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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2000
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CHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS TRUST

1 December 2000
PRESS STATEMENT
At a packed Chester Town Hall last night, over 200 people became the founder members of the newly formed Chester City Supporters Trust, set up to raise funds to acquire supporter shareholding or full ownership of Chester City Football Club. The speakers on the night included The Lord Mayor, Councillor Reggie Jones, who confirmed the City Council's full support for the Trust and its aims; Brian Lomax of the Government agency Supporters Direct; Kevin Jayquiss, solicitor of Cobbetts, who undertook the legal work for the Trust and who drew up the Model Rules for all supporter club trusts; and former players, Gary Talbot and Grenville Millington.

Trust Board member Richard Lynes explained to the meeting why they had not been able to meet the deadline given by Terry Smith to the Trust to reach an agreement to buy the club by the 28th November. Quite simply, as Terry Smith had been told, the Trust had no members prior to its launch on the 30th, and, therefore, the Board had, at that time, no mandate. In short it was impossible to come to an agreement until the Trust had been formally launched. However, the Trust Fund are confident that it will shortly be in a position to mandate members on possible negotiations.

Trust Chairman Graham Ross told the meeting that earlier that evening, in an interview on Granada Television, Terry Smith had stated that, in accordance with his present plans to sell shares to the public through the medium of a Plc, he would sell shares to the Trust. Graham Ross, therefore, explained that rather than supporters buying shares individually there would be much greater supporter influence in the running of the Club if those shares were aggregated under the banner of the Supporters Trust. In other words supporters were urged to buy through the Trust rather than directly, and thus creating a body of shareholding that will help to create an appropriate influence.

Graham Ross read out a letter of support from local MP Christine Russell and also a statement he had just received from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, Chris Smith MP, which said:-

“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. 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”.

The newly formed Board will be meeting in a few days to plan out the precise terms to be offered to all members to enable fund raising to commence so as to raise sufficient monies to be a player in the market for shares in or ownership of the Club.

Those wishing to join the Trust can apply to Chester City Supporters Trust, Hinderton Hall, Chester High Road, Neston, South Wirral CH64 7TS.

Graham Ross

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