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31 October 2001
There will be a fans forum at the Deva Stadium next Wednesday 7 November in the social club starting at 19:00hrs. Steve Vaughan will be on hand to give the latest details regarding the financial position of the club and the possibility of forming a new company. There will be a Q&A session as well.

Striker Chris Malkin gets a run out in a reserves friendly match at Bangor City tonight. There will also be a run out for trialist Lee Martindale.

City will turn out in their new blue and white striped kit for the first time at Yeovil Town on Saturday.
30 October 2001
Depending on the response, the supporters club are hoping to run a coach to City's Conference match at Yeovil Town on Saturday. The coach would leave Chester for Huish Park at 08:45 and seats cost £15. To book your place please phone Barrie Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between 18:00-20:00hrs as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. For ground information and an away supporters guide check the excellent Ciderspace website.

[Steve Mungall]Manager Steve Mungall (left) has put the disappointment of Saturday's FA Cup defeat behind him and insists the players should put things right at Yeovil on Saturday. “It's a big blow not to be involved in the FA Cup. I'm totally disappointed, and I think my biggest disappointment was our lack of effort and commitment. The boys have said how disappointed they are and I've said forget about it and go down to Yeovil and see if we can keep the league run going. I just feel we could have used a midweek game this week to keep things going. I know what we need to do. I thought our passing was poor, we gave the ball away too cheaply, and if you do that in a cup tie the home club are always going to try and bombard you, and that's what they did”.

Steve Vaughan wasn't too happy about Saturday's defeat either: �There was far too much of the Gordon Hill days coming back the minute we conceded a goal. We should be smashing teams like Barrow to pieces. We never gritted our teeth, and instead of being 3-0 ahead we laid down, and that�s one thing I won�t tolerate. The defeat at Barrow probably cost us £28,000 of gate receipts on the day, and possibly up to £70,000 in total from a first round tie which Barrow have now won at Oldham Athletic.�

City will hope to have Mark Beesley in the starting line-up at Huish Park. Beesley's groin strain restricted him to the last 30 minutes on Saturday, and Mungall will also be able to choose from Mick O'Brien, Chris O'Brien and Brett Baxter all of whom were cup-tied at Holker Street.

28 October 2001
Droylsden chairman Dave Pace has hinted in today's Non-League Paper that he may soon quit the Unibond Premier League club and join business partner Steve Vaughan at Chester. Pace is annoyed at the lack of support currently at Droylsden. “It might be a possibility. You want to go where things are happening and if I go to Chester, I go. Stephen (Vaughan) has no financial links with this club and if I went to Chester, I would dissolve everything I've got to do with Droylsden”. said the chairman.

27 October 2001
Following a trouble-free sixty minute run out in the reserves on Wednesday night, Carl Ruffer is expected to replace the unavailable Chris O'Brien in midfield for today's starting line up at Barrow. Mark Beesley may start for City on the bench with Scott Ruscoe getting a recall following his fine second half display against Doncaster Rovers last Saturday. The Blues (yellows today!) will be cheered on by a following numbering round 500 after a steady sale of tickets all week.

25 October 2001
The FA Cup match at Barrow on Saturday is definately on after the FA confirmed that City chairman Steve Vaughan had transferred his 190,000 shares in Barrow AFC (1901), currently in liquidation, to one William A Brown, a person he describes as: “A Merseyside-based property developer.” Speaking this morning an FA spokesman said: “Mr Vaughan has complied with everything we have asked and has co-operated throughout. Consequently we have been able to resolve the situation satisfactorily.” City had intended to unveil their new blue and white kit at Holker Street but a clash with Barrow's black and white stripes has prevented that, instead, City will turn out in a new yellow kit.

City fan and publican Gerry Williams invites Blues fans to a pre match drink at his pub en route to Barrow. Why not drop into the Miners Arms, Swarthmoor, nr Ulverston on the A590 road and meet up with other City fans.

Former player and Football in the Community officer Brian Croft is leaving to take up a similar position at Macclesfield Town.

Following on from his two goals against Altrincham, French trialist Amdu Adil scored for the reserves again last night in a 2-0 home victory against Leigh RMI reserves. The other City goal came from Darren Wright.

24 October 2001
City travel to Barrow on Saturday without three players who are cup tied: they are Mick O'Brien, and Brett Baxter who have played for other clubs in the competition this season and Chris O'Brien who Liverpool won't allow to play. Defender Carl Ruffer is hoping for a run out with the reserves before Saturday and is hoping to feature at Holker Street as is striker Mark Beesley who is rated as 50/50 for the tie. Steve Vaughan is to give the players 10% of all money secured through this seasons FA Cup run. The prize money for winning Saturday's qualifying round is £20,000.

It's reported in the North West Evening Mail that Saturday's game at Barrow may be in doubt as Steve Vaughan has been ordered by the FA to prove that he still has no financial interest at the Unibond club. Vaughan is the major creditor at Holker Street (£269,000) and has been told of the competition's Rule 30 relating to dual interests and associations. Vaughan has responded to the FA's letter by stating "My solicitors, Lupton Fawcett, have written to the FA telling them that we have signed our interests in Barrow FC to Mr A Brown."

22 October 2001
[Steve Mungall]Following Saturday's battling 1-1 home draw with Doncaster Rovers, caretaker manager Steve Mungall has been given the job on a permanent basis until the end of the season. After the game, played in front of the day's highest Conference gate, chairman Steve Vaughan said: “I've offered Steve the job until the end of the season. If the results continue in a positive manner we will sit down and discuss a longer contract. Steve's done an excellent job in the short time since he's been here and I have no qualms about offering him the role. I am sure there is enough here to build on for the future.”

All City fans, I'm sure, will wish Steve the best in his new role. Former player Owen Brown was interviewed on Friday with the offer of working as Mungall's assistant but thought the roles should be the other way round! One of Mungall's first tasks will be to appoint an assistant manager, a post currently filled by Dean Spink.

Minutes of the October ISA meeting attended by Steve Vaughan can be found on the Meetings pages of the ISA website.

Chairman Steve Vaughan is looking at the possibility of winding-up the current club (unless Bill Wingrove get's there first!) and forming a new company. “Because of the lack of information that I have inherited regarding the club's financial state, I have been advised by my solicitors that it may be the best way forward. I have discussed the matter with the Nationwide Conference and the FA Compliance Unit, and neither have raised objections. The validity of the suggestion is being checked out by my legal team.” However, with Chester still owing unpaid monies to Kevin Ratcliffe, Graham Barrow, Bill Wingrove, Joe Hinnigan and Gill Duggan it seems very unlikely that the Football League would currently approve such a move.

Neil Turner reports that former employee Bill Wingrove is to issue a winding-up petition against the football club on Monday to recover the £16,000 owed to him by the club and awarded to him by a tribunal hearing recently.

It is reported that Chester will make a bid for Cheltenham Town midfielder Hugh McAuley this week, a small fee will be involved for the player who cost Cheltenham £20,000 in July 1999 when he signed from Leek Town where he scored 33 goals in two seasons in the Conference. He began his career as a trainee at Liverpool before moving to Northwich Victoria. Cheltenham's website however describes him as the latest player to suffer from a lengthy injury layoff so a loan deal may be preferred at first.

19 October 2001
Mark Beesley is doubtful for tomorrow's home match with Doncaster Rovers after picking up a groin injury. Dean Spink has recovered from his lay-off and may well feature as Chester look to continue their fine run under caretaker-manager Steve Mungall. Former City player Paul Carden is hoping to be picked for Doncaster tomorrow as he returns to the Deva for the first time since his move in the summer. �I�ve been left out a few times but hope to play tomorrow. We�ve had a decent start and I noticed the difference of how professionally a club can be run as soon as I signed. I was eight pounds heavier when I first signed than I am now and that�s because Gordon Hill hardly did any running when we first came back for pre-season training. I�m just looking forward to going back because I really loved the place. I love playing at The Deva and although we never got big crowds the fans were great. Those FA Cup matches against Plymouth and Oxford last season were special and so was the goal I scored against Doncaster early in the campaign.�

18 October 2001
City's FA Cup match at Barrow on 27 October has been made all ticket for City fans. Chester have been allocated 625 terrace tickets, costing £7 each (£5 concessions). Season ticket holders should claim their cup tickets after Saturday�s match against Doncaster at 17:30, the remaining tickets will then go on general sale at 11:00 on Sunday morning at the Deva Stadium. The official supporters coach for the match leaves at 11:15hrs and seats will cost £9. Bookings can be made at Saturday�s game with Barrie Hipkiss or Richard Prince, or from Monday onwards with Barrie Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between 18:00-20:00hrs.

Chas Sumner looks back at past matches between the sides. | Barrow websites #1 #2

City will play Stalybridge Celtic in the FA Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup. The match at Deva Stadium will take place on Tuesday 6 November, kick-off at 19:45hrs.

17 October 2001
Barrow's replay win at Rossendale United last night sets up an FA Cup fourth qualifying tie with Chester City at Holker Street on the 27th. Last night's game ended 3-3 after extra time with Barrow going through 5-3 on penalties. City chairman Steve Vaughan will no doubt be in for a hostile reception when he returns to his former club for the tie which promises to be a cracker and should attract a large crowd.

16 October 2001
The football club have reduced the admission prices for children at Deva Stadium. A season ticket for the remaining 13 League games of the season now costs just £25. The new price came about after discussions between supporters and chairman Steve Vaughan at last night's ISA meeting. Vaughan is also looking to reduce costs for OAP's, and also the possibility of a free admission match over the Christmas period. This initiative was carried out at Brentford on Saturday when a crowd of 11,000 turned up for their game with Peterborough. �The club needs to generate as much money as possible, and I�m keen to reduce prices for youngsters and encourage their parents to attend matches. And I�m going to introduce discounts for pensioners.� said Vaughan.

It's been announced that Hyde based John Radege has become the clubs new chief executive, he's worked for Vaughan Promotions for some time.

Defender Stephen Rose has joined Oldham Athletic on trial.

15 October 2001
{The Cup]Chester have been draw away to Barrow or Rossendale United in the fourth qualifying round on the FA Cup. Interesting one that for Steve Vaughan. The two clubs who drew 1-1 at Barrow on Saturday replay tomorrow night. The match will be played on Saturday 27 October.

The winners of the tie receive £20,000. �I can�t believe it, drawing my old club – it�s absolutely amazing, but that�s part of the buzz everyone gets out of this sport. There�s always controversy and drama attached to football. I�m expecting Barrow to beat Rossendale in the replay, but it�s obviously going to be a very hard draw against my old club.” said chairman Vaughan.

13 October 2001
Caretaker manager Steve Mungall is expected to name un unchanged side for City's visit to Morecambe today, a side managed by Mungall's former Tranmere teammate Jimmy Harvey. Mungall said: “Who can I possibly leave out after Tuesday night? My only problem is who to name as my substitutes, but I'm adding David Kerr, Paul Roberts, Paul Berry and Stephen Rose to my 22-man squad.”Mungall knows that a couple more performances like that of Tuesday night and he may well make the manager's position permanent. Chairman Steve Vaughan has said that he's received many applications for the vacancy this week including those from: Neville Southall, John McGinlay, Mark Lillis, Mark Ward, Mark Carter, Owen Brown and Mike Marsh. “It's a nice headache to have but Steve's (Mungall) in the pole position because he has impressed me with what he's done and I got good feedback from the crowd about him on Tuesday night. But we're not getting carried away, it's just one win and now we have to build on that.”

The next members meeting of the ISA is on Monday 15 October at the usual venue the Royal Mail Club, Station Road, Chester. The meeting starts at 19:30hrs. Two more ISA dates for the diary as well. On Friday 26 October there's a Rock 'N' Roll fundraising night at the Royal Mail Club which includes a disco, buffet and live music. Tickets are £4 and available from Mickey Clifford on (01244) 347782 or Kevin Granger (01244) 659464. The ISA Christmas Party will take place at the United Services Club, Crook Street on 8 December. Tickets from Mickey Clifford cost £5.

11 October 2001
Chester have made three new appointments at the Deva. Steve Dearden is the new club solicitor, Jim Jones has been appointed commercial manager while Bobby Murdoch is the clubs chief scout. Meanwhile chairman Steve Vaughan has confirmed that the club will now be run by Vaughan Promotions Ltd.

10 October 2001
Second half goals last night from Jimmy Haarhoff and Scott Ruscoe seal the points as City's new-look team, now under Steve Mungall's management, secured their first victory in eleven attempts with a 2-0 victory over Hereford United.

Steve Mungall's interview with Rob Ashcroft.

Both Gordon and Sam Hill's careers at Chester are over. It's believed both have left the club following a settlement deal agreed with chairman Steve Vaughan on Monday.

[Gordon Hill]Vaughan said: �Gordon Hill will be given a three-month leave period from the club on Friday while we look at his contract. I�m going to pay him off in full over the next couple of months. Gordon was finding it very difficult to continue as director of football after being demoted as first team manager, and I�ve given him a leave while I assess his contract. Gordon was in a very difficult position after I replaced him for Steve Mungall. Gordon tried his best as team manager, but couldn�t continue. I�ve also paid Sammy Hill�s contract up, and I�ve released him from Chester City. My decision has nothing to do with Sammy�s ability, it�s just that his dad was our manager and he found it very difficult to continue as a player at this club.�

Meanwhile in a parting shot Gordon Hill mentioned that the club will be reverting back to a blue and white kit: “The supporters have got their wishes, they've got rid of me and got rid of Terry Smith so they should shut up and support the club. The club will be going back to their old blue and white stripes, which is what the supporters have wanted, now I just hope they get behind their team. They have hounded me and I must admit it has affected me because it affected my family. I will not leave the youth set-up until it is all tidied up and then it will be a case of thank-you but no thank-you. I will walk and wish them all the very best – and I think the new owner Steve Vaughan knows that.”

[Blue Kit] BLUE KIT
City are expected to be playing in a new blue and white striped kit (pictured left) soon. The manufacturer will be the same as present, Italian company Virma, as they have a 12-month contract.

Chester have been drawn at home to either Stalybridge Celtic or Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the FA Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup. No date has yet been arranged for the tie.

Chester City Supporters Club are running a coach to Saturday�s match at Morecambe. Places are still available and can be reserved by ringing Barrie Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between 18:00 and 20:00hrs. Seats on the bus will cost £8, and the bus will leave at 12 noon.

Lord Raymond Edward Baxter, a friend of Steve Vaughan's and father of new City player Brett, has been appointed as a director at Chester City. Manchester born Baxter joins Chester after establishing household textile retail and manufacturing businesses. Until recently he was heavily involved at Chadderton FC where he subsequently became chairman and then president of the club's youth section. He lives on a 19-acre farm on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border.
9 October 2001
City entertain Hereford United tonight in the Conference, with the players looking to impress caretaker manager Steve Mungall in his first match in charge after taking over from Gordon Hill. Despite suffering six defeats on the run, the club will be expecting a higher than average crowd, with many fans making their first home trip of the season for the match which kick's-off at 19:45hrs. Contrary to reports, both David Kerr and Sam Hill are available following a one match suspension should they be picked for the squad.

Ex-manager Gordon Hill has been charged by the Football Association for misconduct following remarks made to the referee after the recent 2-1 defeat at Scarborough. Hill has 14 days to answer.

8 October 2001
Steve Mungall has taken over in charge of the first team at Chester, the position is as a caretaker-manager role and began with a first team training session this morning. Mungall is the club's sixth manager since the start of the 1999-2000 season.

Following a one hour discussion between Steve Vaughan and Gordon Hill on Saturday night, Director of Football Hill has reverted back to his role with the Youth Team at the Deva. Chairman Vaughan said: “I've done what the fans have wanted. I got rid of Terry for them and on Saturday they were calling for Gordon's head, so I have made a change there too. What I need now is for the fans to really get behind the team. The only way we are going to move forward is if we can get more fans through the turnstiles the club is losing £25,000 per month.”

The manager's job will be advertised and Vaughan is in a hurry to fill the role. “The decision on the manager�s appointment will be made to satisfy the club and the supporters, and I'll be leaving the door open for applicants, including Graham Barrow. But there's no time to mess around, I'd like a permanent manager to be appointed within the next fortnight. The phone won�t stop from today because the job on offer is one of the biggest in non-league football. We�ve got the best set-up and support base, and the people of Chester deserve better. I'm expecting a lot of applicants.” One of the favourites to fill the post will be ex-Chester player Owen Brown who was manager at Barrow with Vaughan.

Steve Mungall
Born: 22.5.58 at Bellshill, Scotland
Playing career:
Chappenhall (1.6.75 – 1.1.76),
Motherwell (1.1.76 – 3.7.79) Appearances 39+9 Goals 0
Tranmere Rovers (3.7.79 – 31.5.97) Appearances 582+40 Goals 17

7 October 2001
Yesterday's thumping 3-0 home defeat at the hands of part-timers Margate has left City at the foot of the Conference table. Chester only managed three shots on target all match, and with four new players drafted in looked completely out of sorts. The crowd of 828 was the highest home gate of the season, and not bad considering the England match distraction, but it's going to take a monumental change on the pitch to persuade the hundreds of City fans who've stayed away to come back and watch the struggling Blues.
5 October 2001
City will play Rushden & Diamonds at Nene Park on Tuesday 13 November for the Nationwide Championship Shield. The game kick's-off at 19:45hrs. This annual fixture is played between the Conference champions and Conference cup winners.

Chester's record appearance holder, Ray Gill, died in Rochdale on September 17th. He was 76. Chas Sumner looks back on Gill's career.

The injuries are piling up at the Deva. Chris Malkin (calf), Dean Spink (ankle), Carl Ruffer (knee) and Chris Blackburn (hamstring) are all out of tomorrow's home clash with Margate, as are the suspended David Kerr and Sam Hill. Mexican trialist Carlos Lopez has been released by the club, while David Kerr and Jimmy Haarhoff have been offered loan spells at Droylsden.
Chester have signed four new players before tomorrow's match with Margate (kick-off 15:00hrs). They are:
Brett Baxter a midfielder from Accrington Stanley who has made 74 appearances for Stanley scoring five goals. Was previously an apprentice at Tranmere Rovers.
Mick O'Brien who has signed to the end of the season. O'Brien is a former Everton youth team captain and nearly signed for City before joining Torquay United a couple of seasons ago.
Chris O'Brien has signed on a three month loan deal from Liverpool. O'Brien (no relation to Mick), an England youth international, plays in midfield. Liverpool have agreed to pay half of his wages for the duration of the loan.
Steve Halford an ex-Bury centre back has also signed.

3 October 2001

New chairman Steve Vaughan's reaction at seeing his first City match last night was: �We have some poor players, and I�m going to do something about it.” The chairman has faxed Barnet to ask for their valuation on experienced midfielder John Doolan. �John�s from Liverpool and he�s a commanding player and we need players like that because on the evidence of last night we haven�t got a spine in our team.” said the chairman. Vaughan has also stated the club are after a six-footer centre forward to help take the pressure off Mark Beesley. Scarborough's 96th minute winner last night condemned City to their lowest ever league position, joint-bottom, and new faces are expected to be in the side for Saturday's visit of Margate. The club have twice tried to bring forward the kick-off to prevent a clash with the England World Cup qualifier but that would mean an overnight stop for Margate, so the 15:00hrs start goes ahead. Children under the age of 16 will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult.

2 October 2001

Former chairman Terry Smith has issued a writ with no less than 22 claims against the Football League and the Football Association. He's claiming a whopping £6m stating that he was allegedly sold Chester City under false pretences, as he believes previous chairman Mark Guterman should not have been in office after being disqualified, for a short while, as a director. Another of the writs claims £1m from the League and FA for 'not governing fair competition and allowing corruption within the game to decide winning teams and relegation from the Football League.'

Boxing promoter Steve Vaughan has taken the reins at the Deva Stadium and we hope we've finally seen the back of Terry Smith. But the future of the club is still unclear. At our recent Exiles AGM it was agreed to arrange monthly social meets and this week is the perfect opportunity. We'll get together from 18.30 onwards on Thursday 4 October at our regular venue, The Windmill, Mill Street, London, WC1 (five minutes walk from Oxford Circus). There'll be no agenda, but it'll be the best way to pick up all the news and gossip from the club.

1 October 2001

The club have announced that all players currently on the transfer list at the Deva have been taken off it, those who still want to leave can. �Everyone is being given the chance to make their place in the side their own. We�re also going to sort out a deal with the club�s immediate creditors while there will be a fans forum � in the bar at the ground � sometime next week. Steve wants a week at the club first to plan the future. But there will definitely be a fans forum next week,� announced Lee Maloney, Vaughan�s long term business partner. It is also believed that manager Gordon Hill will be given a chance to haul City clear of the disastrous position they currently occupy.

Vaughan's takeover of the club will be viewed with caution from the fans. ISA chairman George Rogers stated: �If the guy is willing to work with the supporters and make the place a happy club again and give us something to cheer about, everybody will back him. We're waiting for him to say and do the right things.�

Steve Vaughan interview with Rob Ashcroft.

A fans forum next week is a good start. Supporters will no doubt use the occasion to make their feelings about Director of Football Gordon Hill known. Under Hill's management the side have slipped to one point from the bottom of the Conference, with just two wins all season and four successive defeats.

The latest defeat came at Stevenage on Saturday when the Blues lost 2-1 despite hold a half-time lead. City only named four substitutes on the bench with Jimmy Haarhoff, Darren Wright, Carl Ruffer and Chris Blackburn not travelling. Dave Linighan and Dave McNiven's are believed to have expired. Gordon Hill said after the game: �There is going to be changes and new players will be coming in. I�ve wanted to do that for weeks but been unable to.� He also went on to say that a deal had been struck between Stevenage and City for Chris Blackburn and the player �would never play for Chester again�. This appears to contradict information released last week that the player could not agree personal terms with Boro'.

[Bye, Bye]Outgoing chairman Terry Smith issued a statement at Friday's press conference, it read: �I accept the complete blame for this failure because the buck stops with me. But at least I was able to bridge the gap between what would have been definite liquidation and a bright future. I know Steve will lead the club to this bright future, and so at least I have given Chester City Football Club the opportunity to live to fight another day, and this is better for the supporters than having no club at all.

As hard as these two years have been upon myself and my family when I have had to read and hear so many lies told about me, and especially hard financially when I have put in every penny we had, £400,000 in total, to pay off the club debts and to keep the club going, there will be many memories that I will one day be able to look back upon and cherish.

I thank everyone in Chester whose thoughtful kindness and friendship brought about these fond memories for me, and I thank you for sharing your club and city with me for two years. I wish Chester City Football Club and Steve all the best, and I will be waiting every day for the moment that I will be able to sleep soundly and feel good again when I read that Steve has led you back into the Football League. I know that he will.�
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