Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

To all readers of the Chester City FC blog, all the very best for 2010, and enjoy the New Year celebrations wherever you may be!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Barrow game postponed due to heavy frost

Chester's last game of 2009 at home to Barrow has fallen foul of the weather.

An early pitch inspection confirmed that the playing surface was unplayable, and the game was called off, which means City will now go into the new year on minus points.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

City beaten at Aggborough

Chester's miserable season continued today at Kidderminster where they were defeated 2-0 by a side currently without their Manager, who departed last week.

City fell behind on 16 minutes, as Gavin Caines struck from close range, and doubled their lead towards the end of the game when Duane Courtney finished off the Blues spirited display.

City did register efforts at goal throughout the game, but were left to rue their finishing, and end up going into the final game of the year against Barrow at the Deva on Monday, on -3 points, and 25 points from safety.

City ready to face Harriers at Aggborough

The Blues are next in action today, when they take their troubles to Aggborough, home of Kidderminster Harriers.

The Harriers have just lost their boss Mark Yates to Cheltenham, leaving a job to be filled, and one that Chester manager Jim Harvey has been linked with, and as Harvey has confirmed he is not on a contract at City, that move could become a reality, but more than likely after the game on Saturday.

City are without striker Nick Chadwick, who would have missed last weekend's game at Rushden, had it not been called off.

That Rushden game has been re-arranged for Tuesday 9th March, whilst the abandoned game against Eastbourne Borough will now take place a week later on Tuesday 16th March.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

It's been a busy week, with no games!

In the last 10 days the drama has continued at Chester City, but with nothing happening on the field, following the cancellation of the Rushden game, thanks to the weather, although rather ironically, the players had refused to train all week thanks to non payment of wages.

They were actually threatening not to play the Rushden game on Saturday if they had not received their wages by Friday. As I understand it,. the youth team were paid their outstanding money towards the end of the week, although it's understood that the PFA were the ones making the payment, and not the club, so things haven't really changed from that point of view.

Well done to the PFA for looking after the youth of Chester City FC, it really does put the club to shame at present, especially as Stephen Vaughan boldly claimed that he could fund the club forever - apparently not Stephen, or at least you're not interested in funding the club forever - only your "other" interests remain funded.

I'm sure the situation at the Deva could be turned into a seriously good film, we've seen one already this year called "The Damned United", well this one could be called "The Shame of City", hold on, I can hear the phone ringing, maybe it's Steven Spielberg on the other end!

So, Chester head into the festive period sitiing on minus 3 points, and have failed to shake off the 25 points taken from them at the beginning of the season, can they get rid of the minuses before the turn of the year?

I've started now to turn my attentions to the Blue Square North, and see just what teams are to be found in that league, it has the likes of Telford, who rose from the ashes a few years ago, and I bet that they have not looked back since re-forming, something which Blues fans critical of any idea of a phoenix club should take note of.

It also has the likes of Droylsden, who Stephen Vaughan had links with of course, and many City players failing to make the grade at the Deva were sent there instead, well the two clubs could actually swap leagues in May.

A north west derby could also be on the cards as Northwich Victoria lie in this league too, and I'm sure many City fans would be happy with the short trek to the Vics.

There are about 12 away games that would be pretty localish, if you consider the outskirts of Manchester to be localish, so a good away following could be the order of the day.

So, that's it for now, in a really devastating year for City fans to endure, let's hope that the talk of new owners turns out to be true this time, and that Chester fans can get back their club in 2010, and also that the new owners get involved with CFU as together we can bring the club back to the football league.

Merry Christmas all, and hoping for a prosperous New Year!

Friday, 11 December 2009

City crash out of FA Trophy in latest low ebb

The last chance of a Cup run has well and truly deserted Chester City following their humiliating 1-0 defeat to Conference North side Fleetwood Town at the Deva Stadium.
Adam Warlow was the hero for the visitors, as the Fleetwood striker took advantage of a fumble from City keeper John Danby, to put the Lancashire side through to the next round, and leave Chester's season completely in tatters, and lose yet another source of income for the club in this wretched season.

Only 518 were in attendance at the Deva, with 110 from Fleetwood, meaning 408 Chester fans were watching tonight, a figure reminiscent of the 409 that attended the Moss Rose when Harry McNally was in charge against Bury, and worth remembering that Harry sadly passed away five years ago on Saturday 12th December - he would be absolutely fuming if he was here now witnessing what Chester fans are being put through.

Next up for City, is an away trip to Rushden & Diamonds next Saturday.

Blues get ready for visit of Fleetwood

Chester City are back in action tonight, as they put their Conference issues aside for a shot at FA Trophy glory, however, they’ll nee dto overcome a Fleetwood Town side first of all, in tonight’s re-arranged game.

The game was switched after the club asked the police to accommodate a switch due to a lack of stewards available, as Wrexham are at home on Saturday, and it’s often the case that stewards between the two clubs are shared.

City are likely to see the return of Assistant Manager, Tim Ryan, for tonight’s game, following his recovery from a virus – however, he will be a straight replacement for Kevin Roberts, who serves the first of his three match ban following last Saturday’s wrongful dismissal at home to Luton. Midfielder Adam Kay, may also be in contention for a place following his lay off thanks to a hamstring injury.

Neil Ashton, Michael Lea, and Rhys Meynell are all still missing through injury,

Fleetwood arrive at the Deva unimpressed that the game has been switched to the Friday night, claiming they will now receive a reduction in gate receipts, but had they refused to play on the Friday then they would have faced possible expulsion from the competition.

Town Manager, former Blackpool player Mickey Mellon, will be hoping his side can progress through to the next round at the expense of the Blues.

If the scores are level tonight, it’s likely the replay will take place on Thursday night at Highbury.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Blues kids grab draw against the Hatters

Chester's youngsters were thrown into battle against one of the pre season favourites for promotion back to the Football League, as they drew 0-0 at the Deva Stadium, and were extremely unlucky not to take all 3 points following a dreadful decision, not to award a penalty to City in the last minute.

James Owen was clearly brought down in the penalty area, however, the referee, who had a shocker of a game, refused to allow City a penalty, and denied the kids of Chester, a chance to grab a dramatic win.

Jack Rea was the star of the show in a great effort by the lads who had come through the now closed Centre of Excellence, closed by Stephen Vaughan following City's relegation from the Football League.

Rea, was everywhere on the pitch, and worked well with Jo Freeman, who was at right back, in a defence which contained Shaun Kelly who produced a mature performance at the heart of the defence.

The first indication of the officials' inept performance was the sending off of Kevin Roberts, who received a straight red, when it appeared he had made a perfectly good tackle on Matt Barnes-Homer- even the Luton forward was dismayed when he saw Roberts getting the red card.

There weren't many chances to be fair, and Chester certainly didn't look a player lighter, and so nearly stole it but for the refusal of a penalty late on.

Manager Jim Harvey, was delighted, "The lads have put everything in today, and should clearly have had a penalty, how he has not given that, I'll never know".

When asked about the events off the pitch this week, Harvey said "It's been a difficult week for the boys, something they should not have to be dealing with", an indication of the non payment of wages by the club.

Chester are next in action against Fleetwood in the FA Trophy, in a game that could be switched to Friday night on police advice.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

City allowed to continue following League decision

The Football Conference and Football League have allowed Chester City to continue their season in the Blue Square Premier League, following the withdrawal of their expulsion threat following an agreement that sees Chester City pay £36,600 to the footballing authorities.

Chester had owed close to £100, 000 but were also owed money by the Football League, and that was the main reason for the delay in agreement, Chester wanted their money, but the League wanted a payment from Chester to be made to the club's footballing creditors.

Here's the statement made by the Football Conference:

The Football Conference Limited issues the following statement in relation to Chester City FC, as of 3rd December 2009….

The Football Conference and the Football League have been working together to reach a decision over the release of discretionary payments in favour of Chester City FC, thereby retaining the integrity of both competitions and enabling legal undertakings and orders were met by the Club.

As part of a commitment made by Chester City FC towards settling these matters, Chester City FC agreed to make up any potential shortfall between the funding due and football creditors. The Club has, therefore, lodged a payment of £36,600 with the Football Conference. Upon clearance of such payment and release of that funding, the threat of expulsion from membership will be withdrawn.

Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference states: “Together with my fellow Directors and staff at the Football Conference; and with our other football partners, particularly the Football League and the PFA, everyone has worked tirelessly to save Chester City FC from expulsion. The Club’s recent history should send a warning signal to every club.

He added: “In anticipation a satisfactory conclusion will be reached, we are hopeful those who have supported the club through such difficult times, especially the fans on the terraces, appreciate the position we as a competition faced in dealing with this situation. We wish all those currently connected with Chester City FC will ensure the club deal promptly with all matters of financial prudence in the future and our combined efforts will not have been in vain.”

This now means that Chester City are back in action on Saturday, but the focus will surely be on owner Stephen vaughan Junior, on whether he is being influenced by his father, ex owner Stephen Vaughan.

Rumours are abound once again that the club has not paid its rent to the local council, and with wages due again in a couple of weeks time, the footballing authorities called be called in again before the year is out.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Blues go down to last minute defeat at Cambridge

Cambridge United completed the double over Chester City, but only just, following a last minute winner from striker Danny Crow, who headed past John Danby to claim the points for The U's.

Cambridge, led on the pitch by former Chester captain, Paul Carden, had struggled to get past a resilient City side, who had several chances in the first half, that really should have warranted more than the 0-0 scoreline at half time.

They were to pay for their misses too, as Robbie Wilmott's last minute cross found it's way to Crow who made no mistake and grabbed the points for the home side.

It means City now slide to 24 points from safety, with only 23 matches remaining, that's of course, if the club manage to avoid being kicked out of the League on Thursday.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

City's fate to be decided on Thursday

The future of Chester City Football Club will be decided on Thursday - the same day as the scheduled Legends Night event that over 20 ex-City players are due to attend City Fans United's first social evening.
Chester were due to hear their fate last night after the Football Conference and Football League met in Birmingham, but no decision was arrived at, other than to delay a decision until Thursday, which in turn allows City to take to the pitch against Cambridge United on Tuesday night.
The Football Conference issued the following statement:

The Football Conference confirm that positive discussions have continued today between themselves, the Football League and Chester City FC concerning the Club’s continued membership and participation in the Blue Square Premier.

We are able to report that the Football League is playing an active role in endeavours to ensure the Club is able to meet its financial commitments regarding their legal undertaking to settle with creditors which formed part of their requirement for membership in 2009/10, and which also incorporates payment to creditors which the Club has with the Football Conference.

To enable the Football League to provide maximum assistance in drawing matters to a satisfactory conclusion, Tuesday evening’s match (1st December) between Cambridge United and Chester City will proceed as scheduled.

The Football Conference will then convene an emergency Board meeting on Thursday 3rd December to receive a report from the joint deliberations between all parties, before discussing what further action may be necessary in light of the information provided, Following that meeting the Football Conference will issue a further statement.

So, it's onto Thursday then, and the big announcement!