Author: Jeff Banks

Board of Directors – Update

City Fans United would like to advise of a couple of additions to the board of directors.


Firstly, we welcome Kieron Shiel who was co-opted on the board at Tuesday night’s meeting of board members, and will be initially looking at the Volunteers portfolio.


Kieron has been co-opted following our open request for those interested in joining the CFU board, and fills the one available place at present until the AGM later this year, when he will be able to apply for election to the board.


Kieron will assume the role of Volunteer coordination, recruitment and development. He has a wide range of skills and experience including project and programme management, large scale people management and information technology.


The board have also welcomed a new external director, as Chris Robertson joins and will assume the Treasurer role, also until this year’s AGM.


Chris brings to the board senior management experience and has most recently worked for over 10 years as a management consultant with a wide range of charities, social enterprises and the UN.


As is standard with such appointments, both are subject to approval from the FA and criminal record checks.


We would like to thank everyone that got in touch, and also to Richard Lynes for his extensive time and effort in speaking to all of those who got in touch following our request. Our working groups will also be contacting some of those people with a view to strengthening each group.


We are also making progress with the position of CFU Secretary, following Marion Needham’s announcement at the 2018 AGM that she would be stepping down from the Secretary role during the course of 2019. We hope to make a further announcement on this in due course.


The next CFU meeting will take place on Thursday 21st March, starting at 7.30pm and will take place in the Blues Bar at Chester FC. This will be an informal meeting which will be streamed live on the CFU You Tube channel.


Starbucks offer for CFU members!

City Fans United and coffee shop giant Starbucks have joined forces to bring CFU members a special discount from now until the end of the season.


Starbucks Greyhound Park are offering a 10% discount on all beverage purchases from their store on Sealand Road, on production of CFU membership cards when ordering in-store.


Dave Pike, store manager at Starbucks Greyhound Park, was delighted to offer CFU members the discount, “We wanted to support our local club and share it’s community values. We look forward to welcoming Chester fans to Starbucks and wish the team all the very best for the season.”


Jeff banks, CFU director of Fan Engagement & Membership said, “It’s fantastic to have Starbucks on board with us. They are well known throughout the world of course, and for a company of that size to give our members a 10% discount is great to see and we are extremely grateful to Dave and the team for wanting to get involved in this way.”


It is hoped that this will be the catalyst to further discounts being announced for CFU members, “We would certainly like to invite more businesses to team up with us and offer our 2000+ members a discount on their products and services, and I’m sure many of our members shop both in the City and online. Now is the time to get involved!” said Banks.


If any businesses would like to offer members a discount, please contact Jeff Banks via email to


Vice Chairman appointed

The board of City Fans United can confirm that following the recent resignation of Calvin Hughes, Andrew Morris has now been elected as vice chairman at the board meeting on Monday 7th January.


Andrew joined the board in October 2017 and assumes the position with immediate effect.


As a reminder, the formal members meeting will take place in the Blues Bar at the Swansway Chester Stadium, next Thursday (17th January) at 7.30pm.


CFU Members Meeting – January

We’d like to wish all of our members a very Happy New Year!


The City Fans United members meeting for January will take place in the Blues Bar at the Swansway Chester Stadium, on the evening of Thursday 17th January.


The meeting, which gets underway at 7.30pm on the night will give fans a great chance to hear about the latest updates from the board of directors of CFU.


We will confirm other guests on the night very shortly.

CFU Members Meeting – January

The City Fans United members meeting for January will take place in the Blues Bar at the Swansway Chester Stadium, on the evening of Thursday 17th January.


The meeting, which gets underway at 7.30pm on the night will give fans a great chance to hear about the latest updates from the board of directors of CFU.


We will confirm other guests on the night very shortly.

CFU Director News

The City Fans United board can confirm that Calvin Hughes has resigned from his position as director.


Calvin was co-opted back on to the board in January 2018, and was then fully elected at the CFU AGM in September..


He also took over as Acting Secretary following the departure of Tony Allan in August 2018.


The board would like to place on record our thanks to Calvin for his hard work throughout his time back on the board, and wish him all the very best in the future.


Merry Christmas from CFU

The board of directors would like to wish all members a very enjoyable and safe Christmas.


We would also like to thank everyone who has volunteered their time for both CFU and Chester FC – without you, the club could not function.


The board really appreciate every single minute of time donated to the club that we all strive to improve, and recognise that at times it may feel that it’s a thankless role, but please be assured that we really would not have a club if it wasn’t for those dedicating their time for the love of the club.


We hope that you all enjoy your festivities and that we will continue to become stronger in 2019 thanks to your efforts volunteering for the club we all love.


Finally, we would like to thank the management team, players and backroom staff for what they have achieved in 2018, and hope that 2019 will deliver the results that we are all striving for.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The board of directors.


CFU Directors’ Portfolio Update – Fan Engagement & Membership

Today we continue the update from CFU directors, the latest provided Jeff Banks, whose portfolio includes Membership & Fan Engagement.


It’s been a manic few months following the efforts of bringing realistic and attractive season ticket and matchday prices to the table, but the Fan Engagement Working Group have ploughed on looking at various aspects of the matchday experience as well as putting our thoughts in to making the CFU membership more attractive to members.


Below, is a list of part of what we’ve been focussing on during the last couple of months:


CFU membership new joins / renewals

  • We recently hit the 2018 target and have since passed this too, which is great news. Effectively the number from 12 months ago has doubled.
  • Draw for winner of £20.18 club shop voucher will take place this weekend!
  • We are also going to be looking at further benefits of being a CFU member and also discussing the CFU membership joining fee based on comments and feedback made by members in the Big City Census 2018 and in general.
  • Due to launch in January, a large retailer have offered a generous discount to CFU members, details to follow on this.
  • Buy Clever Stuff have offered CFU members 5% off some ranges and also advised that they will make a further 5% donation to the Squadbuilder fund from purchases made direct from their website.


Lifetime Membership

  • We have 10 confirmed paid members. Packs for these have been this week. Our target for this scheme was an initial 10 members, which will hopefully increase to 20 in time. This has raised £10,000 (an obvious calculation there!)
  • CFU membership had a forecasted budget of £20,000 to hit and we are on course to hit this figure.
  • Extra benefits are being looked at on a continuing basis for life members.


Matchday Experience – Themes

  • 10th November – Altrincham – Remembrance Weekend. Together with the Community Trust, the pre match routine included attendance from the Veterans and Mercian Regiment, and a impeccably observed period of silence to pay tribute.
  • 1st December – Darlington – Retro Day. whilst we didn’t get a crowd of over 2000, which was disappointing, we still managed an increased attendance based on CFC fixtures played on this week in previous seasons. We also believe that there was definitely a feel good factor around the ground with the theme, along with some great sights of fans in their old Chester tops. Whilst financially it didn’t net the club any profit the fact that season ticket holders were able to take advantage of a £5 discount on purchases in the club shop helped produce great figures for the shop on Retro Day. We will keep the thought of having Retro Day 2 in our minds for next season’s planning. Half Time entertainment went down well too, and thanks to Buy Clever Stuff for their help and prizes donations.
  • 22nd December – Telford – Christmas Theme, with Santa making an appearance of course!
  • We are looking at themes for the rest of the season, and will release those in due course, but we are hoping to have involvement from former players, Junior Blues, as well as the Community Trust.


Half Time Entertainment

  • This was introduced for the Altrincham match and as mentioned above the Darlington match, and believe that it went down well and will continue to try and provide an enjoyable experience to all watching.


Cestrian 10 (part) Season Ticket

  • Launched Saturday 20th October together with social media marketing and promotional advertising via local press and also a radio advert dedicated to the Cestrian 10 on Dee 106.3 – thanks to Dee for this.
  • We have had more uptake than last season. The initiative now includes Legends Lounge as well as around the ground tickets, and currently offers fans a choice of 10 games from a possible 12. The scheme will end after the Telford match.
  • We are also putting plans together with the Community Trust for remaining unsold Cestrian 10 books.


Chester FC fans App

  • Launched in pre-season, this is in full operation and continuing to work well – we are monitoring the output match by match at present, and all feedback is positive.
  • We also have an additional person helping to respond to questions / promote the App.


Online Ticketing

  • This was trialled in 2018 for an initial period, however take up was low and would not have been cost effective to continue given the running costs of the platform. FEWG are continuing to look at alternative options for future use.



  • Continuing with the Community Trust. We will look to resume CFU membership applications in March at the Gazebo, although other initiatives may well be progressed via the Gazebo in between times.


Blues Bar

  • We have kept in dialogue with Dougherty & Allen to ensure that fans are getting the best experience possible in the Blues Bar and kiosks, following the negative feedback received after the first match of the season.


Fan Zone (for drinks)

  • This is to be discussed further in January as we want to progress this to enable a Fan Zone to be set up to allow fans to enjoy the matchday experience further. Dialogue continues with the Safety team. An initial conversation has taken place around the possibility of this being introduced.


One2One Challenge

  • We are continuing to promote the challenge for members to introduce one new member to CFU.


Various Fan Groups

  • Chester Exiles – FEWG have worked with Bern & Jonno to get a personal message out to the Chester Exiles who potentially feel less involved with our fixtures this season given the geographical nature of this season’s fixture list. FEWG want to ensure that the Chester Exiles are made to feel as inclusive as the rest of the supporters.
  • FEWG to liaise more with the Senior Blues in 2019, to ensure that their group is also getting the best matchday experience too.


Match Posters

  • We are continuing to look at match posters – there are various online posters produced, which are shared across social media. Non online posters are a different kettle of fish, given the costs involved of advertising, although we have tried asking fans to help distribute but this received a low response rate. We are also looking in to the possibility of having an external sign outside the stadium advertising future matches (this in early stages at present).



Other Items being looked at/discussed:

  • Bus service for matchdays
  • Increasing the number of children at matches
  • 2019 Fans Survey
  • Season Tickets 2019/20 – for discussion later this season





So, as you can see lots going on with the Fan Engagement and Membership section headed up by Guy Lister, and we’re always looking for more members, so if you would like to join our working group then please email to become involved.

CFU Directors’ Portfolio Update – Fundraising & Governance


Today, we continue the updates from the Director portfolios, with David Williams providing the Fundraising Update and Mark Jones with the Governance Update.


Firstly, David Williams, Fundraising Portfolio:


Christmas Raffle & Party – Since the Evening with Kevin Ratcliffe in the Summer, the main focus of the Fundraising Working Group has been the Christmas Raffle and Party. We have

  • Sold tickets in pubs
  • Sold tickets at The Forum in the City Centre
  • Sold tickets at MBNA

Furthermore, we would like to thank all the fans who have sold tickets themselves. This is something we need all fans to get involved with as it is one of the income streams that the club relies on.

The draw for which took place last night at the Chester FC Christmas Party at the Upton British Legion. Details of winners will be published in due course.


Seals Lottery – Regular publication of the draw results has seen a gradual increase in sales of Seal Lottery tickets, first prize was an impressive £542 last month. The pay out is linked to the number of entrants and we hope to grow this further in the New Year.


50-50 Draw – In conjunction with the Fan Engagement Working Group, we have offered half-time fan experiences out on the pitch as consolation prizes in the 50-50 draws. All being well, this will increase ticket sales and make the main cash prize even bigger!


eBay – Our eBay auctions have raised circa £1,600 since they begin in February. We wish to thank all who have placed bids – we even had a winner who lives in Shanghai! We hope to offer something relating to the Akwasi Asante debut hat-trick in the near future.



Mark Jones, Governance Update


Health & Safety – The last few months have been very busy on the Health & Safety front with a number of planned regular safety inspections from CWAC, the FA and under the Safety of Sports Ground Act.
Considerable progress has been made on a full review of our health & safety policies, risk assessments and safety certificate renewals.

Safety Certificate – The flooding obviously gave us major headaches with the safety certificate, however we were successful in regaining our safety certificate from CWAC following that difficult period.

Safety Advisory Group – A meeting of the SAG was held on 26th November. One area of discussion was the potential for a separate safety certificate to also enable Chester FC to host events at the stadium not involving football. This could potentially open a number of doors for revenue in the future,

Working Group – The Governance working group has attracted new members and is now meeting on a monthly basis.
Each member of the Governance working group will be working alongside CFU Board members to review and manage risks within their portfolio.



Tomorrow’s update will be provided Jeff Banks, whose portfolio includes Membership & Fan Engagement.

CFU Directors’ Portfolio Update – Commercial

2018 has been a year to both forget and remember for Chester fans and owners.


It started of course, with the crisis meeting in January that saw CFU members and Blues fans alike come together and raise funds to effectively keep the club going in its hour of need.


Changes to the board followed with a desire to put the club back on track, and along with some amazing fundraising efforts we’ve seen the club go from strength to strength especially with the change in management team that saw Bern and Jonno come in after last season finished.


The call has gone out for additional bodies on both the board and working groups, to help continue drive the club forward and as we approach Christmas and the tail end of the year, in the absence of a CFU members meeting in December the board of directors wanted to update you with a taste of what they’ve been working on since the last members’ meeting and what is to come in their portfolios, and today we begin with the Chairman, David Harrington-Wright.


David listed the following as updates in the Commercial portfolio.


Matchday sponsorships – We have almost completely sold out match ball and programme sponsorships which is great news, but there are a few remaining so would encourage anyone wanted to book a matchday package to contact straight away to avoid missing out!


Ground Boards – We have also several new ground boards in place which was always the aim, to bring new companies and sponsors into the club.


Groundsman’s Facilities – We have also contra deals put in place that have brought a top of the range mower for Mike Barrow, which enables vastly improved cutting of the grass and less time required on that side of things.

A contra deal has also been arranged with a company that provide drainage services for the pitch, this being a five year deal saving the club about £3k, but also gives us additional services free of charge too, which naturally is a major positive!


Club Shop – We have a new supplier of additional clothing and promotional items for the club shop and online, the first products were two bespoke jackets for the managers, which they can be seen wearing when not on the touchline.


End of Season Event – We are currently having meetings and discussion around of an end of season party, with details to follow on this very soon. We do of course have to take into consideration available dates with the planning of the event too.


Next Season – Even though we’re still only midway through this season, we are now planning for next season, talking to all existing sponsors, and of course new sponsors expressing interest in supporting the club.


Working group – We are a small working group, so always looking for more people to be part of helping the commercial side, and would encourage anyone interested to contact us via emailing and a member of the Group will respond.


Tomorrow we’ll have an update from the Fundraising portfolio holder, David Williams, and also the Governance portfolio holder, Mark Jones.