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JULY 1999
31 July 1999
Chester have signed 20-year-old winger Paul Berry from Warrington Town on a three year deal. Berry impressed City chairman Terry Smith in the recent pre-season friendly between the teams.
Season Tickets:
East & West stands: Adults £220.00, Senior Citizens/Unemployed £150.00, Under 16s £110.00
Terrace: Adults £180.00, Senior Citizens/Unemployed £135.00, Under 16s £90.00
Half Season Tickets (offer valid until 25/12/99):
East & West stands: Adults £120.00, Senior Citizens/Unemployed £90.00, Under 16s £60.00
Terrace: Adults £100.00, Senior Citizens/Unemployed £70.00, Under 16s £50.00
Matchday Prices:
East & West stands: Adults £12.00, Senior Citizens/Unemployed £9.00, Under 16s £6.00
Terrace: Adults £10.00, Senior Citizens/Unemployed £TBA, Under 16s £TBA

Half Season Ticket benefits include:
Invitation to the players traing sessions & entry to social club afterwards to meet players.
Dinner with their favourite player along with 4-5 other fans at a local restaurant, at the fans own expense with the player's meal sponsored.
Full Deva Stadium Tour.
Photograph with players on the pitch before a match.
Membership of the Chester City Footballer of the Future Club for under 16s.
Season Ticket Club membership with discount from local businesses.
Regular newsletter with information and exclusive offers.
Special discount card for shops and restaurants.
Free admission to reserve team matches.

Terry Smith has made changes to the structure of players contracts for next season. Contract talks were conducted by Bill Wingrove and the previous bonus structure has been changed in favour of an incentive scheme which will benefit the players if the team wins games and is successful.

It's reported that the offer's didn't go down to well with the players with one spokesman saying: "We'll lose out if we sign the contracts we've been offered. There's no signing-on fees and no appearance money and that's our bread and butter." Smith countered this by saying: "A few adjustments have now been made and I talked to as many players as I could on saturday morning and none of them were grumpy with me. I think these kind of deals are new to players but it's all about setting our sights higher. We want promotion to the first division. I believe the players here can do that and they have to believe they can do that too."
26 July 1999
Chester hit the road south following Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wigan for a mini-break in south Wales. They have arranged games against Maesteg tonight at 6.45pm and Cwmbran Town on Wednesday at 7.30pm. City earned a 1-1 with Wigan at the Deva the goal coming from John Murphy.

23 July 1999
Terry Smith his insisted that Kevin Ratcliffe's job as manager at Chester is secure. This follows supporters fears with the arrival at the Deva of Scott Cooper, a former Mansfield and Oxford player who has been coaching in the USA.

" Kevin and I have a good relationship and there are no plans to make any changes" he told the Chester Chronicle. "He has a great background as a player and he has helped keep the club together over the last few months. Scott will be mainly concerned with scouting. He will be the director of player personnel, dealing with potential recruits. We have contacts all over the world."

City will be appointing a commercial manager in the next few weeks. A professionally led commercial section is vital to the clubs future. "Unfortunatley it takes time to make an appointment, so we must do the best we can and it is crucial to get the season tickets launched." said Smith.
Saunders Honda will once again be sponsoring the home shirt with Chester next season. This is the third year of sponsorship from the local company. As last season, the kit will be supplied by Glory Years (Super League) who have promised that replica kit will be available at the club shop in time for the Barnet match.
22 July 1999

[Jonsson] Chester are currently giving a trial to 27-year-old Icelandic right winger Petur Jonsson (pic left). The former Icelandic U-21 cap has quit a career with Hammarby in the Swedish Premier League to try and make a name for himself at Chester. "I've always wanted to play in England, it's the number one country for football. At Hammarby we had amazing fans – the best in Scandanavia and I've been told that Chester City has amazing fans too."

Jonsson has his first full training session with the squad on Friday though he won't be able to appear in the side until his Internation clearance is through.

Defender Andy Crosby has joined third division Brighton today for a fee in the region of £10-15,000 though he's going to miss the start of the season. Albion manager Micky Adams said: "He has a fractured toe which we have been told will keep him out for between ten and 14 days. We are having him checked out by our own medical people first. It will certainly rule him out for the start of the season, but we are signing him for the long term, not the short term."

Skipper Crosby put himself on the transfer list last week stating that the club was "falling apart".
21 July 1999
The record attendance at the Deva Stadium, very near 6,000, saw Chester lose 3-2 to Everton in an extremely entertaining pre-season friendly last night. The huge crowd, swelled by Evertonians, will no doubt have pleased Terry Smith as he took his seat in the stand for the first time as City chairman. The Blues gave a good account of themselves against a very strong Premiership side. City took the lead after the break with a penalty from Luke Beckett after the striker has been impeded by the Everton keeper. Unsworth and Barmby then put the Toffees 2-1 up before Darren Wright hit the equaliser, celebrating with his trade mark somersault to the delight of the fans. A second goal from Nick Barmby gave the visitors the victory.

Before the game youngster Darren Moss was presented with his Welsh u-18 cap.

Terry Smith has stated that he's looking to bring in a new goalkeeper and centre back. Last night an Icelandic right-winger was at the Deva Stadium. It is believed that he signs for the club today.
20 July 1999
Mark Guterman has stated to BBC Radio Merseyside that he has now sold his shareholding to Terry Smith, and the shares certificate has been lodged with Smith's solicitors. The deal was completed this morning. Smith has also stated this morning that he has paid the first £63,000 installment to Begbies Traynor. As of 1pm David Acland had made no comment.

Chairman Smith's first task will be to meet with the players and stem the flow of any more away from the club. "Everything went through last night and it brought to an end two months of constant effort to buy the club," said the new chairman. "I'd like to thank all the fans and everyone who has helped along the way. The ISA have been brilliant and we really couldn't have done any of this without them. Now we can all work together for the good of Chester City. It is going to be hard work but we're all working towards a common goal; and that is success for Chester City. I also want to bring in interntaional players. I was on the phone until one o'clock this morning speaking to agents in the States about bringing players over. But we have make sure we get international clearance and work permits for every international player who comes in."

A reminder that tonight's game against Everton is NOT all ticket. The game promises to attract a bumper crowd and kicks-off at 7.45pm.
19 July 1999
Terry Smith has taken over at Chester City FC. This morning's Creditors/Shareholders meeting approved unanimously the Voluntary Arrangement Proposal from the administrator which sees £251,000 paid to the major creditors over the next 24 months.

The deal was sealed just before the 6pm deadline with Terry Smith paying the first instalment of that deal, £63,000 and also making an undisclosed offer to Mark Guterman for his majority shareholding which was accepted.

Last weeks ISA share issue closed on Friday night with a staggering £100,000 being received. The ISA also chalked up their 1,000th member – quite a double.
16 July 1999
Terry Smith has insisted that his deal to take over the club on Monday is right on track and has dismissed suggestions that other members of the buy-out have pulled out. Eugine Caparos, Michael and Sheila Horn and Ian Swetenham are reported to be holding back on their plans to invest in the club along with Terry Smith and the ISA. Smith said: "It was always us buying the club and then potentially selling different shares to people. But the bid is going ahead with the ISA. It was always that two step process and at the moment everything is so complicated that they have decided to sit back and wait until the deal is done. There's no way they dropped out. They can't have if we've never made a formal offer for them to get in." Smith insisted that he'd only had 'extremely informal' talks with other interested parties.

Meanwhile the ISA have reported that 300 members have taken up the share offer in the first three days and the number is expected to reach 500 by tonight's deadline.

Chester have confirmed that they have turned down a £20,000 offer for transfer listed defender Andy Crosby. It is believed the offer was made by Brighton.
City have secured Kwik Save as sponsors for their new look yellow and blue away strip next season. The new home kit which will be a retro version of the 1964/5 pinstripe design has yet to have a sponsor confirmed though several names are believed to be lined up. The Quik Save deal was set up by ISA member Paul Murray.
Chester entertain Everton at the Deva next Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm, for what should be the clubs first game under the new Terry Smith regime. The game is pay at the gate with the cost £10 for adults and £5 for children in all areas of the ground.
Season tickets should be on sale soon providing next monday's creditors meeting approves the club sale ok. What will be on offer is a 'half season' ticket priced at £100 for adults, £75 for senior citizens and £50 for children, covering the first 11 home league games of the season up to Christmas. The sales target is 5,000 season tickets and if this target is reached by Christmas then the second half of the season will be FREE. If not, fans will pay another £100. Smith said; "It is our desire to fill the stadium at every home game and this offers good value for money." There is no news yet on whether there will be a different price for terrace season tickets.
12 July 1999

[Phil King]Chester are giving a trial to 32-year-old defender Phil King (pic left). King is a former England B international and has recently been at Swindon Town. Born in Bristol King started his career with Exeter City before moving on to Torquay United, Swindon Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Notts County, Aston Villa, West Brom, Swindon Town and Blackpool [loan]. King is an attacking left back who can often be used as an extra forward.

King played in City's 2-1 win at Northwich Victoria on Saturday in their first pre-season friendly. Goals from strikers John Murphy and Luke Beckett sealed the victory for the Blues.

"He's been with us to get some match fitness for pre-season and as it happens we asked him whether he fancied playing a game. It's a good chance for us to have a look at him but there are no plans between us at the moment because we can't bring anybody in. It's given him the chance to be seen and if something else comes up he's free to go because there's no way we can give him a binding contract. But from what I've seen he's as good if not better than what we've got." added manager Kevin Ratcliffe.

Brighton have announced that all their home games at Withdene Stadium next season will be all-ticket. Away fans have been allocated 5% of the seats, that's a total of just 324. These seats are priced at an unbelievable £14 each with a small number of £10 concessions. Tickets will be available from Chester about two weeks before the game on Saturday 18 September. Away fans should be warned that there is strictly NO parking allowed near the ground {part of the planning application] and that a park and ride scheme will operate. Details nearer the time.
In an effort to help give the current squad more security, Terry Smith, with the permission from David Acland, has given the current out of contract players a short-term contract to the end of the month. These players now under contract are: Shaun Reid, John Murphy, Neil Fisher, Danny Carson, Matty Woods, Neil Cutler, Jon Cross, Jon Jones, Andy Shelton, Darren Wright, Matthew Conkie, Wayne Brown and Ross Davidson.

Terry Smith added "There is absolutely no reason for this doom and gloom attitude. There is absolutely nothing to worry about at all. Any player who has left can be replaced, and each will be replaced with a new player who will be of an exceptional standard. All that will happen in our situation is that three players will have left first and then we will bring in five or six new players all at once after 20 July."

Smith was speaking after skipper Andy Crosby placed himself on the transfer list week declaring that the team was "falling apart".
9 July 1999
Chester have arranged a friendly at Warrington Town on Tuesday 13 July – kick-off 19.30. This replaces the scheduled friendly at Witton Albion which has had to be called off due to an unfit pitch.

8 July 1999

Defender Andy Crosby has been put on the transfer list at his own request. The City skipper, who made 46 appearances for the Blues last season, still has two years to run on his three year contract with the club, but will be free to leave via a clause in that contract He's effectively served two weeks notice to leave on a free transfer as he's still owed money by the club. This will come as another blow for City as the players prepare for their first pre-season friendly at neighbours Northwich Victoria on Saturday.

6 July 1999

Following soon after the departure of Dave Flitcroft, midfielder Chris Priest has joined third division Macclesfield Town today, again on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.
Walter Smith will be bringing an Everton side to the Deva for a friendly on Tuesday 20 July. Kick-off 19:45.
2 July 1999

Dave Flitcroft has moved to Rochdale this afternoon on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling.

Chester have arranged another pre-season friendly on July 17th at TNS Llansantffraid Kick Off at 2.30pm. The Blues won 3-2 at the same venue prior to last season. You may recall that the owner of TNS expressed an interest in the purchase of our club earlier in the year.
Official notice has been sent out regarding the impending Creditors and Members Meetings that will take place at Chester City FC on Monday July 19th. The Creditors meeting is at 11.00am and the Members meeting is at 12.00.
1 July 1999

City's players reported back for training today, with many of them still uncertain about their future. Eleven players are now out of contract and manager Kevin Ratcliffe is still unable to offer them new terms. Three players have been the speculation of moves. John Murphy has been reported to be interesting Blackpool and Hull City. Dave Flitcroft has been linked with Rochdale and Chris Priest has been interesting several clubs including Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town. The players met with administrator David Acland yesterday, who updated them on the current situation surrounding Terry Smith's takeover.
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