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28 August 2009
Former City favourite Daryl Clare can expect a great reception when he returns to Deva Stadium tomorrow with his current side Mansfield Town. Clare joined City in October 2002 and his two year stay brought him a staggering 49 goals in just 60+7 appearances and with it a Conference Championship medal.

The Stags have had a good start to the campaign picking up 12 points from the opening five games that sees them sit second behind leaders Oxford United. City will once again be without Anthony Barry, injured in the opening game against Cambridge United and await on the fitness of two other defenders Glenn Rule and Shaun Kelly who were both injured in the midweek friendly against Crewe Alexandra.

Mansfield manager David Holdsworth has captain Gary Mills fit again following a hamstring injury.

For those who can’t get to the match tomorrow BBC Radio Nottingham are providing an online commentary here.

27 August 2009
Striker Gregg Blundell (left) came off the bench to score yesterday in a 3-2 home defeat against a Crewe Alexandra reserve side in a quickly arranged friendly at Deva Stadium. With no second string side once again this year, manager Mick Wadsworth used the game to check on the progress from injury of both Blundell and fellow summer signing Fabian Yantorno who also made a 15 minute appearance from the bench.

The scorer of the other Blues goal was a South American trialist. Unfortunately defenders Glenn Rule and Shaun Kelly both suffered knocks and may be doubtful for the weekend as Cty entertain Mansfield Town on Saturday and travel to Altrincham on Monday.

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

24 August 2009
City earned their first point of the season at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, but were left disappointed that they didn’t collect all three points after they fought out a 0-0 dear with promotion favourites Luton Town. City, who fielded all three of their loan signings, created several chances through the afternoon and with teenager Chris Lynch having an outstanding debut in the centre of the defence were rarely troubled by the home side.

Manager Mick Wadsworth (left) was rightly delighted with his sides performance. He said afterwards: “It was a good performance, and a great result. We’re just disappointed we didn’t win because we had the best chances. You look at all the pressure they put on in the second half but our goalkeeper John Danby didn’t make one save, the defending in front of him was heroic. We were much much better today.”

“They’ve looked at our results perhaps and their fans were baying for blood. It was like the Coliseum. They thought we were coming like lambs to the slaughter, but we did really well and I’m terrifically pleased for the players. We've talked about everything that’s happened off the pitch for so long, so it’s great to be able to talk about football.”

The performance from Lynch earned him a place in the Non-League Paper’s Team of the Day.

Conference table

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

22 August 2009
The youth team were beaten 5-1 at Macclesfield Town in their second match of the season this morning. City’s consolation goal came from Ryan Davidson (pictured).

Youth team fixtures | Table

Picture by Vicky Coulter

21 August 2009
City have re-scheduled their home game against Gateshead for Tuesday 15 September.

Two Burnley youngsters have signed on loan. The official Burnley website says midfilder Adam Kay (19) and defender Chris Lynch (18) will be with the Deva club until January 2010. Kay made 1+2 loan appearances last season at Accrington Stanley.

Manager Mick Wadsworth said: “Owen Coyle at Burnley has been very helpful by allowing us to take Chris Lynch, a centre-back, and Adam Kay, a really talented midfielder.”

"We’ll have a look at those and see how they do. It’s a big plus for us as, financially, they take most of the burden of them being with us. Owen's a good man. He’s a very positive manager who knows these sort of deals work both ways.”

"He thinks it will do them good to come and give us some help in the position we’re in as we can then hopefully send them back in better shape.”
20 August 2009

City look set to sign Oldham Athletic forward Lewis Alessandra on a one month loan spell in time for Saturday’s tough away trip to promotion favourites Luton Town. The 20-year-old played in City’s limited pre-season and scored twice. He signed a deal before the season but was recalled by the Latics when Chester failed to gain their FA affiliation.

Manager Mick Wadsworth said: “Lewis is signing on Thursday and I’m delighted it’s going through because he’s a very good player who will give us an outlet up front. Lewis has got power, pace and he will bring goals and we need that.”

19 August 2009
The Blues conceded four more goals last night when they were beaten at Oxford United. All four strikes came in the second period. Manager Mick Wadsworth made two changes from the team beaten on Saturday. Nick Chadwick started the game in place of the injured Anthony Barry and 17-year-old centre-back Kristian Platt came in for Glenn Rule.

Chester battled well for the opening period, restricting the hosts to a couple of snap-shots that saw John Danby produce some smart saves. After the break City produced a couple of half chances, but their lack of pre-season match practice saw them overwhelmed as the second half progressed. James Constable helped himself to a hat-trick as City’s rearguard was torn apart, the post also helped keep the score down.

Conference table

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

17 August 2009
Manager Mick Wadsworth thanked fellow Conference Clubs following last week’s 100% vote of support for City. He said: “It’s fantastic to witness clubs helping each other out. We needed their vote and it gives us all here a warm feeling to know that we’re not everybody’s enemy. All we can do is send our thanks to everyone who has kept this club alive.”

The season belatedly got underway with a 4-2 home defeat by Cambridge united on Saturday. City were given a dream start with a goal in the opening minute from Ben Wilkinson and doubling their lead on 19 minutes through Nick Chadwick. But the U’s struck back with four goals including a hat-trick from former City layer Chris Holroyd.

City manager Wadsworth said after the defeat: “I thought the two decisions that led to the goals at the end of the first half were dodgy. It’s been a difficult time for us. The other goals came from mistakes, but at least we have a club which is the main thing.”

City are next in action tomorrow night when they visit Oxford United, kick-off 19:45hrs.

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

15 August 2009
The youth team started their Youth Alliance North West Conference season today with a home 0-0 draw against Walsall.

Youth team fixtures | Table

14 August 2009
City manager Mick Wadsworth (left) will finally be able to parade his City side at Deva Stadium tomorrow as the Blues start their Conference season with a tough home game against Cambridge United, kick-off 15:00hrs.

The U’s were surprisingly beaten 2-0 at home by Barrow won the opening day of the season but followed that with a 3-1 midweek victory at Ebbsfleet United. On the scoresheet was former City player Chris Holroyd.

The Cambridgeshire side also boast former players Wayne Hatswell, Paul Carden and Mark Beesley in their squad and this week saw manager Martin Ling reinstated just days after he left the club following disagreements with chairman George Rolls. Rolls has since resigned his position.

City will be without strikers Glyn Hurst and Lewis Alessandra. Hurst has left the club and Alessandra, who had agreed a one month deal, was recalled by Oldham Athletic as the affiliation saga dragged on. He’s since made two substitute appearances for the Boundary Park club.

Gregg Blundell and Fabien Yantorno are also both ruled out tomorrow through injury, and Shaun Kelly and Tim Ryan are doubtful starters, so it could be a youthful looking City side, though there are reoprts that former Everton trainee Nick Chadwick could be signing today.

Manager Mick Wadsworth said: “A victory tomorrow under the circumstances would be a marvelous result because our preparation has been badly affected.

“It would be like turning a pig’s ear into a silk purse, because we haven’t had the games and with players leaving us during the last week it has been a real kick up the backside. But my job is to stay confident, and positive, and to make sure I get us through the situation were in.

“I feel a duty of care to the players as I do to the club staff. We’ve just got to keep going. I don’t think too much about what the opposition will bring because we’re behind with our games, we’re behind with points, so it will just be a welcome relief for us all to just play a game of football - win, lose or draw.

“It will be a huge weight off our shoulders to get a game out of the way.”

Conference table | BBC Radio Cambridgeshire match commentary

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

13 August 2009
Following today’s meeting, The Blues have finally been given permission to start their season at home against Cambridge United on Saturday after the new Chester City (2004) Ltd company was given the go-ahead by the FA. The club will start on -25 points but may appeal against the extra 15 points penalty added by the Conference.

The FA have issued a statement regarding Chester City and the Football Conference:

The Football Conference was called to appear before a Commission of The FA’s Sanctions & Registrations Committee today.

The Commission found that the proposed arrangement whereby the new company running Chester City would be granted membership of the Conference by accepting a deduction of a further 15 points was a clear breach of Conference rules. As a result, the Commission has fined the Conference £5,000, suspended until the start of the 2010/11 season.

It was also ordered that the Conference review their insolvency rules in conjunction with The FA by 31 December 2009.

An FA spokesman said: “In the interests of all parties, not least the supporters of Chester City, this has been dealt with as a matter of priority. It has been clear that the Conference would be breaking its own rules by proceeding with their proposal and this made it impossible for The FA to approve it. We would have liked to resolve this situation before the start of the season but important aspects of this arrangement have only come to light in recent days.

“We understand that this unfolding situation has raised unique challenges for Chester City and the Conference. We have worked with both parties throughout this process to reach a solution that ensures that Chester City can continue to play football whilst respecting the financial regulations which are in place to protect the integrity of the game.

“We are pleased that this draws this issue with the Football Conference to a conclusion. We will now meet with the Conference to look at how its insolvency rules can be changed to avoid a repeat of this situation in the future.”

The Football Conference Chairman, Brian Lee, said: “Our main objective has been achieved, which will allow Chester City to play football on Saturday against Cambridge United. We accept the Commission’s findings and look forward to joining The FA in reviewing our insolvency procedures.”
The Football Association and Football Conference meet today at an undisclosed place believed to be in London to discuss the future of Chester City FC. The FA will be asking the Conference why they appear to be breaching their own rules in accepting Chester City (2004) Ltd. The football club have the overwhelming backing of the other 23 Conference sides as well as the Football League. Andy Williamson the Football League’s chief executive issued a message of support to club secretary Tony Allen yesterday.
The various City Supporters groups have arranged a fans meeting tonight. The meeting will take place at 20:00hrs at the Deva Show Bar, Station Road, Chester. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss constructive ideas to save our club, and will go ahead regardless of events which unfold over the next few days.

The meeting will be chaired by Charlie Lambert and representatives from the Supporters Trust, ISA, the Official Supporters Club and the Exiles will be in attendance. Former Chester goalkeeping great Grenville Millington has also agreed to support the meeting.

City fans try to pull together

Striker Glyn Hurst, who joined the club in the summer from Bury, has accepted terms from Gainsborough Trinity and left.

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

11 August 2009
With the club opening the bar to show the Holland v England friendly international City fan Danielle Piercy, helped organise a fans show of support with tomorrow’s important meeting at the FA deciding City’s future. The meeting was attended by several players and club owner Steve Vaughan.

Pictures from the night

The FA has today issued a statement regarding Chester City.

An FA spokesman said: “Throughout this process The FA has sought to resolve this matter as speedily as possible whilst ensuring that football’s rules and the integrity of its competitions are safeguarded.”

“The issues arising from Chester City’s administration have been complex. Whilst we understand the anxiety of the club and its supporters, we have to consider the wider interests of the game. As the governing body, it is The FA’s responsibility to sanction the running of English football competitions and ensure that the rules of those competitions, as well as those of The FA, are respected.”

“The FA is concerned that the proposed arrangements between Chester City and the Football Conference are inconsistent with Conference rules. We have asked for an urgent meeting with the Conference on Thursday to try to resolve outstanding issues.”
10 August 2009
The club have issued the following press release after being told that tomorrow’s game against Gateshead had been postponed.

<start>On the 3rd August 2009, a member of Chester City Football Club attended the Football Conference AGM at Rushden and Diamonds and subsequently attended a private meeting with Conference and FA representatives. This meeting resulted in the way forward being identified for Chester City Football Club, which at that time were 2 options by which the club may continue to play football.

Option 1 was that the old company, which remains in administration, would take over the running of the club. A total of 25 points would be deducted, 10 points for administration and a further 15 points for not being able to agree a satisfactory CVA and; Option 2 was that the new company would move forward with the club subject to certain conditions to be agreed but which included an additional 15 point penalty being imposed bringing the total points penalty to -25 and that guarantees were sought to secure position of football creditors.

On the 4th August 2009 immediately following the meeting at Rushden & Diamonds, Chester City Football Club 2004 Ltd met with the administrators of Chester City Football Club and their lawyers, and following a lengthy meeting it was clear that the administrators were not willing to run the old company primarily because of personal liability issues and particularly because they remained of the opinion that a completed sale and purchase agreement was in place and remains sound despite the issues surrounding the CVA which we understand the administrators will release a full statement in respect of in due course.

This left the second option as the only viable way forward for Chester City Football Club, and resulted in further negotiations with the Conference from which a satisfactory agreement was reached between the parties which ensured all football creditors were secure and the rules of the conference were fully adhered to. The time frame for these negotiations was remarkably tight and a deadline of 5pm on the 6th August 2009 was set as the latest time a full agreement could be reached. This agreement was only possible with the full support of Stephen Vaughan who has personally guaranteed all football creditors in full and provided personal guarantees in respect of other aspects of the agreement, and without the personal support of Stephen Vaughan it would have not been possible for the club to move forward or any agreement be reached.

The above agreement is covered by confidentiality clauses and it is therefore not possible to provide full details of the of their content, however it is public knowledge that the agreement includes the additional 15 point penalty discussed above which was accepted by the club and it was clear during negotiations that the conference were following the precedence set by Leeds United. We can confirm that both Chester City Football Club and the Conference met the deadline set for 5pm on the 6th August 2009. Clearly both the Conference and Chester City Football Club were confident that the club had been accepted into the league and would be playing their first match against Grays on Sat 8th August 2009. Indeed such was the confidence that press releases were issued by both the club and the conference to that effect.

On the morning of Friday 7th August 2009 it became clear that there was an outstanding issue with the affiliation to the Cheshire Football Association, despite the club having received verbal assurances from the Cheshire Football Association in or around the 7th July 2009 that membership had been agreed. A cheque from the new owners for £277 was issued and drawn upon by the Cheshire Football Association. A representative of the FA Mr Neil Prescott then made a further request that before affiliation of the FA would be granted all clubs in the Blue Square Premier would need to take a vote and unanimously agree to accept CCFC into their ranks. All 23 members of the Blue Square Premier have graciously accepted Chester City Football Club into their midst and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them.

We were both shocked and amazed by the FA’s request as we believe that this is an unprecedented step by the FA and entirely unreasonable. Representatives of the FA were well aware of the time constraints placed upon us and that both the Conference and FA had reached agreement in relation to Chester City Football Clubs entry into the league. However, it was made clear to us, again at the 11th hour, the FA had provided yet another stumbling block to the clubs affiliation and thereby effectively prevented Chester City Football Club entry into the league despite the mountain of work and negotiation undertaken by all parties to reach the agreement that was signed on the 6th August 2009.

Despite having yet again met all the FA requirements we have now been told to postpone Tuesday nights fixture against Gateshead and have no alternative but to await the outcome of Thursdays meeting between the Football Conference and Football Association. We would like to take this opportunity to clarify that, despite ever increasing pressure for a public statement, we have been unable to provide a full statement whilst negotiations were ongoing as a result of commercial confidentiality.

We can only apologise for lack of information released to the public however, we believe Chester City Football Club can do no more to secure our membership into the Conference and that every effort has been made by both the Conference and Chester City Football Club to achieve the desired outcome. We have now been informed that we must again await an FA decision which will be taken at some time on Thursday and can do no more than publicly express our ever increasing frustration with the entire process.<end>
Following discussions with the Football Association, the Football Conference have postponed Tuesday night’s home game against Gateshead.

The Football Conference have issued a further statement on their website regarding the situation at Chester City....

“Whilst discussions continue between the Football Conference and the Football Association concerning the transfer of membership of Chester City FC Ltd to Chester City FC (2004) Ltd, the match between Chester City and Gateshead scheduled for Tuesday, 11th August 2009 has been postponed. Both clubs have been advised.”

“A meeting between representatives of the Football Conference and the Football Association has been arranged for Thursday, 13th August in an attempt to draw this matter to a conclusion.”

“It is anticipated Chester City’s fixture at home to Cambridge United on Saturday, 15th August will proceed as scheduled.”
All 23 member clubs of the Blue Square Premier have voted this morning unanimously for Chester City to be allowed to commence their fixtures, starting with Gateshead on Tuesday. Presumably the lack of FA affiliation may still provide a stumbling block for tomorrow’s match at Deva Stadium though!
9 August 2009
The proud 124 year history of Chester City Football Club could come to an end on Monday morning. It's reported in the Non-League Paper that the other 23 Football Conference clubs have apparently been instructed to vote before 10:00hrs on whether to expel the Blues from the league or allow them to continue. Apparently only a 100% unanimous vote in favour of City will be accepted.

City owner Steve Vaughan and the board of directors have still not been able to satisfy the FA requirements over their affiliation since taking the club out of administration though the Conference have agreed that the Blues start with a -25 point punishment. On Friday the Conference were told by the FA that should City’s game at Grays Athletic go ahead then they would be in breach of FA rules, hence the postponement.

Grays chief executive Mick Woodward told the Non- League Paper: “It’s scandalous. At the end of the day it’s in fighting between the Conference and the FA.”

The Conference Board have recommended that City continue to be members of the Conference. A statement said: “The board made a decision to permit Chester City to enter the competition via a new company, Chester City Football Club (2004) Ltd. The new company does not tick all the boxes of transfer of membership rule 2.7, in particular: neither have all football creditors been paid nor have all other creditors been satisfied.

The Football Association will not consent to the transfer or their affiliation unless all Blue Square Premier Division clubs agree to support the board’s decision to permit them entry.

Time is of the essence for your response and the board’s strong recommendation is to agree, as failure to do so may well prejudice the current promotion/relegation agreement, i.e. two up two down with the Football League.”

Brian Lee, the Conference chairman, hast stated: “We are in the process, at the request of the FA, of establishing whether all the clubs in the Blue Square Premier are in agreement with the decision by the Conference board that Chester should be allowed to play because the League is in contravention of its own membership rule 2.7.”

The various City Supporters groups have arranged a fans meeting on Thursday 13 August. The meeting will take place at 20:00hrs at the Deva Show Bar, Station Road, Chester. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss constructive ideas to save our club, and will go ahead regardless of events which unfold over the next few days.

The meeting will be chaired by Charlie Lambert and representatives from the Supporters Trust, ISA, the Official Supporters Club and the Exiles will be in attendance. Former Chester goalkeeping great Grenville Millington has also agreed to support the meeting.

7 August 2009
Tomorrow’s game at Grays Athletic has been cancelled. The Football Conference had been warned that should they allow the game to go ahead they would be in breach of FA Rules. City clearly still haven’t sorted out their problems with regards to satisfying the FA over their affiliation. There is no news yet regarding Tuesday’s home fixture against Gateshead.

In the view of the FA’s decision to review the decision of the Football Conference to grant Chester City FC (2004) Ltd membership of its competition for season 2009/10 the Football Conference has decided that it is in the interest of the integrity of all competitions and indeed the club, to postpone the clubs first fixture which was to take place against Grays Athletic tomorrow. The Football Conference hopes that this matter will be speedily resolved to enable Chester City to fulfil its fixtures without further disruption to the club and the competition.

Colin Peake – PR & Media – Director – Conference Board.

There has still been no official statement from the Football Association regarding approval of City’s affiliation. This must obviously be made today if City are to start their Conference season at Grays tomorrow.

The club have announced that their Centre of Excellence programme at the club is to close. Relegation from the Football League brought with it a 50% reduction in funding and the club have been unable to gain sponsorship/funding for the coming season.

Manager Mick Wadsworth will be without for players tomorrow for the first-ever meeting with Essex side Grays Athletic. Captain Tim Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Gregg Blundell are all ruled out through injury and new signing Uruguayan midfielder Fabian Yantoro is rated as extremely doubtful for the away trip.

6 August 2009

City will start the Conference season at Grays Athletic on Saturday with a -25 points penalty. This is one of the conditions set on the club following meetings with both the FA and the Conference after the club had its CVA thrown out of court by the HMRC last week.

The transfer of ownership from the old company (in administration) to the new company (CC2004) did not satisfy the FA who refused to accept the club’s affiliation. This now appears to have finally been sorted out though not confirmed. When it is the players must then be registered. The other conditions are as yet unknown, but may include a bond as a guarantee the club fulfils its fixtures for the coming season.

Manager Mick Wadsworth will need to perform a near miracle if the club are to avoid back-to-back relegation’s and start next season in the Conference North. A survival target of 70 points will probably be near the mark if recent seasons are to go by. The Blues have a hard start to the season with Cambridge United, Oxford United and promotion favourites Luton Town all to play in the opening month.

The start will have been made much more difficult due to the fact the club’s lack of FA affiliation has resulted in just four pre-season friendlies taking place for Wadsworth’s new-look side.

There has been no official statement from the club now for three days but the following has tonight appeared on the Football Conference website:

Official Statement by Board of the Football Conference Regarding Chester City (2004) Ltd. 06 August 2009 19:25:00

The Board announce following meetings between the Football Conference, Football Association, the club and legal advisors, that Chester City FC (2004) Ltd will commence the 2009/10 season in the Blue Square Premier this coming Saturday 8th August.

To ease concerns being expressed by those member clubs who are scheduled to play them in the forthcoming weeks, it was felt prudent to release this interim statement at this time.

A full detailed statement relating to the conditions being applied will be released when the matter is finalised but it can be officially confirmed that the club will commence with a deduction of 25 points as one of those conditions.
5 August 2009
According to reports on radio Merseyside at 18:30 there is still no news regarding the outcome of today’s talks over the future of the club. It looks like the whole sorry saga will now drag on until tomorrow.
Time is running out fast for City who must satisfy the Football Association to accept their application for affiliation today. There are reported to be a number of (not named) stumbling blocks still to be surmounted if the Blues are to effectively stay in business. Administrators Refresh Recovery as well as club solicitors will be meeting all day to sort out the current mess the club finds itself in. The Football Conference have placed a deadline for today for things to be sorted out as City are due to kick-off the new season at Grays Athletic on Saturday.

4 August 2009
There is still no news of a decision following yesterday’s meeting with the FA and the Football Conference. A very short press release of the official website states: Stephen Vaughan today attended a meeting with representatives of the Blue Square Premier League and the Football Association. In a very constructive meeting a number of issues were discussed and a press release will be given within the next 48 hours.

Following the meeting Vaughan said: “I had a frank and constructive meeting with both the FA and the Conference. There are a couple of issues that need to be finalised, then a statement will be made in the next 48 hours.”

Picture © Chester Evening Leader

A near full-strength City were beaten 2-0 at home to TNS in a behind-closed-doors friendly yesterday. The match was switched from TNS’s Park Hall ground due to the current ban on City playing public matches.

3 August 2009
It’s a big day for City today who will hear if the Football Association have accepted their affiliation. Various guarantees, accounts, income projections etc were submitted last week at the request of the governing body and owner Steve Vaughan and club secretary Tony Allen will attend today’s meeting at Rushden & Diamonds’ Nene Park ground. Refusal by the FA will mean certain expulsion from the Football Conference and leave City in the wilderness after a proud history spanning 125 years.

2 August 2009
On trial Oldham Athletic forward Lewis Alessandra was on the mark again scoring the only goal of the game after eight minutes as City continued their pre-season with a 1-0 win at Droylsden on Saturday. The Blues had been given special permission from the Football Association to play the annual event which is in memory of Neil ‘Tony’ Downes from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, who was killed in Afghanistan. City manager Mick Wadsworth is hoping to sign Alessandra on loan.

Chester City: John Danby, Glen Rule, Rhys Meynell, Kevin Roberts, Commall Rawlinson, Stephen Vaughan, Ben Wilkinson, Michael Lea, Glyn Hurst, Lewis Allessandra, Neil Ashton. Subs: Andy Murphy, Antony Barry, James Owen, Chrisitan Platt, Lloyd Ellams, Wesley ?, Jack Booth.

Picture: Howard Jolley





























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Chester have announced the signing of 30-years-old midfielder Mitch Hancox who was recently released by Altrincham.
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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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