Monday, 16 November 2009

The crisis at Chester continues

Well it's been a while since I updated this blog, so I thought it only right to give it another update considering a lot has happened in the last month!

What has happened exactly?

Well since Jimmy Harvey was brought in, on the field things have improved, aside from the last couple of games, where City have gone down to defeats to York & Tamworth, the Blues have picked up points and for the first time in 99 games managed to win back to back games, in fact they won 3 in a row!

Off the field though, the drama continues, firstly, the Conference issued a deadline for Chester to have paid their football creditors, and the deadline passed without payment, however the Conference & Football League both saw fit to give an extension to today's date, November 16th for the debts to be paid.

In the middle of all that, City Fans United, the new Chester City FC supporters group, designed to try and unite Chester fans, was officially launched, and already having to deal with the possible loss of the club, and thinking of a future, possibly with a new club.

Following that, the news then broke that Stephen Vaughan had been banned from acting as a Company Director for the next 11 years, following his involvement in a "carousel fraud", which the club advise has no impact on them as Vaughan stepped down as a director in 2007, possibly aware of what was to follow further down the line.

It does have an impact though as Vaughan cannot be in any position, where he can affect the running of the club, and we all know he has 100% shares in the club, under the conditions of the ban, he can only have a maximum of 30%, so it's likely that he will sell his shares on to another family member, or indeed the chairman, Ian Anderson.

If he was to pass the shares on to one of his sons, then it would surely be questionable as to whether Vaughan had stepped away from the running of the club.

So, back to the November 16th deadline, yep, today. Well we have now found out that the Conference have extended the deadline (again) to November 30th, which many will complain about, as it gives Vaughan another reprieve, but in actual fact it may be part of an attempt to take Vaughan out of the equation, as his ban kicks in, in just 9 days time.

So, the future of Chester City FC is still uncertain, and the life machine is to be kept on for another 2 weeks, after that, well see what happens.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

New Manager in at Chester City

6 days following the sacking of Mick Wadsworth, Chester City have announced their new Manager as Jimmy Harvey, the former Morecambe manager.

Harvey comes to the club with no ties having departed from Forest Green Rovers in the summer after he was sacked for applying for other jobs despite being Rovers Manager at the time.

It's Manager number 11 in 8 years under Stephen Vaughan's stewardship, which to be fair, has been rudderless in recent years, and with the current crisis of the projected loss of £660k, it remains to be seen just what Harvey can do about the club's perilous position.

Will Harvey be allowed to spend any money on players, or does he have to make do with what he's got, which right now, is a paper thin squad of average players who cannot achieve back to back wins in the last century of games.

Harvey must be allowed to bring players in if he & Chester City are to stand any kind of chance of surviving, not just the drop, but also out of football altogether.

The fans will welcome in Jimmy Harvey to the role, but will be sceptical as to whether it will make any difference.

Good Luck Jimmy.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Chester MD says 6 weeks to live!

The future of Chester City Football Club is once again thrown into doubt, as the Managing Director of the club, Bob Gray, has blamed the club's current financial problems on the lack of investment and says that the club is facing closure if no investment comes forward.

This is in total contradiction to the statement that Stephen Vaughan (then owner, and possibly still owner of CCFC) put out last year, saying that he could fund Chester City forever, yet now, his muppet of an employee Bob Gray tells us the opposite.

It's clear as daylight that Vaughan is just running the club into the ground, posisbly hoping that the Council remove the lease on the club's ground, which could eventually make way for the purchase of land at the Deva Stadium, where Vaughan could possibly end up making money, but that is only a suggestion.

There is a lot of dirt attached to the Vaughan family, the fact that he screwed Barrow a number of years ago, taking them into administration, and nearly putting the club out of business, then turning his attentions to wrecking Widnes Rugby League club, by once again taking them into administration, and most recently of course, putting Chester City into administration in the summer.

We had hoped that would be the end of it, but no, Vaughan, somehow fixed it for the administrators to choose his son's bid to own the club again, which was based around the debentures on the club he had, and once again got to own it, claiming that it was a fresh start, and City would despite their sudden lack of a licence, go and achieve a top six finish - if it wasn't so cringeworthy, would be laughable, but there is not many smiling at the Deva these days, in fact there's not a lot of anything at the Deva these days.

Vaughan has singlehandedly ripped the heart of the club, and right now it's on a life support machine, struggling to tick again.

There appears no way back for Chester's long suffering fans, who are now facing the closure of the club they have supported for most of their life, in fact the history of the club goes back 124 years, and now it's all set to come to a close - unless Vaughan sells up.

One of the interested parties is John Batchelor, who has fronted a bid from Gillico, a company, who we have now found out, have been part of the bid to buy Chester City for £1.5m, however this has been much scrutinized and it turns out there is a possibility that Red Bull could be involved in a sponsorship, that would mean a name change to Red Bull Chester City, something that would be again, laughable.

Is there no end to Chester's dodgy owners?

It seems not, but unfortunately, there seems only one way out right now, and that's to hope Vaughan sells to a local businessman who has got the interests of the club at heart, and is prepared to keep professional football in Chester.

Vaughan it seems is just intent on wrecking every Chester fans' life right now.


Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A new low for the Blues

Following on from last night's 2-1 defeat to Forest Green Rovers in the Blue Square Premier League, it finally became a reality that we will be playing Blue Square North football next season, as City blew the chance to move to 11 points breaking even following their 25 point deduction at the start of the campaign.

Sunday, Chester were brilliant in the derby battle, chasing Wrexham players down as though their life depended on it, last night however, was a complete contrast, and City found themselves just letting the Forest Green players carve them open at every available opportunity, with City failing to keep the ball when they did manage to get in possession.

This is a new low for City, and under the rudderless stewardship of Stephen Vaughan, the club is sinking quicker than the Titanic, and will do well to even get out of negative points, certainly before Christmas, if not the season.

Something has to give surely, as City owner, be it Stephen Vaughan, James Vaughan, Stephen Vaughan Junior - oh what a farce it all is, continue to oversee the lack of players coming in, and witnessing a City squad now down to just 15 players, it's all a sad cry from years gone by, most notably in the Harry McNally era, when he would have demanded so much more from his club.

Harry will be turning in his grave seeing Chester where they are now, it is all down the Vaughan Family, they have posioned the club to the degree where the fans are just simply giving up, knowing that their hard earned is not being invested in the team, only making the vaughan's empire wealthier by their donation of £15 each game.

Something has to change, Vaughan should walk now, before he finally kills off Chester City Football Club, which right now feels as though it is dying, and a sad day for all City fans is coming ever close.

Go now Vaughan.

Monday, 21 September 2009

One month on...still no change

It's been just over a month since I posted on this blog, so time for an update following the stormy summer that was had at the Deva Stadium.

Well that stormy summer has now turned to an awful Autumn, as City maintain their place at the foot of the Blue Square Premier League table, thanks to the 25 point deduction handed out to the Blues before a ball was kicked.

Sure, it was always going to be hard to pick up the pieces after that deduction, but the fact is the current squad are not good enough to get out of the hole they find themselves in.

City are 23 points away from safety, so in theory, only 2 points better off than they were when they started the season, which is hardly the barnstorming start that we needed, but in reality, none of us really expected.

The job Mick Wadsworth found himself in should be renamed "Miracle Worker" as the task is certainly an unenviable one, but so far those miracles have been hard to find.

A point at Luton was the high point in the first four games as City found themselves up against the fancied teams of the League, in Cambridge, Oxford, Luton, and Mansfield, which by anyone's standards was a difficult line up of games to have, especially when you're desperately in need of points to survive.

Chester since then have improved, but with a record of won 2, drew 2, lost 2, as they defeated both Histon & Gateshead, drew with Altrincham & Eastbourne, but fell to defeat against Tamworth & Stevenage.

So, if the Blues had not been deducted the 25 points, they would actually be sitting three places clear of the relegation zone by now, and not firmly rooted to the table.

Despite the tally of 9 points gained this season, the fans have continued to drift away, probably quite predictably, as most are still extremely unhappy that Stephen Vaughan remains in charge of the club having guided them into Administration in the Summer, following his reluctance or inability - call it what you like - to ensure last season's transfer embargo was lifted, which basically put pay to any chance of staying in the League last year.

The final straw for a lot of Blues followers came in the match against Histon, when James Vaughan returned to the club he left Australia for, without any official statement to say he had re-signed, and went straight into the line up alongside his brother Stephen, who had made very little contribution to the team, bar a good performance at Luton.

During that win over Histon, the substitution of Stephen Vaughan was met with resounding cheers, possibly more so than when the goals went in - fans had decided enough was enough, they want the Vaughans out of Chester City Football Club.

The cheers or jeers, proved that fans can have an influence on team matters, as following this game, manager Mick Wadsworth decided that the two Vaughan brothers, needed to head out of the club on loan, and Stephen went to Northwich Victoria, and perhaps an indication of just how little he is rated, is the fact that he has made only one appearance as a substitute in his three games at the club.

The last game at the Deva on Saturday saw the fans behind the goal, who normally stand, sit down such was the lack of enthusiasm in the ground - the owner has certainly played his part in stripping the club of its heart and soul, and many have now become so dis-interested, they have stopped coming, and may not ever return, hopefully if there is a change of management at the very top, we may see some come back, but the damage could already have been done.

So, still not happy times at the Deva, hopefully the pain that Chester City fans have experienced must be amongst the worst football fans could have seen.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Chester are granted affiliation

After what seems the longest running saga in the history of the game, Chester City have finally been given the nod to get their season up and running.

The FA have just approved City's application following their meeting with the Football Conference.

There is still a debate over the points deduction that was made against the club by the Conference, which will still fuel debate.

The bottom line is though, that Chester City are back in action again, and for that I'm thankful - now to find a new owner that will take this club back to respectability.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The support for CCFC gathers

Ahead of tomorrow's meeting between the FA & the Football Conference, the Chester City fans are looking to highlight the club's plight in front of the national media at the Deva Stadium.

Blues fans will be wanting to show that the club deserves a licence to play football, and that the supporters will not let the club die easily.

However, the club's supporters are also adamant that they are not in favour of Stephen Vaughan obtaining the club again, but accept that the licence needs to be granted first, and then the bridge needs to be crossed to discuss future ownership of the club.

Either way, the FA & Conference will hopefully thrash out a deal for crisis club Chester at their meeting tomorrow.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Fight for survival continues

Chester City's nightmare season continues, without a ball even being kicked, as today the FA & Conference ordered the Blues to cancel tomorrow's game at home to Gateshead, which would have been City's first home game of the new season.

Fans are now preparing to raise awareness prior to the Conference's meeting with the FA, which will take place on Thursday at Wembley Stadium.

Marches are being planned from the Town Hall to the Ground, with demonstrations of support for City outside the ground during what would have been the build up to kick off tomorrow night.

Chester City Exiles are also heading to Wembley Stadium on Thursday morning to show the FA & Conference that the club is not prepared to die.

Good luck to all those travelling to the various locations.

A long statement was produced tonight which is listed here - and you can see just how amateurish the official website looks thanks to the lack of paragraphing.

It is clear to see in this statement that Stephen Vaughan is blowing his own trumpet, and is claiming a number of things - thanks to Stephen Vaughan - talk about an ego.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Now Conference clubs vote on Chester future

So, Saturday's game at Grays was called off, and we will find out tomorrow if the Tuesday home game against Gateshead will go the same way.

News has come out today that City's Blue Square Premier League rivals have been asked to vote on whether to allow Chester into the Premier League this season.

The early indications look positive for City, with the majority appearing to vote "Yes" to keeping us in, but it needs to be a unanimous vote, which I think is a disgrace, so basically if one club from the 23 holds a grudge against the Blues, they could basically make our club extinct. Shocking.

City will hope that all clubs will think about the potential that is extra gate money from the visit of Chester fans, who have travelled away in numbers, and there may be extra this year, from the fans who refuse to put anymore money into the pockets of Stephen Vaughan at the Deva Stadium.

All Chester fans will no doubt be stocking up on the paracetamols again this week, as another stressful time is upon us once again.

At this point, I think it's worthy to mention the Wrexham fans, who have made known their support for Chester City fans and the bid to keep the club alive. We may not like each other, but there is a definite respect for each other, who have both experienced mighty problems in keeping their clubs from the clutches of evil Chairman or owners.

Thank you for your support, and long may the derby games continue.

Friday, 7 August 2009

It's all gone horribly wrong again

The news has broken this evening that Chester City's match at Grays Athletic has been called off by the Conference, meaning the Blues future is once again in chaotic uncertainty.

Never has a situation occured such as this, and it's all basically down to the FA who claimed they are to review the Conference's initial decision to allow the club to start the season, as a top priority. As yet the 25 point deduction given to the club has not been validated by the FA.

The Blues are due to face Gateshead at the Deva on Tuesday night, but now that game is in doubt following tomorrow's cancellation.

How much more misery can my club go through before it dies?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

City status confirmed

Chester City have received confirmation that they will start the new season at Grays Athletic.

The Football Conference have stated that to be fair to their members they had to releas an interim statement confirming that City would receive a 25 point deduction, this including the original 10 points deduction for going into Administartion.

The news will come as a relief to us Chester fans, but the fact still remains that the man that got us into this mess is still at the helm.

Looks like a hefty Points deduction

Well judging from today's Daily Post, it appears that Chester City may still be in business today, but with a further 15 points deduction on top of the 10 points already deducted for the club going into administration.

Chester were reportedly close to accepting the penalty which means we can start the season, however, the FA are still believed to unhappy and that we have not met their criteria so maybe they have showed a bit of leniency towards the supporters of Chester City here.

More to follow...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

It's a Rollover

Yes, us Chester fans must now wait until tomorrow morning to find out what the FA have decided to do with us.

Earlier, they said that they had referred the matter to the Conference, but then the Club said they were waiting on a decision from the FA.

I don't think any of them have a clue, but I just hope I can watch Chester City next week.

Conference yet to reach a decision

Upon contact of the Football Conference, they have given the following statement:

No decision has been made yet, but we are endeavouring to reach a decision by 5pm this evening.

So, a decision could very well be imminent, this is it....

Time is running out

As mentioned on my last post here, Chester City's battle to avoid closure is not looking good right now, with the FA still not granting the licence to the club to be affiliated to them, and to enable them to take part in a League next season.

Stephen Vaughan, we believe is currently in Manchester discussing matters with the FA, and if he doesn't satisfy their demands, then life for Chester City Football Club will come to an end.

I feel physically sick at this, and the possibility that I will no longer have the opportunity to watch my team in action again.

Monday, 3 August 2009

More hours of worry ahead!

A day long meeting between the FA & Football Conference has failed to see Chester City awarded with a licence to play football.

Instead the Blues have been made to sweat a further 48 hours whilst a proposal on the club's finance plan is viewed by the footballing authorities.

It remains unclear then, if Chester City will travel to Grays Athletic on Saturday for the Blue Square Premier League opener.

It's everything crossed time again as this crisis lurches from one day to the next without resolution, one thing is for certain, we are now in the last chance saloon.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Tomorrow is the big day!

Tomorrow sees the Football Conference decide on Chester City's fate - along with the FA.

Stephen Vaughan has claimed that the documents needed by the FA for them to grant the Blues a licence to play football, have been sent in, and I truly hope they have, otherwise Chester City's future will certainly be non existent if they are not with the FA.

If the FA confirm receipt, and grant the club the licence, then it's over to the Conference to decide if the Blues will take part in the Blue Square Premier League next Saturday.

The Conference will also decide if any further penalty will be placed upon Chester City, following the return to Administration, after the initial CVA was overturned in Court last week.

Friday, 31 July 2009

The clock is ticking...

So, we are now less than 8 days to the start of the season, and we still don't know if Chester City will begin next season in the Blue Square Premier League, or even start the season anywhere at all, as the Football Association have still not granted the licence that Chester are so longing for.

Tomorrow, the Blues face Drolysden, a match that has only got the go ahead following negotiations with the FA, and mostly based on the fact that the fixture is a charity match staged in memory of Neil 'Tony' Downes, who was killed in action in Afghanistan whilst serving in the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The match at Droylsden, could very well be the last time we see Chester City FC in action, but hopefully this will not be the case.

The fans will be hoping that the club get the rubber stamp from both the FA and the Football Conference by Monday.

If the green light is given by both, then the club can prepare for that first game at Grays a week tomorrow.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

CVA Revoked

Chester City's existence is now truly in danger of being lost asthe Judge in the Refresh Recovery v HMRC match up in Court, voted in favour of the tax man, meaning that the CVA has now been revoked.

So, a number of possibilities beckons for Chester City FC as it heads back into Administration:

CCFC could fall foul of the Appendix E ruling set by the Conference, which means that any club who enters Administration prior to the season start will be demoted 2 leagues, meaning Chester City would start in the Unibond League, and more than likely with a further points deduction.

CCFC could be liquidated as the HMRC may choose to wind up the club if no CVA can be arranged. This would mean a new Chester City would have to be formed.

CCFC could still get a CVA in place in time for next week, but it would mean agreement with the HMRC, which right now looks unlikely.

Whatever the case the future now looks very bleak for my club.

Stephen Vaughan - you are a disgrace.

Court date for the Administrators

So, today is the expected Court case between the Administrators, Refresh Recovery, and the taxman, or to be more exact HMRC.

The outcome of the case today will go a long way to deciding Chester City's future as a football club.

If the outcome is not a positive one for the Administrators then the club is in severe danger of losing it's place in the Blue Square Premier League, without a ball having been kicked.

If the result is a positive one then it's a small step to securing a licence to play football from the FA.

Time will tell.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

3 days on, and still not sorted...

That's right, we have now moved on three days since we were told by the club that this paperwork issue would be sorted, and guess what - it isn't.

With just 16 days to go until the Blue Square Premier league is due to start, we still don't know if Chester City will be part of the set up, or even be able to field a line up of players on August 8th.

Right now, it doesn't look good with the club claiming they have done everything possible, but the FA standing firm on the stance that the club have not fulfilled their requirements regarding the set up of Chester City FC 2004 Limited - the group who bought the club from Administration, fronted by the Vaughan family.

What have we done to deserve all this crap hey? Ever since 1989 when the club lost Sealand Road, and had to move to Macclesfield - who thankfully agreed to allow the Blues to use the Moss Rose ground - for 2 years, it's just gone from bad to worse.

I just hope that this is sorted out sooner rather than later, otherwise the club I've supported for over 28 years looks to be heading for extinction.

Monday, 20 July 2009

3 months on, and disaster strikes again!

Well nearly 3 months to the day of my very first blog, and what happens, I head away for the weekend, and end up hearing that the FA have refused us a licence to play football.

That's right, Chester City Football Club cannot play football matches right now - shocking isn't it?

How has all this happened?

Well, according to the FA they are unhappy with the details of the new company that bought Chester City from Administration, the company being the son of Stephen Vaughan, also named Stephen Vaughan, who's company Chester City Football Club 2004 Limited purchased the club for £290,000 back in June.

The deal to buy the club included a £254,000 good will payment from Vaughan Junior's father, the previous owner. This does seem strange, and is seen in the main as a tax evasion exercise by Vaughan Senior - why else would he look to clear all the debts via Administration?

The saddest thing as far as I'm concerned is that whilst Vaughan Senior was willing to provide his son with £254k as a good will payment, he stubbornly refused to pay off £72,000 to the Footballing authorities which would have resulted in the lifting of a transfer embargo - and ultimately Chester City's football league status was lost.

What other reason could there possibly be for Vaughan to take the club into Administration, than to avoid paying off the huge debts, £7m in 8 years, including £1m owed to the taxman.

When the Administrators were appointed, bids were invited for my troubled club, however, Stephen Vaughan would only agree to write off his £4m debentures providing it was his bid that was formally recognised as the Administrators preferred choice.

This then meant that Stephen Vaughan regained control of the club through his son's new CCFC 2004 company, and began to make plans for the forthcoming season.

The Blue Square Premier League accepted Chester City into their league, despite some legal goings on between the club, the FA & the BSP.

However, now the FA have refused to accept Chester City's application for a licence to play, amid concerns over the set up of the new company that owns the club.

At present, no-one actually knows, other than the officials at CCFC, and the FA, as to what the problem is, is it a minor problem, that can be quickly ratified once the relevant paperwork has been submitted, or is the situation a lot more serious than this?

The FA have advised Chester City to cancel all pre-season friendlies, a move that I've certainly not seen, or heard of before, and this is extremely worrying for all Chester supporters.

Stephen Vaughan is making Chester City look an amateurish club through his actions of management at the helm, and that's exactly what Chester City may become - amateurs.

Hopefully some good news will follow this posting on my blog, but as you can see, after 3 months since the original post, it's still hell at the Deva for us Blues fans.

Let's just hope this mess is sorted out.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

It's Hell at the Deva!

Well this is my first blog, and I thought I'd get stuck into something that really makes me happy, annoyed, fed up, elated, sick, embarrassed, the best feeling in the world, gives me headaches, and generally takes up my whole life - what is it? It's football of course - not just any old football, but lower league football!!!

Forget all the soap operas in the world, take a trip to the Deva Stadium - no really, please do take a trip to the Deva Stadium - you'll find the best supporters in the world.

I know every fan will say this about their club, but really has a club put its own supporters through the mill as many times as Chester City FC have?

The likes of Manchester Utd, Liverpool, and Arsenal all complain from time to time about pressure, and injuries, well that pressure is nothing when you compare it to Chester City FC, with less than 10 professionals currently on the books, and a handful of 16 & 17 year old kids - trying to stay in the League as a full time football club is real pressure.

The manager, Mark Wright, who himself has proved to have a soap opera of his own follow him around for the past few years, has worked without pay for the past 3 months, yet has managed to see his side in with a fighting chance of staying up - well after Saturday's defeat to Bournemouth, now only a mathematical chance of staying up rather than a fighting chance.

The side has relied heavily on it's youth players recently following the exit of 7 players in the January transfer window, what about the replacements I hear you ask, well errr...erm.... there aren't any.

Thanks to the transfer embargo that's been placed on the club for the majority of the season, our chances of doing anything other than dropping down the league like a stone in water have been pretty remote. Sadly, our owner Stephen Vaughan, has refused to clear the outstanding embargo, and subsequently the club has lost more than it's drawn or won in 2009, and the fans are the ones who have suffered most.

It's not a new thing for Chester City fans, going back over the last 20 years, we've had Mark Guterman, a failed businessman, who took the club into administration, and at one point wanted us to become the feeder club to Manchester City, thus losing our own identity as CCFC. Guterman has since had an unsuccessful spell at Wrexham - our local rivals, where the club ended up in Administration - and yet the Footballing authorities do nothing about these crooks coming into the game and ruining our beloved football clubs.

Following the Guterrat, it was the turn of Terry Smith, an ex-American footballer (or so he'd have us believe), who decided that he wanted to buy Chester City, as he'd fallen in love with Chester Zoo, hmmm, work that one out! He also decided that he could do all the work himself, and surprise surprise catapulted the side to the bottom of the League, and despite a heroic attempt by Ian Atkins, a lower league style Manager, he failed to keep us in the League, and a spell in the Conference was ours.

The Liverpool boxing promoter Stephen Vaughan, then bought the club, and became an instant hero, changing things for the better, employing Mark Wright as Manager, and winning the Conference title in 2004 - from that point - it all went horribly wrong.

Mark Wright fell out with Stephen Vaughan on the eve of the new League season, and walked away from the club, this happening just weeks after new signing Stephen Vaughan Junior was unveiled, following his move from Liverpool (reserves/youth). It soon became apparent that SVJ was not the Liverpool type footballer we had come to expect, and was soon being exposed in the Blues defence time after time.

A few Managers came & went (including Mark Wright once again, despite Vaughan Senior's claims that he would work "over his dead body" at the club again) in the meantime, however two things were to start a trend at the Club, firstly, nepotism, and secondly the January sales.

Every season, Chester City would start off like an inter city train and head to the top end of League 2, but then a lack of incomings during the Transfer Windows saw City slide quicker than melted snow off a roof down the table. Keith Curle tried, Mark Wright tried, Bobby Williamson tried, but year after year the same would happen.

James Vaughan, the second son of Stephen would then be signed by Chester City, a move which clearly antagonised the Blues faithful, and ever since we have been blessed with the Vaughan offsprings in the City squad, despite a brief spell where young Stephen was transferred out to Rochdale, non league football, and then back he came after a serious injury to take his place amongst the City wage earners.

This season has been a disaster for Chester City FC, the most notable off pitch moment occurred before a game, when a minutes silence was observed for a major benefactor of the club, this turned out to be a drugs baron from Liverpool who was gunned down, little did the fans know who or what they were actually observing that silence for.

Ever since that killing, the funds have well and truly dried up at Chester City, leading to many conclusions drawn up, sadly the fact is that this season Simon Davies, was thrown into the hot seat - Davies was actually promoted from the Youth Team Manager post just prior to the end of the 2007/08 season, and did well to keep us in the League despite only winning 2 of the last 11 games.

Davies was sacked following a dismal start to the new League campaign, and Stephen Vaughan claimed that he would take his time over a new appointment, sadly, he took just 24 hours, and re-appointed Mark Wright for a third time, to help Chester City's battle against the drop.

Unfortunately this move alienated even more of the Chester fans, to some the point of no return, and some started to give up on the Club that seemed to be heading completely in the wrong direction - and this being off the pitch in the main. Those fans who were still watching, witnessed a dreadful home record, where the club finally finally ended it's barren run with a couple of wins recently to keep the season alive for a couple more weeks.

So now, to last weekend, three clubs in with a chance of relegation to the Conference, Grimsby, Bournemouth, and ourselves. Three Cup Finals to save City's league status, the first against Bournemouth - this coming just 2 weeks after City played out a draw at home to Grimsby - and so much was put in by the fans to get the pre match atmosphere going, lots of blue balloons, ticker tape - you know the type of thing, and all seemed great inside a busier than normal Deva Stadium - that was until 2 minutes in Bournemouth, known as the Cherries blew our day apart, and took a 1-0 lead, a lead that City were never to recover from, especially with the pressure on the 16 & 17 year old lads that were doing their best alongside leading scorer Ryan Lowe.

Chester only mustered one shot at goal in this encounter, and the South Coast club made the game safe just ten minutes before the end, leaving City's league status hanging by a thread.

Most of the City fans have now written the chances of league survival off, the only bonus being next week City will travel to Aldershot, whilst the other two candidates for the drop Bournemouth & Grimsby meet each other at Dean Court next Saturday, where something has to give.

The situation is clear now, City have to beat Aldershot to take it to the last game, and then beat Darlington and hope that one of their relegation rivals lose on the last day to see City keep their status.

Five years ago, City were celebrating their return to the Football League after that disastrous start to the Millenium, sadly Five years on, and we could become the newest members of the Blue Square Premier league.

This feeling will no doubt be shared by many lower league football fans, most of which tend to have a second team, be it Chelsea, Man Utd, Everton, Arsenal, Liverpool etc, but almost all of those fans will always put their own team ahead of the illustrious Premier League money grabbers, and suffer highs & lows as the season comes to an end, whether it be relegation, or just missing out on the Play Offs, or indeed, getting beat in the Play Off finals, either way the feeling is just the same, only for Chester City, the feeling of the point of no return is stronger than ever.

So, after all that, you can see why us lower league footy fans bleed our club's colours, that will never change, but why are we punished so much for our devotion???

Right now, it's hell at the Deva!