Author: Charlotte Walker

CFU Board Summary – February 2023

Present:  Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green, Nick Phillipson, , Ian Swettenham, Mike Vickers (via video link), Jeff Banks, Oliver Hill, and Mike Day.

In attendance – Georgina Slawinski.

Apologies: Christine Robson (Secretary), Alex Owen (not notified), |Charlotte Walker, Kate Mylchreest, Adam Langan, and Matt Dickenson.

Minutes of Meeting held on 21st January 2023 –   Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Conflicts of InterestNo additional information be added to any director’s details.  Kieron informed the Board that he had turned down an opportunity as this would have created a conflict of interest for him and would have had to step down from the Board.

Action Log Review – No review in detail due to agenda items and proximity of previous meeting.

Sportwear Tender – Kieron shared the work he had been doing with Georgina to the Board.  Sent out 14 offers to tender and received 10 responses. (more than expected).  They have all been revied and scored against multiple criteria.  The bottom half of the companies have been notified.  The other four plus the incumbent had been invited in to discuss their tenders in more detail.  Areas of focus included but not exclusive to were – Cost to the Club, Retail Profit, Ethical Sourcing, Quality, Order Process and why did they want to work with our club.

Update on education room – Nick gave an update on the costings.  Georgina stated that TL training may be a possible user once the room is converted.  Nick had discussed potential priorities with Oliver and Kieron and would present these at the next Board meeting.

Football Update – Jim went through current injuries and start dates for some players.  Lewis Earl back after Tuesday’s game against Gloucester.  Charlie Caton will be with us until the end of the season.

Club was fined £400 for player behaviour which was covered by the players.  Another player had been fined £200 which he had paid.

Commercial Update – Commercial brochure for next season is now in progress.  Georgina will take ownership of the commercial website.  She will also organise a “thank you” evening for the current commercial sponsors and a welcome evening to new potential partners.

Website Progress – Mike Day had been working with Pete Mullerny from Obsidian (free vend) to work on the requirements which are needed.  The target is to complete by the next Board meeting.

AOB Board Reports – Kieron reminded board members holding a portfolio that they had a duty to report on this every month.  From this meeting, anyone missing their deadlines for report would incur a fine which would rise in increments for each subsequent month.  The money will be collected and given to a charity.

Survey Monkey – Everyone was reminded to complete in advance of strategy meeting.

Staff Meeting – Reminder that these occur each Monday at 11am as a drop in, not a mandatory attendance.  No one should wait for these meetings before engaging staff.

Next official board meeting would be Saturday 4th March 2023 at Chester Deva Stadium.

CFU Board Summary – January 2023

Present:  Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green Nick, Phillipson, Charlotte Walker (via video link), Ian Swettenham, Mike Vickers (via video link), and Adam Langan, Kate Mylchreest, Jeff Banks, Oliver Hill, and Matt Dickenson.

In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary) and Georgina Slawinski.

Apologies: Alex Owen (not notified).

Minutes of Meeting held on 12th December 2022 –   Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Conflicts of InterestNo additional information be added to any director’s details.

Action Log Review – Kieron went through all actions that were still in the pipeline and discussed with directors where the club was at with current projects.

Upgrade of education room – Plans are ongoing to change the room.  Need some costings  One suggestion is to turn it into an office which would be self-contained and independent from the Club.  Georgina in talks with Council with regards to a workspace pilot project grant.

Disabled Viewing Platform – Nick will set up a mock structure to show to the Board what it would potentially look like.

Return of turnstiles – This was discussed after the Blyth game.  Jeff and Georgina have sent some ideas to Steve Povey.

Football Update – Jim Green had sent out an email to the board regarding several players.  Rhys Jones would have played for the club if it had not been postponed due to the weather.  Charlie Caton’s contract would be expiring.  If the Club wished to extend, it would need to be to the end of the month.

Finance Update – To be deferred to next official board meeting.

Football Update – JG stated that Lewis Coulton had gone back to Preston and Charlie Caton may start today.  Calum considering bringing in a left back next week.  No changes will be made in terms of budget.  Calum stated that there were improvements to be made and needed to be done whilst the club was in a good place.  Retention of players need to be secured sooner rather than later.

The Club has had several offers regarding Kurt Willoughby but were turned down. As the offers were not good enough.  Jim would like to offer Kurt a new contract.  The Board agreed to offer a new contract for 18 months.  If any more offers were made, the Board agreed to a minimum acceptable fee.  Approved that Jim could act without additional approval should a fee of that value be received.

Finance Update – Matt had circulated to the Board three accounts regarding the Profit and Loss Accounts year to date – December 2022 plus a mid-year reforecast (2022-2023) and a mid-year cash flow (2022/2023).  Matt went through all the figures.  He was concerned about the overspend on players costs plus the overspend on players food and travel.  The Club needs to find ways to reduce the expenses.  A discussion was had regarding Charlie Caton’s contract.  The decision would be deferred until Matt had more information.

AOB Club Website Proposal – To be deferred to February meeting.  Georgina spoke about the Board Strategy Meeting on 18th February 2023.  Would send out a survey monkey to all Board members.

KS mentioned that the 6 directors had clearance from the FA.

Next official board meeting would be Saturday 4th February 2023 at Chester Deva Stadium.

CFU Board Summary – November 2022

Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green Nick, Phillipson, Charlotte Walker (via video link), Ian Swettenham, Mike Vickers (via video link), and Adam Langan. In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary) and Georgina Slawinski.
Apologies: Kate Mylchreest, Jeff Banks, Oliver Hill, Matt Dickenson, and Alex Owen (not notified).

Minutes of Meeting held on 7th November 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Conflicts of Interest – As to date four directors still not submitted their “Directors’ Interests” form. CRR to send out a reminder again.

Skittles Test – This item was referred to next official board meeting.

Action Log Review – Deferred to next official board meeting.

Review of Directors’ portfolios – Kieron had spoken to everyone individually over the course of the past couple of weeks regarding portfolios and who would want to change. The outcome was: –
Football and Community – Jim Green to retain.
Retail – Kieron Shiel to retain.
Commercial – This would no longer be held by one member and would be owned by the commercial group led by Georgina Slawinski, Matt Dickenson and any other members who wished to be part of it.
Academy – Mike Vickers happy to continue and to lead on third party relationships, which will include part of infrastructure.
Fan Engagement working Group – Jeff Banks will focus on the online ticketing. Charlotte Walker will take on communications and fan engagement. Jeff and Charlotte to do a handover.
People/Volunteering/Fundraising – Adam Langan happy to continue with this portfolio. Georgina is in the process o f sorting out a data capture which is being funded by the university.
IT Systems – Mike Day will pick this portfolio up.
Infrastructure – Nick Phillipson will continue with this. Oliver Hill will give initial support, as it covers multiple areas. After Oliver has had his induction, he will also pick up fundraising from Adam, with support from the entire group.
All Board members have been reminded that if they have any issues, to speak to Georgina.

Finance Update – To be deferred to next official board meeting.

Football Update – JG stated that Lewis Coulton had gone back to Preston and Charlie Caton may start today. Calum considering bringing in a left back next week. No changes will be made in terms of budget. Calum stated that there were improvements to be made and needed to be done whilst the club was in a good place. Retention of players need to be secured sooner rather than later.

Strategy Review – KS stated that the Board needs to get together for half a day and discuss where we want the club to be at. University of Chester are happy to provide a facilitator and Storyhouse can provide the venue. CW will do a poll of a couple of dates (either 14th or 21st January 2023).

AOB – A request from Newsbeat (Radio 1 broadcast) had been received regarding coming to the grounds to present their programme live. This would take place on the day of England/Wales match on Tuesday 29th November 2022. A couple of other media outlets had also shown interest. After consideration the Board decided in favour of the Radio 1 Newsbeat team (provided there was some funding included in the package).

Fair Game Event – MV had spoken to the organisers of the event, who thought that Chester would be an ideal place to hold it, as it is central. MV thought that we could use the Legends Lounge or the Blues Bar to hold it in. JG stated that we needed to have much more detail on what would be taking place on the day. GS will need to be part of it. Dates suggested were, Friday, 3rd, 10th, and 17th March 2023. GS asked that we do not offer 3rd.

Meeting with CWAC -MV stated that a meeting had been organised with two representatives (Charlie Seward and Louise Gittins). NP and Matt D would also be present. Topics for discussion were our Business Plan, Strategy and Development of the stadium.

Communications – The Board discussed how communications with the club were to be done through social media. It was decided that all communications must go through Albert.

Next official board meeting would be Saturday 10th December 2022 at Chester Deva Stadium.

CFU Board Summary – October 2022

Present: Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green Nick, Phillipson, Charlotte Walker, Matt Dickenson, Ian Swettenham, Jeff Banks, Mike Vickers, and Adam Langan. In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary) and Georgina Slawinski.

Apologies: Kate Mylchreest, Alex Owen (not notified), and Paul Bodman (not notified).

Minutes of Meeting held on 3rd September 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Conflicts of Interest – CRR stated that not every director had sent in their forms, since a request from MD that all Board members should monthly, let the Club know if their situations have changed. A reminder was sent out to everyone.

Action Log Review – Kieron Shiel (KS) went through all the actions that were still pending and received updates from all the directors.

Online Forum – Charlotte Walker (CW) This was to go live on 17th October or earlier if it was possible.

Border Issue – MV still trying to set up a meeting with CWAC.

CFU Members meetings – JG is in the process of getting some dates together

Cleaner’s wages – NP and GS had meeting with cleaner regarding her wages. There will be an increase of 3%.

Directors’ gazebo. – The gazebo had been damaged and would look at investing in a new one.

Stadium Ban – JG had received a letter from the Police regarding four individuals who they would like to give a ban to. After looking at the CCTV, JG was not happy about giving out bans. A decision was made to write to the four individuals regarding their behaviour and what the consequences would be if it happened again. A statement would also be put out to the wider club explaining the Club’s stance on bad behaviour whether it be at home or away.

Football Update – JG had sent a report to the board regarding the outgoings and incoming loans of players. Also discussed the current injuries of some of the players. Went through the recruitment/retention report.

SAGs update – JG had circulated an email regarding the meeting he had attended regarding SAG. As it was the first in-person meeting since COVID, it had been very positive. He wanted to thank Steve Povey and Nick Phillipson for all their hard work in getting the stadium to the right place to get the inspections done.

Finance Update – MD had circulated a paper regarding the income/expenditure account to the year date. Went through all relevant figures. JB asked about utilities. MD stated that the electricity contract ended in November. The Club can enter a shorter contract, which effectively caps the price. The year-end accounts will be circulated to the Board when they are ready.

Premier League Funding – NP circulated several copies including a backlog improvement list. He needed to discuss with the wider board about where was the best place to go for asking for potential grants. As the timescale is unknown, it means that the Club cannot do anything until we know whether we have been successful with a bid. KS suggested that a team go through the list and score each item with a scoring matrix to set the priorities. The team consisted of five board members and the General Manager.

Director’s Reports – CRR had found relevant section regarding directors sending in their reports for each official meeting. KS asked that GS be included in the mailing list.

KS had queried with JB the price for the Junior Blues membership.

KS stated that he was pleased regarding the advance thinking and possible extension of some of the players. Stating that we had never been so forward thinking as a board in his tenure.

KS asked MV to get the actual results on future reports for the Academy Report. Asked MV to speak to Albert regarding putting them on the website in future.

AOB – MV had circulated a paper to the Board regarding a proposal to make Alex Kenyon a part time Academy coach. This would consist of 19 games. The Board agreed to the proposal and AL would sort out a contract of employment.

Fans and Survey – GS stated that the matchday budget had been signed off. Wanted to do a survey and tailor it to the members. It is very important to get feedback about matchday experiences. AL stated that it should be sent to all fans, and not just members. CW stated she would help with the survey monkey to include all fans.

Hospitality Review & Website Feature – GS stated that she had great feedback about our hospitality and wondered whether it could be put on the website, so fans can see how well the club is doing. Could we also advertise hospitality packages on the home page? CW stated that she did not see a problem with incorporating it on to the website.

The next official Board meeting would be the AGM Thursday 3rd November 2022 at 7.30pm in the Blues Bar at the Stadium.

City Fans United Launch Online Members’ Forum

The board of City Fans United and Chester FC are proud to launch a brand-new online members’ forum. This forum will be a place where CFU members can ask the board questions, provide feedback, and have access to exclusive content.

CFU Chair, Kieron Shiel, says: “Our commitment to face-to-face fan forums, CFU meetings, and engaging with those members who aren’t frequent internet users continues to be high on our agenda.

However, we really hope that this platform will become a valuable tool as part of how we further improve and enhance engagement and communication with our CFU members.

We want to foster an honest and transparent culture at this club, and we hope that by giving fans another direct link to the board we can make further strides.”

As part of our drive to improve fan engagement there is an ‘ask the board’ area on the forum, questions asked here will become a standing item on informal board meeting agendas.

To sign up for the members’ forum head to https://cityfansunited.boards.net/.

As this is a CFU members-only forum we will need to verify that you are a CFU member before approving your access. As part of registration, you will be required to use your real name rather than a pseudonym. If possible, please also use the email address that is registered to your CFU membership, this will speed up your approval.

We would also encourage you to upload a photo of yourself. In the navigation bar, go to ‘profile’ and click ‘edit profile’ to upload an image as your avatar.

Please allow up to 48 hours from signing up for your access to be reviewed and approved.

We want to ensure that this outlet remains a positive and constructive platform, and as such we expect our members to follow the guide on acceptable usage.

If you are not yet a CFU member but would like to sign up and access the members’ forum you can do so here.

CFU Board Summary – September 2022

Present:  Kieron Shiel (Chair), Jim Green Nick Phillipson, Kate Mylchreest, Charlotte Walker (by video link)., Matt Dickenson and Ian Swettenham. In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary) and Georgina Slawinski.

Apologies: Adam Langan. Mike Vickers, Alex Owen, and Paul Bodman (not notified) and Jeff Banks

Minutes of Meeting held on 13th August 2022 –   Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Action Log Review – Kieron Shiel (KS) went through all the actions that were still pending and received updates from all the directors.

Online Forum – Charlotte Walker (CW) presented a power point regarding a new online forum.  The purpose of the new forum was to create a space for fans to have a conversation and interact with the Board.  It is also designed to communicate and engage with members and combat misinformation.  It will provide fans with “real time2 updates and opportunities to become involved.  It was hoping that it would go live on 17th October 2022j

Commercial Pipeline – Georgina Slawinski (GS) stated that there were plenty of meetings taking place next week.  Was sorting out a “Lifestyle Card” meeting and would update the Board at a later meeting.  Sponsorship for the stadium was slow.  We had a company called Clay & Rock who had sponsored several boards.

Football Update – Jim Green (JG) stated that we have a couple of long-term injuries plus a couple of short term. Calum was looking at a loan but is aware of the budget.  It will only be for one month.  All players out on loan have been done.

Finance Update – As Matt Dickenson (MD) stated that the accounts for last year had gone off to the auditors.

Premier League Funding and Catering – Nick Phillipson (NP) had spoken to Steve Povey regarding several areas that needed upgrading.  Pitch irrigation needed new sprinklers.  It must be done before next season.  We need to revisit the disability viewing platform and seat replacements.  Adam Langan stated that the Disability Liaison Officer was happy to have a cover erected.  Looking at upgrading the Education Room.

AOB – Safety Update, JG, CWAC and Steve Povey had a meeting.  Inspectors will do a documented audit followed by an in-person visit (September) and one in January 2023, followed up by one in July 2023.   Looking at a pay review for stewards.  Steve Povey has recruited some new stewards.  He will do in=house training and a verifier will come and certify that stewards have passed.

CW wanted to make sure that the future campaign for Boost the Budget is not overlooked.

The next official Board meeting would be Saturday 8th October 2022 at the Chester Deva Stadium at 10.30am

CFU Board Summary – July 2022

Present: Jim Green (Chair), Nick Phillipson, Adam Langan, Jeff Banks, Kate Mylchreest and Charlotte Walker (by video link). In attendance – Christine Robson (Secretary).

Apologies: Kieron Shiel, Matt Dickenson, Mike Vickers, Alex Owen (not notified) and Paul Bodman (not notified)

Minutes of Meeting held on 9th June 2022 – Minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.

Action Log Review – Jim Green JG went through all the actions that were still pending and received updates from all the directors.

Football Update – JG stated that the team had a couple of injuries and had some new signings. We had an increased playing budget with the help of a donation from Ian Swettenham. The Manager had mentioned that he wanted to introduce a new travel arrangement for away games which would include a pre-match meeting and meal with the players.

Finance Update – As Matt Dickenson (MD) was absent from the meeting, the update would be deferred to the next official board meeting.

Conflicts of Interest – As MD was absent from the meeting, this would be deferred to the next official board meeting.

Job Description – Adam Langan (AL) had circulated a paper to the board regarding the job description for the Media and PR Officer’s role. AL had done some research into the job role and went through all the commercial work that Albert Davies had undertaken since March 2022. Albert had brought to the club significant revenue and AL felt that his salary should reflect the extra work that he has undertaken. He asked the Board to vote on the increase in salary, which was unanimous. AL also asked the Board to consider the change of name to Communications Manager & Football Administrator. The Board did not have an objection to this change.

Catering Contract – Nick Phillipson (NP) had circulated a paper to the Board regarding the Legends Lounge, Blues Bar, mobile vans, and the kiosks. Hopefully everything would be in place for the start of the season

AOB – AL mentioned the perimeter of the pitch needed some repair. A suggestion was made about putting down Astro Turf. AL would get some quotes.
AL had put forward two dates for a “Volunteers Day” at the club. Dates were Sunday 24th July 2022 and Sunday 7th August 2022. Asked that some directors be present at both days.


Georgina (GS) was looking at some match day events and asked whether it was possible to have a budget. JB thought that it would be a good idea to trial it for the first five home matches. This was agreed.


Charlotte (CW) asked whether we could have a gazebo and sell “Seals Lottery and CFU membership. It would be helpful if the duty director put in a couple of hours in the gazebo.

The next official Board meeting would be Saturday 13th August 2022 at the Chester Deva Stadium at 10.30am

A toast to our volunteers

City Fans United would like to recognise our team of volunteers who are working hard to keep the Chester FC first team squad fuelled up this season.
Pam Hipkiss, Kath Larkin, Richard Price, and Julie Deacon ensure the players and staff are provided with lunch following every training session, under the guidance of kit man Jimmy Soul.
As well as helping the players refuel after being put through their paces on the training pitch, it is also a chance for the squad to spend time together socialising.
The volunteers work together to purchase the ingredients, prepare and serve the lunches and keep the kitchen and community room at King George V Sports Hub clean and tidy.
Their tasty menu features endless options, so long as the players’ orders include one of beans, cheese or spaghetti on brown or white toast.

Ian Swettenham Joins CFU Board

City Fans United is delighted to announce that Ian Swettenham has been appointed as a Director.

Ian, who is well known to Chester FC fans for his long-standing support of the football club, joins the Board having been co-opted this week.

Swettenham Chemists, which Ian and his wife Dawn have run for more than 30 years, play an active role in their communities and have sponsored the Blues for a decade.

Their support includes sponsorship of the Swettenham Chemists’ Community Stand at the Deva Stadium and the club’s Academy, where they have been crucial to the achievements of our youth section, which has now seen 19 players graduate to the first team since the reformation.

Ian is also a chartered accountant and his skills, experience and success further strengthens the Board as we seek to continue progressing on and off the pitch.

Welcome aboard, Ian!