Chester City – The End Of The Road & The Rebirth


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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25 Responses

  1. Geoff Lawler says:

    As a vice-pesident and shareholder of another local club, I have great sympathy for the genuine fans of Chester City FC.
    Many years ago, you were one of our biggest rivals. Despite this, I was there at Sealand Road cheering you on against the mighty Leeds United on that fantastic night : the 3-0 League Cup victory.
    I genuinely hope you can one day re-emerge as a proud club, but in the meantime if you really love football then swallow your pride. I’m sure the likes of Tranmere Rovers, Macclesfield Town, Crewe Alexandra, Stockport County, Northwich Victoria, Vauxhall Motors, or Cammell Lairds would very much appreciate your support.

  2. Kev in Canada says:

    A tough time for all Chester supporters (even those of us up in Canada). Seems like a hell of a long time ago I was on the Sealand road end watching Alan oakes, Trevor Storton and Paul Crossley.
    Good luck for the future and definitely hope that you can get rid of that scavenger Vaughan, how he is not serving time is beyond me.

  3. Lol says:

    I feel I must congratulate the football club representatives who voted today but NOT the Conference itself who, rather than make the correct decision themselves, decided to defer (or be able to blame, should things go wrong) to the Clubs in the league they administer to. A bit spineless for a governing body.
    A number of clubs must have voted against their own best interests today in order to do the right thing and I thank them for putting football and the fans first in this instance.
    I look forward to reading about an AFC Chester City type team in the future run by the fans, for the fans and with the blessing of all the fans – good luck!

  4. MPW says:

    Can I just take this opportunity to thank you Ian for your superb articles over the past few months, they have been excellent.

    I hope that we can re-build a club that we can once again be proud of. There is a lot of hard work ahead, we know that this should not be underestimated.

    If we get up and running again, I am sure that you will be very welcome.

  5. James Loxten says:

    Judging by some of the vicious & rude half wits that inhabit the Devachat message board I really hope that they are not representative of the CFU as a whole who are making all the right noises – but have to now make the right decisions.

    The hard work starts now and the eyes of all Chester supporters will be on those that have the dreams of many in their hands. People will not be forgiving if the very people who called for the death of the club and treated the Danish people like lepers now act like rabbits in the headlights.

    I really hope they have some seasoned professional advisors on board as enthusiastic amateurs just don’t cut it at this level.

    Good luck to them I say – although they need a lot more than luck to resurrect the club from scratch.

  6. Tony says:

    Totally agree James, lots and lots of hard work for CFU and their supporters in the widest sense. For all the council’s positive noises they have to listen to all ‘offers’ for the tenancy of the Deva stadium and are duty bound to go with whoever they feel presents the best case. No special treatment for a SD backed bid and nor should there be so lets hope they can get a good working plan in place in whatever timeframe the council have

    Echo Lol’s comments in praise of the Conference clubs rather than the Conference who have hardly come out of this smelling of roses

  7. Lol says:

    From what I have read so far on this subject the above comments from James Loxton seem rather misplaced.
    Indeed CCFC’s future is in their (the supporters) hands, baring any more interference from the Danes and/or Stephen Vaughan Snr who, incidentally, still has the cheek to put himself up on skysports as a spokesman for the club after being disqualified from ownership (work that one out!)
    I don’t know where the Lepers analogy comes from either as that would infer that the supporters were not willing to speak to the Danes representatives. They did talk and the supporters didn’t like what they heard – it’s as simple as that! Maybe the links with the Vaughan family seemed too close or maybe the fact there was no organizational or financial stability or background was the problem.
    “Good luck to them” you say – well if they speak to the right people like FCUM, AFC Wimbledon and Halifax etc.. they won’t need it as these clubs have similar support to Chester City and are doing OK as far as I can see! They don’t need luck – they need a clean start and hopefully that’s what they will get now.

  8. Bernard says:

    Thank God this sorry stretched-out saga is just about over. It should have happened last August when failed to fulfil their first match.

    Spineless BSP Management.

  9. Al says:

    I was speaking to a Wrexham fan in the pub this evening (randomly, in Cambridge) who was not celebrating- after all, no-one ever wants to see their local opposition die, regardless of the bile and venom you sing and shout come derby day. It’s very sad that it has come to this for Chester, but at the very least, there is a road back available- when this happens north of the border the path back is far less clear cut.

  10. Rob C says:

    Rumour has it that the Conference board just did not have the authority to eject Chester City themselves: the decision had to be made by the member clubs.

    The Conference has been caught between a rock and a hard place throughout this whole thing: the Football League on one side, the Football Association on the other.

  11. Rob C says:

    Oh, and just to stress, the success or failure of any phoenix club is down to all Chester fans, not just the CFU. Get involved: you’ll love it!

  12. Darren says:

    Chester City 2004 is still alive and trading. I can’t believe the CFU think they will just walk into a fully functional, ready to go stadium! The pitch will be destroyed (£100.000.00), CCTV inoperable and so on.

    I hope the CFU understand that 28 days notice must be given by the council. That is 28 days of Vaughan removing all the equipment that belongs to Chester City FC 2004 Ltd.

    £10,000.00! They had best hold some emergency dinners with guest speakers before the new season. I think they will need every penny they can get for stadium restoration and merchandising.

    You have got what you campaigned for, but i am unconvinced that anyone of the electorates is qualified, or experienced enough to be responsible for the allocation and distribution of donations. Jeff Banks’s experience of football at the Deva is getting in for free as a carer for over 5 years, and then provididng voice over commentary for DVD’s.

    Were doomed before we start!

  13. At last this whole sorry episode is over. With CCFC run by “unsavoury people” that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy and the constant fudging of the Conference, the last few months must have been hell for all Chester fans.

    Now the hard work really starts! There are lots of fans of other clubs who have been down similar roads and no doubt will offer as much help and support as they can.

    Good luck to all concerned with the re-birth of football in Chester.



  14. Phil Jones says:

    We should have brought back. Scales, Butcher McNeil Marsh Walters, Lee, Turner, Burdon, Yates Astbury. Hamilton. They played for’ peanuts’ but played their hearts out.

  15. Helen H says:

    I’m an Oxford fan who had hoped to see you play us today. You have my sympathy for what has happened but I’m heartened to see your fans so positive about the future and hope you can follow in the steps of Wimbledon et al. Look forward to seeing you again in a few years time. All the best.

  16. Paul Davis says:

    Just like to echo what everyone else has said – must be absolutely desperate for Chester fans this season, but at least now you can start picking up the pieces and rebuilding. Very, very best of luck in doing that.

    And more power to your elbow on this excellent blog – the coverage on here of the Chester farce has been superb (if inevitably depressing). Many of us would just not have known what was really going on if it hadn’t been for twohundredpercent. That goes, of course, for many of the other issues covered here. Brilliant blog, one of the first I now turn to for proper football news behind the shiny headlines

  17. Alex Lee says:

    As a Wrexham fan I am personally gutted and I have great sympathy for Chester fans. Our clubs didn’t even get one last game against each other in the Deva! I hope you reform, good luck.

  18. Pete says:

    Ian, from a Chester supporter’s point of view, your grasp on the subject has been so precise I find it hard to believe you’re not one of us. Thanks for keeping a spotlight on our plight with such carefully researched facts, articulately delivered with a great deal of compassion. Always a pleasure to read, knowing that the situation is understood by others on the outside.

    The reality is very hard to stomach at the moment, but as you perfectly well stated, the time has come to rebuild a club that the people of Chester and surrounding areas can be proud of. Although, we’re not sure we’ve seen the last of Vaughan just yet…

  19. Martin says:

    AFC Wimbledon’s Erik Samuelson gets on the Conference Board and their decisions finally improve. Is that a co-incidence?

    Good luck Chester fans.

  20. Lol says:

    I should have Mentioned the excellent coverage this site has provided over this whole sorry affair. I look here first for the story without the spin. I am with you TwoHundredPercent.

  21. David says:

    I have been a Chester City fan for well over 40years and have seen many highs and lows. This being the lowest .The only way now is up. If we want it to happen it will look at AFC Wimbledon ,we will be back.

  22. Tracy says:

    As a Wrexham fan, I have every sympathy with what you’ve gone through thanks to the actions of the not so “fit & proper” SV. He shouldn’t have been allowed near football after Barrow (shame on the FA & FL). Good luck in the future, and look forward to our derbies again one day.


  23. AFC Wimbledon R US says:

    Just want to pass on my best wishes to the chester fans at this horrible(or happy time as the vaughn’s can now f-off) .As a AFC Wimbledon fan i know what you are going through atm and im sure should your fans need help or advice then our club would willingly help as best we could. As they say it’s onwards and upwards for you now, i do hope our clubs will cross swords again at some point.
    Good luck

    AFCW fans :)

  24. DJ says:

    Sorry to hear the bad news and good luck on the re-birth of your club. Does anyone know how this will affect the non-league feeder leagues to the conference? Promotions/Relegations etc???

  25. David Broom says:

    I am a Bournemouth fan and I’m sorry to say I cheered as loud as anyone when we beat you at the Deva a year ago. We thought those three points were priceless at the time, now I wish we could have given them back to you. If you had stayed in the league you may have stayed in business; if we had gone down instead we would surely have bounced back like Exeter, Torquay, Shrewsbury etc have done.
    The game needs clubs like yours (and ours) and true fans of all lower league clubs will wish you luck in getting Chester football club restarted in one form or another as soon as possible.
    Take heart from AFC Wimbledon and always keep the faith.
    Condolences and best wishes from all at AFCB.

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