem surplus to requirements.

11 October 2000
WHITEHALL SIGNS
Striker Steve Whitehall has agreed a three year deal with City. This is great news for all City fans who've been impressed with the strikers month long loan spell from Oldham Athletic. 33-year-old Whitehall has scored four goals in five games with Chester, coinciding with City's unbeaten run. "We've been working on a deal and talking to Steve for the whole month he's been here, he's now come to terms with Oldham and he'll become a full time Chester player when his loan deals run out on Friday." said City chairman Terry Smith.

REARRANGED MATCHES
City's match with Hednesford Town in the second round of the Nationwide Variety Club Trophy postponed last night will now take place next Tuesday 17 October, kick-off 19:45. which has meant the postponement of the friendly match against a Manchester United X1. Meanwhile City's much-publicised postponed home Conference game with with Hayes has been re-arranged for Saturday 23 December, kick-off 15:00hrs.

CITY VIDEOS NOW ON SALE
Chester City videos are now available at the club shop at £12.99 each. Games include season 1999-2000 Cheltenham, Mansfield, Man City, Aston Villa and the dreaded Peterborough game, a must for all Chester City historians.

2000-1 season include to date Doncaster, Northwich, Nuneaton and Kettering, with more to come as the season progresses. All games have a full commentary and cover the complete game, and this season most will have comments from Graham Barrow.

We are also producing a video fanzine which we are calling 'Blues, News and Views' in which we will hopefully be bringing interesting topics about Chester City and football in general. The first will include an interview with former Sealand Road hero Graham Turner who visits City in December with Hereford.

These videos are professionally produced by a group of dedicated City fans, who hope that City will be back in Division Three as soon as possible. If anyone has any suggestions for inclusion in the fanzine please contact us, or if anyone wishes to purchase the videos from us directly, please add £1.00 p&p.

It's the only genuine TV coverage City will get this season!!! Exiled fans who are interested can contact Northern Accent Television, P.O.Box 3118, Chester CH4 8XE.
10 October 2000
MATCH OFF
Tonight's match with Hednesford Town in the second round of the Nationwide Variety Club Trophy has been postponed. No new date as yet.

9 October 2000
STRIKER WHITEHALL WANTS TALKS

Steve Whitehall’s loan deal with Chester comes to an end following tomorrow night’s match with Hednesford Town, and the striker is keep to talk to chairman Terry Smith about signing but the striker’s not interested in another loan deal.

Whitehall's loan spell from Oldham has coincided with City winning four from five game, he’s also hit the back of the net five times for the Blues, including a brace against Kettering Town yesterday.

Speaking in the Evening Leader Whitehall said: “I'm now asking questions about my future at Chester City. I’d like to think I’ve done enough at Chester to stay and I'm obviously pleased with the way things have been going at the club. Chester is a good location for me and they are a great set of lads, and I get to play games which is the main thing, so I'm quite happy, but I'll have to sit down this week because my loan deal runs out on Friday.

“There’s no point in another loan deal. The reason I came on loan was to get some games which I hadn't had this season in hopeful anticipation of going back to Oldham and being in with a chance of getting back in the side there, but Andy Ritchie has got no plans for me, he's got the forwards he wants, so there's no real point of going back there – I'm not looking for a loan deal.”

“I’ve now got to sit down with him and the chairman and work on a deal because Steve has got a proven goalscoring record.' Chairman Terry Smith said: “When I initially approached Oldham to sign Steve Whitehall, Graham Barrow preferred to sign him on loan, and Graham and I have had on-going discussions about the player ever since. "It's too early to say what will happen but I think we can all expect a decision within the next couple of days.”

Let’s hope that something can be sorted out. A proven striker in the Conference is a must and Steve fits the bill nicely.

7 October 2000
SCOTT ON WAY BACK
[Scott Ruscoe]

Great news for City fans as midfielder Scott Ruscoe (left) has made a quick recovery from his knee surgery and may feature in next Tuesday's home Nationwide Trophy game against Hednesford Town. Ruscoe injured his knee in the pre-season match with Bristol City and has been out of action since. Manager Graham Barrow will be fielding his strongest possible City side for a match which kick's-off at 19:45. The winners of the tie will be away at either Southport or Doncaster Rovers in round 3.


NEW APPOINTMENT
Chester have appointed Martyn Maund as director of community affairs at the club.

FRIENDLY MATCH
A Chester City X1 will play a Manchester United X1 at the Deva on Tuesday 17 October. Team details are expected to be announced next week. Admission to the match will be adults: £7 children £5. The match will kick-off at 19:30.

3 October 2000
COMMERCIAL MANAGER QUITS
Rod Buxton has quit his position of commercial manager at Chester City. He's the latest of an ever increasing number of staff to have left the club in recent weeks. Buxton, who had previously worked at Northwich Victoria, Leek and Hyde United joined City in the summer when he replaced Dan Brookes. Only last month Buxton's assistant Pam Coe resigned from the club.

Rod Buxton today issued the following statement:

"Despite running the commercial department and building relationships, which are very strained between Chester FC and the business fraternity, I cannot continue.

I joined the Club in July when there was effectively no commercial operation with no main sponsor or season tickets. I have managed in this short time to build bridges which, however difficult to maintain, are done as I have Chester City FC at heart and indeed this was my aim when I joined the Club originally to help.

I would like to thank all the various organisations who have helped in the interests of Chester City FC – Executive club (Richard Lynes), ISA, Chester Exiles, Paul Murray, the office staff and the social club staff who have all been 100 per cent behind me.

Also I would like to finally wish Graham Barrow all the success he deserves. I will be watching events at Chester FC with interest and hope that one day the 2,000 plus fans may be rewarded for their unfailing support for what I believe is a 'great Club', they deserve better."

BECKETT MONEY STILL OWED
Chester City are still to receive a penny from Chesterfield following the sale of Luke Beckett in the summer. City were awarded £150,000 by a Football League tribunal for the former star with half of the fee due straight away. "We have written to Chesterfield asking them to make the payment. Football League clubs are expected to abide by the decisions made by a tribunal." said a Football League spokesman. "it's all very restrictive on the club and we've pushed our budget out thinking we would get the money from Chesterfield. What is particularly frustrating is that we had a £175,000 bid from Mansfield and one of £150,000 from York and they said they's pay us in June." said City manager Terry Smith.

CONGRATULATIONS WAYNE
Wayne Brown played on Saturday just hours after becoming a father. Baby daughter Mia was born in the early hours of the morning.

DUO OUT
Craig Gaunt and David Kerr will miss tonight's tough away match at Scarborough through injury. Chester will be looking for a big improvement on Saturday's performance as they take on a team currently top of the Conference form table. The Seadogs have won five and drawn one of their last six matches and currently lie sixth, two placed above City in the table. If anyone can send in a match report then please do so to: reports@chester-city.co.uk

FANS PROTEST
Both the ISA and the official supporters club have complained about the over-the-top police and steward presence at Hednesford on Saturday. Staffordshire police say they were given a tip-off that there would be crowd trouble at the match and insisted on turning out in force. Normally there are no police at Keys Park. The extra cost of the operation was paid by City fans who forked out £11 at the turnstiles.
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