| 31 March 1999
JONES LEAVES ON LOAN
Jon Jones has joined the League
of Wales champions Barry Town on a three month loan spell.
And the 20-year-old Wrexham-born striker scored in their
6-2 over Carmarthen Town last night. "I rang Gary
Barnett (Barry's manager) to see if he would like to
take Jon on loan," said Ratcliffe. "He's there
for three months and I want him to bang in a few goals
and get his confidence back." Meanwhile former youth
team skipper and first year pro Scott Thompson has joined
non-league Witton Albion. "I'm releasing Scott at
the end of the season and playing for Witton will do
him good." Currently at Witton is ex-City favourite
26 March 1999
RATCLIFFE HAPPY AT DEALS
Manager Kevin Ratcliffe has
declared himself satisfied with yesterday's transfer dealings
which saw one player leave and three join the Blues. All
three signings Conroy, Smeets and Fisher are in contention
for a place in City's starting line-up tomorrow as the
Blues take on Plymouth Argyle (3pm).
obviously disappointed to lose Alex because I feel he
was worth more than £75,000. But I knew I had
to sell and at least it was just one player and not
three. I went home last night a happy man and I'm looking
forward to picking a nice team and a nice bench for
tomorrow's game.” said the City manager.
With just one goal in four games,
the Blues will be looking to improve on where they
left off at Shrewsbury last week where they did everything
but score on a frustrating afternoon.
Children will be allowed in for
a cut-price £1.00 tomorrow in the Football League's
'Quid for a Kid' incentive. Fans taking up the offer
should use turnstile 6 in the West Stand.
25 March 1999
ALEX SMITH SOLD CONROY
Winger Alex Smith has joined
Port Vale today for a fee of £75,000. City will
receive a further £10,000 if Vale avoid relegation.
The Valiants have also agreed to play a pre-season friendly
match at the Deva. More players may follow this afternoon.
It's an impossible situation for manager Kevin Ratcliffe
who has been forced to sell with the proposed consortium
take over dragging on and on. If a deal to buy the club
is close you wonder why City are having to sell at this
stage with just weeks to go until the end of the season.
Mick Conroy has signed on loan today from Blackpool
untill the end of the season along with Jorg Smeets
(left) from Wigan Athletic. Smeets, a midfielder who
normally plays behind the front two strikers, signed
for Wigan from Dutch club Heracles for £100,000
in October 1997. He also has the smallest feet in the
League, boot size 4½ not a lot of people
know that. He becomes City's first foreign import since
Canadian striker Geoff Aunger in 1994. Neil Fisher
has also returned on a non-contract basis for the remaining
games of the season.
"In administration, you
cannot sign anyone to a long contract anyway so for
me to offer anyone a contract longer than to the
end of the season would be breaking the rules".
24 March 1999
OFFERS FOR MURPHY
Kevin Ratcliffe has revealed
that he's turned down £40,000 and a £50,000
bids for striker John Murphy, whilst also revealing that
a club in a higher division is also interested. "I
don't have a valuation for Murph but I said no to both
bids. I didn't barter either so it's up to them to come
back to me. I don't know if they will but on transfer
deadline day some of these deals go right up to the wire."
22 March 1999
CRUCIAL WEEK FOR CITY
Administrator David Acland has warned than unless
the club is sold this week them players must be sold. The mystery north
west based consortium attended Saturdays fixture at Shrewsbury and Acland
is still positive about closing a deal this week. This Thursday is transfer
deadline day and manager Kevin Ratcliffe commented: "I've had a few
tentative inquiries but no bids as of yet, I know there were a few scouts
there on Saturday but they go to every game. We sold Matt McKay 12 months
ago but we'd been working on that deal for a month it was something we
had up our sleeve. It's just a case of wait and see for me at the moment,
I've always been hopeful and always been positive about the sale of the
club but I also know that we might have to sell players."
Former manager Harry McNally is the guest speaker
at the next ISA general meeting to be held on Monday 29 March at the Royal
Mail Club, 19:30 start.
19 March 1999
SMITH SET FOR RETURN
Alex Smith looks set to return to the
first team at Shrewsbury tomorrow after coming through Wednesday's
reserve match against Carlisle United (1-1) unscathed. However Chris
Priest didn't play in that game and looks uncertain to be included
in the City squad. Ex Chester player Spencer Whelan isn't likely
to play against his former team-mates after tearing his hamstring
in the first half of Saturday's goal-less draw at Brentford.
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR DOUGHTY
It's now confirmed that Matt Doughty won't
be eligible to play in the Wales under 18 squad.
17 March 1999
INJURED DUO IN RESERVES
Both Alex Smith and Chris Priest are expected
to play for City reserves this afternoon against Carlisle at the
Deva (2pm). Both have missed the last few games through injury and
fans will be hoping for their first-team return at Shrewsbury on
Saturday. City, as everyone knows, have never won at Gay Meadow and
will be without last seasons scorer there Matt Woods who is suspended.
16 March 1999
CALL UP FOR YOUNGSTERS
Congratulations to two of City's
youngsters who have been called up to the Welsh youth squad. Midfielder
Darren Moss and defender Matt Doughty have been selected for the
Welsh under-18 squad who are playing in an international youth tournament
in Italy in April.
12 March 1999
TOUGH GAME FOR CITY
Following the disappointing defeat at
the Deva on Tuesday, City look to bounce back against Scunthorpe
United tomorrow. Chester welcome back full back Ross Davidson but
Chris Priest and Alex Smith again miss out though injury, and a thigh
strain looks likely to keep Shaun Reid sidelined. Ratcliffe may decide
to keep the same three centre back formation from Tuesday against
a lively Scunthorpe attack led by 15 goal man Jamie Forrester. Children
will again be allowed in for a cut-price £2 in the West Stand
9 March 1999
CITY FANS DIG DEEP
Nearly £6,000 was raised at last
night's very successful ISA Auction of Promises. The top price on
the night £430 was paid for Grenville Millington's 1974-75
goalkeepers shirt from our famous League Cup run, followed by a champagne
flight on the Duke of Westminster's private jet (£350).
4 March 1999
TOUGH TASK FOR CITY
Chester take on league leaders Cardiff City
at Ninian Park tomorrow night for what's going to be one of their toughest
games of the season. The Bluebirds have already put six past us without
reply in the FA Cup back in November though their form has dipped a little
of late. Defender Andy Crosby looks like being available following his
injury last Saturday and defender Matt Woods is expected to play despite
chipping a bone in his foot. Chris Priest and Alex Smith are definitely
ruled out with groin injuries and Shaun Reid is still suspended. For those
who can't get to the game, Radio 5 Live (909/693MW) is running live second
3 March 1999
ACLAND PLEA TO FANS
Administrator David Acland has appealed to City
fans to turn out in force for next Tuesday's home match with Scarborough.
Acland, who is currently negotiating a deal with a north west consortium
to buy the club, has warned that he may be forced to sell players before
any deal has been struck. "We could be in a position next week when
we're back to square one and still looking for a buyer. The work of the
ISA has helped the club as much as the sale of Spencer Whelan and the money
from Sky," added Acland. "But the crowds have levelled out at
home recently and the more fans that turn up for Tuesday's game, the greater
the chance I've got of selling the club." Acland admitted that there
is still a lot of paper work to be done and any deal won't take place for
at least a week. "If things don't go through then I'll have to look
at the contingency plan and that may mean selling players," said Acland.
2 March 1999
BUYERS UP THE OFFER
It was reported by Simon Harris on Radio5 Live
this morning that the consortium of north west businessmen who are currently
in negotiation for the football club upped their offer yesterday afternoon
and have put in a "substantial" bid for the club. Administrator
David Acland has also stated that they have an "impressive" amount
of money to invest in the club. The takeover is currently being monitored
by the Football League but it looks like things are now moving quickly.
News was first broken by BBC Radio Merseyside.
David Acland spoke at last night's packed-out
ISA meeting in Chester. He mentioned that a revised offer had been sent
by fax yesterday afternoon (the offer mentioned on the radio) and that
the amounts were agreeable in what the creditors would receive, and what
they would put in to running the club should they be successful. He said
that for the first time he would be prepared to go on record as saying
that he was hopeful that a deal would be reached, probably before the weekend.
Acland also said that he had beaten his cash flow forecast given to the
judge in November by £90,000, and that had allowed the club to continue
trading as long as it had. He stated that this was down to 3 parties, Spencer
Whelan (the sale of), Sky TV (live match money) and the ISA. He said that
this was probably in equal part, and he said that Sky TV paid the club £35k
to screen the Brighton game. He said that should give people an idea of
how much financial difference the ISA had made to the club.
1 March 1999
KERR JOINS SHREWSBURY
Kerr (left), Chester City's Football In The Community
officer and School of Excellence chief has left City for
Shrewsbury Town where he is to run a similar scheme.
Kerr, who has been with the club for nine years has worked
wonders with David Fogg in developing the youth set up
at the Deva the benefits of which we are now seeing
with Martyn Lancaster and Andy Shelton regularly lining
up for the Blues.
Kerr's departure means a step up for midfielder Shaun
Reid who has been appointed player coach and will work
alongside David Fogg at the thriving School of Excellence.
There is also a change for Fogg who becomes the School
of Excellence Director as well as youth team coach.
Reid will take charge of the School of Excellence once
he has got his UEFA coaching badges. He's currently on a UEFA coaching
“It's something I've been
looking to go into but I wasn't expecting it to happen
right now.” added Reid. “It came right out
of the blue when Kev called me in for a chat during
our stay in Torquay. I was delighted. I'm working with
Dave Fogg who is a Premier League standard youth coach
while Kevin Ratcliffe is one of the best managers in
the lower divisions. I've got the right people around
me and we got off to a winning start we beat Hartlepool
3-2 on Saturday morning!. I rang (brother) Peter up
after Kev offered me the job and he said take it.”