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31 August 1999
The football club are facing a possible fine after yesterday's match referee was attacked on the pitch by a spectator.

The club have acted swiftly in banning the offender for life from the Deva Stadium and have this morning issued the following statement:


Chester City Football Club has reacted immediately following an incident at Monday's home game against Rochdale at which a spectator entered the field of play and approached a match official.

The Club revealed that prior to the start of the season it had agreed to the implementation of a Scheme with Cheshire Police, based on an initiative introduced by Derby County FC. The Scheme sets out a Club policy for dealing with persons who are involved in unacceptable behaviour when attending matches at the Deva Stadium.

In accordance with the policy a full internal investigation commenced immediately following the game involving Board Members, the Safety Officer and the local Police. As a result of their preliminary discussions the following actions were agreed:- the member of the public involved in the incident with the match official has been banned for life from attending any matches at the Deva Stadium a review of the video of the crowd control has been requested in order to ascertain whether there should be further actions taken against any other persons involved in the build up to the incident.

The Board has indicated that it takes its responsibilities in these matters very seriously and this is reflected in the swift action it has taken. The Club is rightly proud of its good record in relation to crowd control. It deplores the actions of a very small minority who, by their foolish actions have severely tarnished the name of the Club and its loyal supporters. The Club may now be penalised financially at time when energies and finances could be better channeled elsewhere.

The Board, in moving swiftly, has served a clear notice that it will not tolerate such behaviour at the Stadium and will impose the sternest punishment on any offender.


For more information contact Michael Fair, Medial Liaison, Chester City FC, 01244 371376 or 0374 729802
Meanwhile Terry Smith, Scott Cooper and Gary Shelton are going to watch the Sheff Wed v Aston Villa reserve match tonight for possible signings. What is evident from the matches played so far this season is that City are desperate for some experienced players in the team. None of the youngsters can be faulted for their effort, they've all given 100%, but they're just not good enough yet. They need to be playing alongside more experienced pros to bring out the best in them. Oh! to have another Peter Jackson, Ronnie Sinclair, Cyrille Regis etc. for the remainder of the season, the effect on the likes of Martyn Lancaster, Darren Moss and Darren Wright would be so beneficial - we've seen it all before. My main concern is that we're targeting the wrong kind of players. The latest player linked with the club who is described by the chairman as "raw but very quick" is a Nigerian player from Partick Thistle though there's not a trace of him on their websites. However details are being sought!
The home Worthington Cup match with Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday 14 September with the away leg at Villa Park on Wednesday 22 September. The Deva leg will be all-ticket. Details will be given as soon as they are available.
25 August 1999
Midfielder Shaun Reid was stretchered off with a suspected broken jaw in last victory at Port Vale. Reid may need surgery after his jaw was smashed in a collision with Vale's Anthony Gardner. He spent the night in in the North Staffordshire hospital and was x-rayed the following morning. "It was pretty horrific" said City physio Joe Hinnigan. "Shaun's a hard lad, and if he stays down you know he's in trouble. There was a lot of blood about and I think he lost a couple of teeth, or they were loosened in the clash – and he was choking on his blood. Our main concern was for the paramedics to get him off the pitch and to get him to hospital as soon as possible. The ref was brilliant in stopping the play straight away and the lads have said that their player wasn't to blame."

In the Chester crowd were two Dutch players who are currently on trial. According to Terry Smith both have impressed in training and may be offered contracts in the next day or two.

23 August 1999
Chairman Terry Smith has announced a new five man Coaching Squad at the club. The new team consists of David Fogg, Gary Shelton, Shaun Reid, Scott Cooper and Terry Smith himself. The youth team, reserves, and first team will all be training together from now on. It has also been announced that the team will have three captains: Ross Davidson is the defence captain, Nick Richardson the midfield captain and Luke Beckett the forward captain. Not quite sure on the reasoning behind this one!

20 August 1999
After four years in charge at the Deva manager Kevin Ratcliffe has resigned from Chester City this afternoon.

He has acted on a clause in his contract which allows him to give a months notice should the club fall into new ownership. According to the Evening Leader this clause also demands that he leaves on full pay for the remainder of his contract. If Ratcliffe evoked this clause it will cost the football club something in the region of £40,000. This is a clear indication that things aren't right behind the scenes at the club. According to reports on BBC Radio 5 Live he had "major differences of opinion with Terry Smith". This news will come as a major disappointment to CIty fans who thought with a new owner coming on board things would begin to pick up. In a statement made this afternoon Ratcliffe stated that he was also unhappy at the recent departure of chief executive Bill Wingrove.

Ratcliffe had the smallest squad in the League to work with, and has been unable to bring in any loan players to boost the meager squad.

No-one has been available from the club for comment this afternoon. There will no doubt be a statement issued soon. Chairman Smith is due to address the ISA Members Meeting in Chester on Monday night.
18 August 1999
City striker Gary Bennett has been forced to retire from the game through injury. Bennett, in his third spell with the club made his debut for Chester in 1985 after being signed by Harry McNally on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic. His 14-year league career has also taken him to Southend United, Wrexham, Tranmere Rovers and Preston North End.

17 August 1999
Defender Martyn Lancaster faces a three match ban following his two red cards last week. He gets a one match ban for each offence plus another for the accumulation of both cards. The ban begins with the Worthington Cup first-round second-leg game at Port Vale next week.

The next meeting of ISA will take place at the Royal Mail Club on Monday 23 August at 19.30. Four committee posts need to be filled including those of Chairman, Social Secretary and Press and Publicity. Please send all nominations to ISA Secretary Les Smith.

The vacancies have arisen due to three members now sitting on the Football Club board and the resignation of Ed Jones who has reluctantly had to leave due to work re-location.

Chairman Terry Smith will be addressing the meeting and all members are urged to attend. Members should also receive any day now (if they haven't done so already) a mailshot containing:

1. ISA Membership Renewal Form for Season 1999/2000 and return envelope. – Please renew as soon as possible.
2. Open letter from Paul Murray to Chester City supporters
3. CV's of the three ISA DIrector nominees – David Evans. Mike Fair and Paul Murray
4. 'Deva wasn't built in a Day' article by Les Smith.

More news on the ISA pages
14 August 1999
Neil Fisher has recovered from a leg strain and looks set to play at Millmoor this afternoon. The City team is expected to be: Brown, Davidson, Lancaster, Woods, Cross, A.Shelton, Richardson, Reid, Fisher, Beckett, Jones.

City manager Kevin Ratcliffe hopes to bring a loan player to the side before next Wednesday's home game with Northampton Town. It's reported that Chairman Terry Smith has spoken to a first division club about sending a striker and a central defender on loan. Five players have arrived at the Deva for trials this week including three from Northern Ireland and an American. "Kev will have a look at the players to assess their ability" added the chairman.
Terry Smith has confirmed that the club have turned down the transfer request made by striker Luke Beckett. The striker still has another year to run on his contract.
City's Youth Alliance side kicked off their season with a 0-0 draw against Mansfield yesterday.
12 August 1999
Dan Brooks has been appointed the club's new commercial manager. Chairman Terry Smith commented: "Dan's come in as commercial manager and he's working on a lot of things, we're taking all the right steps but it does take time."
Three members of the Chester City ISA have today joined Terry Smith on the Board of the football club. The three are David Evans, Michael Fair and Paul Murray. Each has been given a specific role to play in the club. Chairman Smith stated: "Paul Murray will be responsible for stadium facilities; David Evans will assume responsibility for the linkage with the football in the community programme and working with the voluntary and commercial sectors; Michael Fair will liaise with the media and ensure the smooth running of match days. Additionally he will undertake a review of all administrative procedures and make recommendations to the board, including job descriptions for both employees and volunteers."

He also added: "It is an open secret that the lack of controlling expenditure and the failure to maximise income have been the reasons for the problems faced by Chester City FC in the past. The expenditure is now firmly under control and the Board have taken immediate steps to appoint a commercial manager. I would like to pay tribute to those who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the club was in a position to play the game. It is this team spirit dedication and loyalty that will ensure a successful period for the clubs future."

The City Youth Team begin their Youth Alliance season at home to Mansfield Town tomorrow. The game takes place at Chester College Playing Fields, Clifton Drive (kick off 12 noon).
More that 500 City fans signed the 'Keep Barnet Alive' petition last Saturday to help Barnet supporters in their fight for a new ground.
Defender Phil King who played pre-season for City has joined Kidderminster Harriers. He had been offered a month-to-month contract at Chester.
10 August 1999

Chief Executive Bill Wingrove has been sacked by the Football Club. He was given the news in a phone call from Terry Smith on Sunday night. The news follows a meeting between Smith and the ISA on Saturday night when, by an unanimous vote, it was decided there could be no place on the board for the former director.

Wingrove commented: "While it is true I had agreed to resign as a director. I assumed I was staying as chief executive. Terry offered me the job of commercial manager, but I wasn’t happy with that and told him I needed to consider my position. If I had resigned as chief executive I wouldn’t have been working at the club last week while he was away. Apart from my own position I am greatly concerned about the way the club is being run."

Said Smith: "I am sorry Bill has reacted this way. I suppose he feels bitter, but he did offer to resign."
South African defender Craig Donaldson is expected to complete his move to Chester today. He's been on trial with City, though he's not expected to be registered in time for tonight's Worthington Cup game with Port Vale. Donaldson has played for South Africa at u-19 and u-21 level.
6 August 1999

John Murphy has signed for Blackpool under the Bosman ruling. As he is under 24 years of age, City will command a fee that will be set by a tribunal.
The home game against Northampton Town scheduled for 21 August is to be moved to Wednesday 18 August (KO 19:45hrs) to avoid a clash with Chester Races.
Peter Jonsson has quit the Deva without playing a game. The former Icelandic U-21 International centre-half had been on trial with the club.
Pre-bought season tickets will be available for collection at the club offices from 10am tomorrow morning.
3 August 1999

City manager Kevin Ratcliffe is reported to be impressed with South African trialist Craig Donaldson, who trained with the first team yesterday. Donaldson, a 23-year-old midfielder, holds a British Passport and becomes the second international arrival. Former Icelandic international, Petur Jonsson, is also on trial.

Will ISA members who recently purchased shares for the football club please note that cheques received for the Convertible Loan Stock have not been deposited due to the time taken to set up a bank account for ISA Ltd. It is expected that this will happen very soon. All money/cheques are safe and a letter which is currently being drafted will be sent to members regarding conversion to shares as soon as all the legal hurdles have been completed.
2 August 1999
Striker Luke Beckett has been placed on the transfer list at his own request. He still has one year of his contract to run. Radio Merseyside reports that he is "disalusioned at the way the club's being run". This news will come as a bitter blow to fans on the eve of the new season as many believe that Beckett carries City's main strike threat for next season. City will no doubt be commanding a big fee for the young striker.

" He's read things in the papers about himself and he wants to better himself," said Ratcliffe. "You can't blame him for that. But you know what kind of lad Luke is and he'll still go out and give it his all."

SINGING THE BLUES – An exhibition of photographs by Neil Roberts
All City fans are invited to a Private Viewing at the Executive Lounge, Deva Stadium, Chester. Friday 6 August 1999, 6.30-9.00 p.m. Bar and refreshments will be available. There will be about 40 photographs on show and admission is free. All photographs are for sale (25% of proceeds to Chester City ISA).
Nick Richardson, Darren Wright, Andy Shelton, Neil Fisher and Danny Carson have all agreed new contracts with the club. Other players still to sign include Ross Davidson and Shaun Reid. John Murphy, Neil Cutler, Jon Jones, Jon Cross and Matt Woods are still considering the new terms offered.
Due to the extremely short timescale between the Football Club takeover and the start of the season, new replica kit will not now be available until late September. Manufactures Glory Years (Super League) have their work cut out getting the players kit prepared on time with the added extra of having to now supply shirts with squad numbers and names.
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