| 28 September
NEW OWNER REVEALED
It's been revealed this lunchtime
that the club has been sold to Liverpool businessman
Steve Vaughan and his company Vaughan Promotions
Ltd. The deal was settled last night after just four
days secret talks.
Vaughan is a boxing promoter
in Liverpool and has been chairman of Unibond side
Barrow in the past and. His dealings at Barrow
are well documented and to get an insight of his
time there visit the Barrow fanzine website Give
'Em Beans. then <new readers / beginners
guide / season 1999 story>, the Barrow
FC website, or check out The
Road To Oblivion FC article.
Vaughan has bought Smith's 98%
shareholding in the company and has stated that
he wanted to “stabilise the club and then take
us back into the Football League”. A confidentiality
clause prevents the cost of the deal being revealed
but the Non-League paper believes that a sum of
around £400,000 was involved.
Issue 67 of the Non-League
Paper (1/7/01) ran a two page article on Vaughan,
here's an extract: Vaughan resigned as chairman of
Barrow in November 1998. A three-day trial at Leeds
High Court Chancery Section next January will decide
the fate of the club which then traded as Barrow
FC, 1901, a company now in liquidation. Vaughan is
the largest creditor, with an agreed debt of £269,000
and a further £20,000 in dispute. Vaughan thinks
he will become the owner of Barrow's Holker Street
ground after the hearing. I'm saying to anyone
in Cumbria that it's my intention to come back and
purchase that place. I'll lease it back to the club
and they can play football at Holker Street. Vaughan
is currently on the board of Unibond Premier League
side Droylsden, where friend Dave Pace is chairman
and recently offered £10,000 for City 'keeper
Vaughan's business partner Lee Maloney said: “We’re going to make a new
start and we need people to come back through the turnstiles. It’s no secret
that we can’t possibly go forward without the backing of the City supporters.
We don’t want to get bogged down in politics of the past. We’re the new
owners with new ideas, and we’re making a fresh start and we’re going to
wipe the slate clean. I can assure Chester City FC fans that we have made
a complete purchase of all Terry Smith’s shareholdings. This deal represents
Terry Smith’s departure from Chester City FC in all forms. Terry will be
paying wages at the club until the end of September, but Vaughan Promotions
Ltd will take complete control from October 1. The whole club will come
under review during the initial period of our takeover, but that’s not
to say anyone’s position at the club is effected.”
27 September 2001
BARROW JOINS SHAKERS
Former Chester manager Graham Barrow has signed
on as a coach at Bury until the end of the season. Barrow will cover
for Billy Ayre who is unable to resume his coaching duties as he
battles with cancer, he will also assist manager Andy Preece. Barrow
said: I spoke to the chairman Terry Robinson and I'm going
to go in and see what happens.
ROSS TAKES ACTION
The Evening Leader states that Chester City Supporters
Trust chairman Graham Ross has today taken action against a player exodus
from the Deva Stadium. Ross reacted angrily to the news that Chester had
agreed a £5,000 transfer fee with Stevenage Borough for City midfielder
Chris Blackburn. Ross said: “Chris Blackburn is valued at far more than £5,000,
and Chester City know it. I’m going to contact Stevenage with advice I’ve
received from a barrister about clubs who pay a fee for an under-valued
player, and I’ll also remind Stevenage about Chester City’s current position.
There’s a definite link between the Chris Blackburn story and the information
I’ve received which has been posted to Chester City Council’s legal department.
The Chester City Supporters Trust is currently seeking a private meeting
with Chester City Council and it’s legal advisers in order that council
members are fully informed, and in order that the decisions they take are
the best ones for supporters and for the city of Chester.”
Meanwhile the Football Association will reveal details of their investigations
at Chester City FC within the next month. An FA spokesman said today: “Our
investigations are continuing, and we should be in a position to provide
news within the next three or four weeks.”
26 September 2001
BLACKIE FOR STEVENAGE?
to the Evening Leader the club have agreed a measly £5,000 fee from
Stevenage Borough for promising 19-year-old midfielder Chris Blackburn.
Blackburn, who played 48 matches, scoring six goals for Chester in his
first full season under Graham Barrow had been watched by Coventry and
Southampton last season but City appear desperate to sell. Stevenage will
be getting a bargain, fans would have expected Blackburn to sell for more
than ten times the amount offered.
Blackburn's agent Mick Walsh said earlier in the week: At least three
Conference clubs and a third division side have all shown interest in Chris,
I'm expecting one of the clubs to table an offer. Chris was very disappointed
about being recalled from a loan spell at Rochdale because of Scott Ruscoe's
suspension for Chester's match against Boston. But Chris is a professional
and he's been doing what has been asked of him, which is exactly what I'd
It's since been reported that the proposed move has fallen through as personal
terms could not be agreed.
24 September 2001
The following advertisement was placed in the
Situations Vacant section of yesterday's edition of the Sport First newspaper.
In the programme notes for the Kingstonian match on 26 April, it was stated
that the club 'will conduct a nationwide scouting and player trial system
at various locations throughout the Country, and the best available players
will be signed by Chester City', so here it is!
CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
The World Football Scouting Bureau Is
Calling All Football Players
The World Football Scouting Bureau is holding
Player Evaluation Camps throughout Great Britain in the search
for football players to play professionally in England, Wales,
Scotland, America and Europe.
All players who have aspirations of professional
football careers, whether they have been released by their
professional clubs, or they have not yet made it to a professional
club in their career, or they would like to progress their
current professional playing careers, are invited to attend.
All players will be measured and evaluated
on athletic ability, playing ability, intelligence tests
and tactical knowledge. Players who reach Qualifying Levels
will be circulated to interested football clubs throughout
Player Evaluation Camps will be held in
the Midlands and in the Northwest on the weekend of September
To register for a Player Camp, then telephone
World Football on 01928 725787
Terry Smith commented: The advert has
nothing to do with Chester City Football Club. I don't actually know
why the club was mentioned in the advert but Chester may be
used as a testing site. Different clubs will be utilised for testing
venues, but it has nothing to do with Chester City FC. I am just
here answering the phone, but I don't have anything to say about
it there's not a story, and there's no connection between
the scouting bureau and Chester City FC. I've sold my shares in Chester,
as I stated a few weeks ago. My position hasn't changed since then.
There is an open meeting for all Chester
City supporters tonight. It will will be held at the Royal Mail Club,
Station Road, Chester and starts at 19:30hrs. All supporters are
urged to attend this crisis meeting called to discuss the latest
goings on at the Deva Stadium.
Sam Hill's booking on Saturday was his
fifth in eleven games and he will now receive a one match ban and
therefore miss the home game with Margate on 6 October. Midfielder
David Kerr also misses the match for the same reasons.
Three outfit Southend United are interested in signing City's top
scorer Mark Beesley. United sent a scout to watch Beesley at Saturday's
game with Dagenham and are expected to table an offer for the striker.
Southend boss David Webb said: I sent someone up to watch Beesley
and he was impressed by the number of good positions the player found,
and I have been impressed by his strike-rate. The scout told me that
Beesley reminded him of former Southend player David Crown. I've
spoken to Gordon Hill about the possibility of Beesley being transferred
to Roots Hall, so now we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Gordon Hill commented: I've spoken to Dave Webb who is a good friend
of mine he rang me to ask what players had been transfer listed.
I obviously value Mark quite highly in the market place because he's the
only one in my team looking to score goals at the moment, and he's done
very well. I've been told to reduce my budget by fifty per cent, and that's
why my senior players have all been transfer-listed. I'll allow Wayne Brown
to speak to Droylsden (who've offered £10,000), but I've also been
on the phone to Oxford United, Blackpool and Shrewsbury Town to talk to
clubs about different players we've circulated them about.
21 September 2001
GMR RADIO FORUM
For those in the catchment area, tonight
at 19:30hrs there is a Fans Forum radio programme on Greater Manchester
Radio which is being broadcast from Altrincham FC. The panel includes
former City manager Graham Barrow as well as former player, and now
Stalybridge manager Paul Futcher. GMR is on FM95.1 and 104.6.
Conference leaders Dagenham & Redbridge
visit the Deva Stadium tomorrow as City attempt to pick up their
first win of the month at the seventh attempt, Dean Spink and Chris
Malkin return to the squad. "Everything's going for the leaders at
the moment, but I'll have my side firing on all cylinders." said
FORMER PLAYER DIES
Chester player Ronnie Hewitt has died at the age of 73.
Hewitt made 31 appearances for Chester
between 1961-63 scoring 6 goals.
ISA secretary Les Smith has written two
articles on the current crisis at Chester City in response to a request
from a Rushden & Diamonds fanzine 'Rushin & Rantin'. Descent
into Chaos and Terry
Smith FC 2001-?.
20 September 2001
Tonight there is a radio Merseyside soccer
phone-in during the Alan Jackson programme between 19:00-21:00hrs.
With the club expected to be put into administration (again) in the
next few days, this is a great opportunity for City fans to air their
views on the shambles at the Deva Stadium. Radio Merseyside can be
found at 95.8FM and the phone number to ring for the programme is
0151 709 9333.
CHESHIRE SENIOR CUP
Chester play host tonight to Congleton
Town in the first round of the FA Umbro Cheshire Senior Cup.
CITY SWEPT ASIDE, AGAIN
Once again Gordon 'tactical genious' Hill's
City were brushed aside by part-time opposition as they lost 3-0
to a depleted Leigh RMI, who leapfrogged Chester in the process.
It's patently clear that only a handful of the side are up to Conference
standard football, the rest clearly aren't. It's six games now without
a win for City, and, with two tough fixtures against Dagenham and
Stevenage next up the slide into the Conference relegation zone looks
Prior to the match one player had told radio Merseyside's Neil Turner that
some of the players had been asked to take a 50% pay-cut, and that seven
players have been told that they've been placed on the transfer list. Andy
Porter was offered to Hereford United but refused to move as he didn't
want to travel too far from his Holmes Chapel home.
The players on the transfer list, all senior ones, are Mark Beesley, Chris
Blackburn, Wayne Brown, David Kerr, Martyn Lancaster, Andy Porter and Carl
Porter said: “I was placed on the transfer list in the summer without being
told, and I was again transfer-listed about a month ago, before being told
again yesterday. The club is in one big mess at the moment and something
has to happen sooner rather than later. The lads were told they were transfer-listed
as a cost-cutting exercise before last night’s match after agents representing
other clubs had been asking about them. It wasn’t the best preparation
for last night’s match we should have been told after the game,
but everything was out in the open well before we kicked off. Porter, who
lives at Holmes Chapel, revealed Hereford United had shown an interest
in him a few weeks ago. He added: I can go on a free transfer. Hereford
were interested in me a few weeks ago, but I’ll wait until the right club
comes in for me because I don’t fancy a lot of travelling. I enjoy helping
my dad in his farming and hedge-cutting business on Sundays, afternoons
and during my days off because I like being outside. Everyone was shocked
by yesterday’s announcement, but we still don’t know whether the club has
been sold after being told it has. Something has got to happen very soon
otherwise we’ll see the club shut down.”
Gordon Hill commented: "The sales are purely for financial reasons. The
powers that be have said this needs to be done, or we'd have no club, and
obviously it depletes the squad rapidly. The players going are shocked
and taken aback, but we've got to consolidate. I'll be putting a side out
that gives 100%. Look at Hull, they closed the gates on the training ground
to Brian Little last season, but now they've gone out and spent £800,000.
Football can change quickly."
18 September 2001
HOME DEFEAT FOR CITY
City's 2-1 home defeat by Boston United on Saturday
drops them to 16th spot in the Conference with nine points from nine games.
New signing David McNiven made a promising debut for the Blues but they
were once again found wanting in midfield where the experienced Mike Marsh
was allowed to run the game for the visitors. Chester have now failed to
win in any of their five matches in September but have a chance to make
amends tomorrow night when they make the short trip for a Conference match
at Leigh RMI, who produced the result of the day on Saturday, winning 1-0
at leaders Dagenham & Redbridge. City's Youth Team also lost on Saturday,
2-0 at Lincoln City.
14 September 2001
CITY THROWN OUT OF TROPHY
The football club have been thrown out of this seasons
LDV Vans Trophy because the current Deva Stadium capacity of 4,000 isn't
up to the Football League requirement of a minimum 6,000. City qualified
for the competition after they won last season's Nationwide Variety Club
Trophy. Chester's place in the competition will go to Leigh RMI.
Midfielder Scott Ruscoe is out of tomorrow's
home clash with high-flying Boston United through suspension following
his red card at Barnet. Striker Chris Malkin is also out through injury.
Meanwhile David Linighan and David McNiven (York City) have both signed
short-term contracts with City and Chris Blackburn has been recalled from
a loan spell at Rochdale. The club can expect a larger than average away
following tomorrow from Lincolnshire which may take City over their average
home gate so far of just 703.
13 September 2001
COUNCIL TAKE ACTION AGAINST CLUB
Chester City Council have taken action against
the club in a court case after claims that the unauthorised sale
of televisions and cars took place at Deva Stadium. A spokesman for
the City Council said: It is unfortunate that the City Council
has had to take action against the football club but in the circumstances
where a tenant is prepared to ignore the terms of their agreement
we have no choice in the matter. We are aware that the club want
to undertake other events at the stadium but without the agreement
of the developer Morrison, who guarantee the current rent, this has
not proved possible at the current time. The hearing has been
adjourned and no date has been fixed yet.
STRIKER ON LOAN?
Chester are looking to take 23-year-old Cambridge
United striker Leon Kelly on loan in an effort to boost their goalscoring
potential, which currently appears to be restricted to just Mark
Beesley. Kelly recently signed for Cambridge and the club are looking
to give the 5' 11" striker a run out.
Good luck to former assistant manager Paul Beesley
who has signed for League of Ireland club Kilkenny.
11 September 2001
According to radio Merseyside last night, Terry
Smith stated that he had sold his shares in the football club to an "international
sports and leisure company" but there were two conditions involving
the new deal. The first is that at least 1,200 turn up for tonight's match
with Stalybridge and the same for Saturday's home game with Boston United!
The second condition involves the City council reducing the rent on the
ground. Does Terry Smith think we were all born yesterday! At this rate
we're going to get a 'club sold' statement two days before every home game
in an effort to con the fans back, it just won't work, the fans have be
told too many lies over recent months. Why won't the new buyers, if indeed
they exist, name themselves then we'll all have some belief that things
are really happening. Any new buyer will be only too aware of the problems
at Chester, why aren't they speaking to fans groups? what have they got
RACE NIGHT SUCCESS
Thanks to all those at the ISA who organised
and to those who attended Friday night's Race Night. Just over £600
was raised which, along with a Football League donation, will take
care of at least half of the Chester City Ladies FC travel expenses
this season. If all goes to plan the girls will be having another
race night toward the end of the season watch this space.
10 September 2001
BLUES SNATCH POINT
How Chester managed to come away from the Amita
Stadium with a point on Saturday will still mystify most of those present.
Mark Beesley's 92nd minute equaliser was hardly deserved as City turned
in one of their poorest performances for a very long time. For long periods
of the match City were second best to their part-time opponents who were
playing in the Ryman Premier League last season and, but for an astonishing
miss on half-time by Vansittart, would have wrapped things up at the break.
City will be looking far major improvement for tomorrow night's visit of
Paul Futcher's Stalybridge Celtic side to the Deva, a side which should
include former player Matt Woods.
7 September 2001
Quite a few strong stories are doing the
rounds this morning reporting that the club has been sold to an international
company and, wait for it, the Smith's will sever all links with Chester
City FC very shortly. We've heard all this before of course, over
and over again, but the latest story is now being widely reported.
Meanwhile Wayne Brown and Chris Blackburn have been placed on the
transfer list and the club have signed trialist goalkeeper Michael
Berocchi. "We have put him through his paces and he looks the
part. I would have no hesitation in playing him tomorrow if Brown
was sold," said Gordon Hill. It's since been reported that Berocchi
has returned to France with an injured foot. Defender Dave Linighan
has also joined Chester City on trial, he's previously played for
Hartlepool United, Derby County, Shrewsbury Town, Ipswich Town, Blackpool
There will be an official supporters' coach
to Farnborough leaving Delamere Street at 08:30hrs tomorrow. Although
there are only 28 fans booked the shortfall in the cost of coach
hire will be met by the organisers. Late bookings can be made with
Barrie Hipkiss on 01244 379011 (calls between 18:00-20:00hrs please).
The cost of the trip is £15.
City's Youth Team are at home to Port Vale tomorrow
in the first round of the Youth Alliance Cup. The first round is played
as a mini league and the other teams involved in Chester's group are Walsall
and Shrewsbury Town.
6 September 2001
WAYNE SPEAKS OUT
Wayne Brown has spoken out at his frustration at not being able to get
away from Chester. City's Semi-pro international goalkeeper said "I'm
not too bothered about seeing my contract out at Chester, but I've been
unhappy about approaches for me being knocked back at the club. I know
Oxford manager Mark Wright made a bid for me and that would have been a
great move. I had negotiated wages with them but Chester kicked the move
out. I know a lot of clubs who would be happy to have me, but they won't
make a move for me because they don't like dealing with the people at Chester.
Blackpool are the latest club who have shown interest, and they invited
me to train with them. They would have taken me on a free transfer, but
Chester won't let me go because they want cash. It is frustrating to be
in my position and I've had three of four arguments with Gordon Hill in
the changing rooms, but that is normal at any football club. If Chester
get a new owner I may want to stay but I'm not interested in signing a
new contract as things stand, and I'm not interested in a move to Telford
United if they agree to let their keeper Ryan Price come to Chester."
5 September 2001
City's crowd of 605 last night was the club's
lowest League crowd in peacetime football since the 1920s. The previous
lowest League total was 631 who watched the home game with Reading forty
miles away at Moss Rose in March 1991.
City squandered a two goal lead given to them by Dean Spink and Scott Ruscoe
last night, and the 2-2 draw with Telford drops the Blues down to 17th
position in the Conference. Chester named trialist Michael Berocchi on
the bench as a substitute goalkeeper. Berocchie, 21, is at Chester after
playing for French side Lyons in pre-season, and he lined up for Rushden & Diamonds
4 September 2001
CITY IN ACTION
The Blues take on Telford United at the Deva
Stadium tonight (19:45hrs) hoping to improve on Saturday's performance
at Barnet. There's not much wrong on the pitch at City either if you believe
Chris Malkin. Speaking in the Shropshire Star he said: We're struggling
to deflect people's attention away from the problems of the club and on
to the pitch as we're trying to establish a good team spirit. We lost 3-1
at Barnet at the weekend, but that wasn't a true reflection of the game
and we'll be determined to bounce back against Telford. We've still got
quality players and have got to be a top eight or top six side this year.
There are signs we're starting to get things right on the pitch and, once
everything has settled down, we'll be looking to silence a few critics. Most
who travelled to Barnet will have a different opinion on the side that
looked anything but a top six or eight outfit.
3 September 2001
DEFEAT FOR CITY
Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Barnet leaves
Chester in 16th spot in the Conference with six points earned out
of a possible 15. Disciplinary matters are bad too with no fewer
that 13 yellow and 2 red cards in just five matches. Defender Michael
Rose will miss tomorrow's home match with Telford United through
suspension and Scott Ruscoe is expected to miss the home clash with
top-of-the-table Boston United on the 15th following his red card
at Underhill on Saturday.
YOUTH TEAM WIN AGAIN
City's Youth Team won a friendly 2-1 at
Telford United on Friday. The goals came from trialist's Levi Kennedy
and Otis Thomas.
SUPPORT THE LADIES
The Chester City Ladies are having a Grand
Race Night at the Catholic Club in Brook Street, Chester, on Friday
7th September (2 days before the long trip up to Chester-Le-Street).
The main reason of the event is to raise enough money to provide
transport for all of this seasons away fixtures (estimated cost will
be nearly £3,000). The event is being organised by the tireless
Mickey Clifford (ISA) who has worked tirelessly to get all the races
sponsored, the horses sold and jockeys found. Please help the Ladies
team in their cause in what promises to be a fun night out. The start
time is to be confirmed. Ladies
AWAY TRAVEL TO FARNBOROUGH
A supporters coach is being planned for
Chester’s first-ever match at Farnborough on Saturday, 8 September,
which will leave at 08.30hrs and cost £15. Anyone wanting to
book a seat on one of the buses being arranged should contact Barrie
Hipkiss on (01244) 379011 between 18:00 and 20.00hrs. The coach will
only run if there is sufficient demand.
|MIDFIELD DUO SIGN UP
George Glendon and fellow midfielder Declan Weeks have signed new contracts that keep them at the club until the end of next season.
|BLUES HELD AT BRADFORD
The Blues are denied victory by a goal in stoppage time as Bradford fight back to take a point from a pulsating game.
|Everything you need to know about the club’s history, honours, records and kits. Complete list of fixtures from 1885 and much more.
The Exiles have set up a blog to provide away match information and articles for Blues fans living away from Chester. You can read it here
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