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NEWS FROM DEVA STADIUM 2020

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MAY
24 May 2020
BOARD APPOINTMENT

City Fans United Board have co-opted Adam Langan to the board until the Annual General Meeting later this year. On joining the board, Adam said: “I am honoured and delighted to be joining the board in such a pivotal time for our club, I am excited to offer my skills to benefit the club I’ve supported for 20+years. I’m extremely excited to solidify the links between the council and the club and am extremely passionate about improving the stadiums facilities and the clubs infrastructure as these are the long term assets that if improved will enable us to compete at a higher level.”
16 May 2020
CLUB OUTLINE THEIR FIVE-YEAR VISION

The Football Club has produced a draft five-year strategic plan for their vision of the future of Chester FC. The club are urging all stakeholders and supporters, whether you’re a CFU member or not, to provide feedback on this before Monday 1 June.

The plan is based upon six strategic pillars which will enable the Club to achieve its ambitions:

Football Excellence
Membership and Fan Engagement
Better Facilities
People and Culture
Finance and Governance
Community

City Fans United Chairman Andrew Morris said: “The final strategic plan will reflect our shared vision and ambitions for the Club so the contribution of members and supporters is of vital importance. These are unprecedented times for football and all clubs are having to respond to overcome new challenges, but we believe our ownership model is an asset and means we are better placed than many to do this.”

You can read the five-year vision document, and take part in the important survey by clicking on the official website link here.

RETRO FUNDRAISER

The football club are producing a limited number of home retro shirts from the 1989/90 season – the last at Sealand Road, to raise funds for the Chester FC Community Trust and City Fans United. The shirt is being made by the original kit manufacturer Ribero.

The replica shirt is available in both adult and junior sizes, and on a pre-order basis. It costs £35.00 (plus £5.00 postage if needed). Orders are being taken until 31 May and delivery time is 4-6 weeks.

More details of sizes, payment and how to order can be found here.


12 May 2020
MURPHY ISSUES STATEMENT

Following on from today’s announcement that Stuart Murphy has withdrawn his take over offer of the club, the businessman has issued the following lengthy statement to the local media.

“Following developments over the weekend, I have reluctantly taken the decision to withdraw my offer to take over Chester FC.

It is almost two years since I agreed to support the club with a commitment to provide the board with a cash injection of £1m, to assist with infrastructure projects to ensure medium-term financial stability of the club.

My donation has gone mainly towards buying new players for the first team to help the club to remain competitive and get us closer to a Football League return, where I believe we rightfully belong.

It has become clear to me since I became involved with the club that the current model is unsustainable, which is why I have invested a great deal of time and money devising the 1885 Sporting Village.

This ambitious project, which includes redevelopment of the stadium and a host of attractions and leisure facilities, will benefit the wider community of Chester and will provide a steady and vital stream of revenue for the club beyond matchdays.

Clearly the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the landscape for football clubs large and small and it is a fair assumption that we are operating on the sharpest of knife edges.

With that in mind, I opened confidential talks with the Board just over a month ago to discuss the possibility of taking over Chester FC, and I fear that without my continued involvement, the club faces an uncertain future.

I was surprised to see that some of the details of our discussions have been shared with the media without prior warning and while talks are ongoing.

I was also surprised to have read comments from Chris Matheson MP this week suggesting that I have his support for a takeover. Our previous meetings regarding the 1885 proposal have been positive and supportive but at no time have I ever suggested that he backs my proposed takeover, which has only arisen over recent weeks.

In these unprecedented times, it is impossible to devise a cast-iron business plan for the club, but I have an experienced team supporting me and I believe we can overcome the challenges that the virus has caused.

However, I am not prepared to invest the significant sums required without having control to ensure that the funds are used wisely.

My priority is to ensure the future prosperity and competitiveness of the club and I believe I have the wherewithal to ensure this. I would be delighted to hear the Board’s plans for ensuring the funding is in place to sustain and grow our playing budget for next season and beyond.

I have shown my passion for our great club over the years and have additionally commemorated fine players such as Gary Talbot by additionally donating to name a stand after him.

In relation to the terms of the small outstanding invoice and contributions for some players, I am seeking clarification that the government’s CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) has already paid the players since March 24.

I want Chester FC to prosper, to remain competitive and to establish the club as a permanent fixture in the Football League. I am not interested in short-term quick fixes that will in any way endanger the club’s future.

Without my backing, I am not confident that the club can remain competitive and ensure no repeat of the calamitous problems it has encountered in the recent past.

If the Board expresses its willingness to revisit discussions about my proposals, I would be happy to discuss them in an open forum.

I believe that our supporters should have the right to decide for themselves whether my long-term commitment is right for the club.”
TAKEOVER OFFER IS CONSIDERED WITHDRAWN
City Fans United have today announced that they consider the move by businessman Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc) to takeover the club to have been withdrawn. CFU have issued the following statement:

“The Board of City Fans United can confirm we received notification from Stuart Murphy, on behalf of Exacta Plc, on Sunday 10th May advising his intention to end his association with the Club forthwith.

Therefore the Board wishes to advise members we consider Stuart’s approach to takeover the ownership of Chester FC to be withdrawn.

We can confirm that to date we have not received settlement of the outstanding financial commitments for the 2019/20 season, however we remain in discussion with Stuart regarding this matter.

Chester FC would like to place on record its appreciation to Stuart for his financial support and donations received since his association with the Club commenced in 2018 and we wish him well for the future.

The Board will provide further updates to members over the coming days and weeks, and is committed to fully engaging with the membership in developing a revised strategy to ensure we can overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to function sustainably and remain competitive when football returns as a 100% supporter-owned football club.”

7 May 2020
STUART MURPHY MAKES TAKEOVER MOVE

Businessman Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc) has approached the board to takeover the running and control of Chester Football Club, bringing to an end the supporter ownership. City Fans United have issued the following statement tonight:

“The Board of City Fans United wishes to advise the members that it has received an approach from Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc) to takeover the running and control of Chester Football Club.

This marks a sudden and radical change to the previously negotiated relationship between Stuart and the Club. If agreed, the approach would end supporter ownership.

As a democratic supporter-owned football club, any decision to change the ownership model can only be taken by the membership at an Extraordinary General Meeting attended by at least 50% of members and with at least 75% voting in favour. Before this can take place, the Board has a duty to assess such approaches and if there is a serious and credible offer, our members will decide the outcome as set out in our constitution.

As the custodians of Chester Football Club, acting on behalf of our CFU members and supporters, the Board has therefore asked Stuart to provide:

A detailed three-year business plan which can be shared with members.
Full settlement of outstanding financial commitments which remain outstanding for the 2019/20 season by Monday 11th May and an undertaking that future commitments for 2020/21 will be maintained as per agreements already in place.

This approach has been received during a time of unprecedented uncertainty for the game and the economy.

We believe the absolute priority for the Board and everyone involved in the Club should be to focus on ensuring that we can navigate through these immediate challenges together, alongside developing a longer-term sustainable strategy for the Club suited to the post-Covid-19 world.

We have asked Stuart to respect the wishes of the Board on this matter and work with us as we plan our forward strategy.

The Board understand how much owning your club means and how proud our members are as to what has been achieved over the past decade. As such we believe that due diligence and the highest levels of professionalism are essential in dealing with all aspects of this matter.

We can confirm to members that we have consulted and engaged with a range of Stakeholders including the Football Supporters’ Association and Chester FC Community Trust in our discussions as well as accessing legal advice.

The Board has again thanked Stuart for the support that he has given the Club but note that the timing of the takeover approach presents us with real challenges. Given the current lockdown restriction it is impossible to engage meaningfully with our membership in face-to-face discussion and deliberation about a potential change in ownership and the implications (positive and negative) that any change in the model would bring to the Club while social distancing measures remain in place.

The Board commits to update all members once the business plan and settlement of outstanding invoices has been received, and wishes to thank you for your continued support of the club during this difficult period.”<end>

In November Murphy announced ambitious plans for a multi-million pound sports village at the current Stadium, which he sponsors (1885 Arena). Those plane included developing the main stand at the ground, to include an increased capacity to 4,000, improved bar and VIP facilities, improved disability viewing platforms as well as a ‘40/50 bedroom’ hotel and spa.

He told members at a meeting prior to the last CFU AGM in November: “We want to have it ready by 2022 and it is going to cost a lot of money. Investors won’t be a problem, I will be one of them and I will be looking for four more people to put the same amount of money in that I am.”

“We don’t want to own a football club, we don’t want to run a football club, we want to provide an amazing sporting village that benefits the football club.”

HARRY SMITH 1930-2020

Chester FC are sorry to learn of the passing of former player Harry Smith who died in April at the age of 89. Harry made 73 league appearances for the club in the mid-1950s and also represented the reserves in the Cheshire County League on more than 100 occasions.

Obituary


4 May 2020
CFU UPDATE SUPPORTERS

City Fans United Board today issued a detailed statement to its members and supporters regarding the position of the club during the current coronavirus pandemic lockdown. It stated that while it was not possible to put an exact figure on the cost of the pandemic to the club, the cancellation of five home fixtures and several fundraising events mean that a potential £100,000 worth of revenue has been lost. During the period the club have also lost income from non-matchday related events such as Liverpool Women FC stadium venue hire, as well as end of season pitch hire and the Awards Evening.

The club state that they are due to receive around £13,000 which is the advanced annual solidarity payment from the Premier League for the 2020/21 season, this is being brought forward three months. The virtual matchday initiatives run over recent weekends have also raised £4,000. The club will be writing to Season Ticket Holders to outline options available.

The full statement, including further details on Fundraising and forthcoming Membership Renewal, can be viewed on the CFU website here.

3 May 2020
PLAYER OF THE SEASON

Joel Taylor was named CFU Player of the Season at Saturday’s end of season awards night. Taylor made 34+3 appearances for the Blues before the season was curtailed in March. The 23-year-old defender, who joined from Kidderminster Harriers in the summer of 2019, signed a new 18-month contract at Chester in February. The full list of award winners are:

CFU Player of the Season: Joel Taylor
Player’s Player of the Season: Bradley Jackson
Manager’s Player of the Season: Danny Livesey
Gary Talbot Golden Boot: Akwasi Asante
Goal of the Season: Gary Roberts (at Southport)
Top Speed: Bradley Jackson
Highest Average Distance: Simon Grand
Most Distance Covered: Antony Dudley
Most Assists: Bradley Jackson
Manager’s Recognition Award: Simon Grand



The awards took place via a players video link and can be viewed on the ChesterTV YouTube channel
here.

Joel Taylor picture Rick Matthews


1 May 2020
END OF SEASON AWARDS

Tomorrow night the football club are to host a lockdown End of Season Awards Night that will be broadcast on the clubs YouTube Channel. It will be hosted by joint managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson.The club will be sharing a recording of the occasion via Zoom at 20.00hrs utilising the YouTube Channel. Viewers can subscribe to Chester FC TV here.

The Player of the Season and Goal of the Season awards will be announced, along with a few other unusual awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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