Author: Neil Bellis

Chester Select XI v Murray’s All Stars – Hospitality Packages Available

Chester Select XI v Murray’s All Stars – Thursday 15th February.

Chester FC can confirm that hospitality packages for the upcoming fundraiser event that will see a Chester side take on Colin Murray’s All Stars team, which includes Chester born and former Liverpool and England international Michael Owen, are now up for grabs.

There are various commercial opportunities for the event, as per below:
Match Sponsorship – £1000 ex vat
Includes a full sumptious 3 course meal provided by Dougherty & Allen for 10 guests, along with match tickets, a Stadium tour, and of course the all important Man of the Match selection.

Matchball Sponsorship – £500 ex vat
Includes the 3 course meal for 6 people provided by Dougherty & Allen, along with match tickets, stadium tour, and picture opportunities

Match Programme Sponsorship – £500 ex vat
Includes the 3 course meal for 6 people provided by Dougherty & Allen, along with match tickets, stadium tour, and picture opportunities.

All above sponsors will receive promotion of your sponsorship within the Stadium on the night & also the matchday programme

Meal Package – £55 per head
A 3 course meal in the Legends Lounge, along with match ticket

Mascot Package – £100 ex vat
The chance to be one of 22 mascots on the night, and have a truly memorable experience walking out with some legends of yesteryear and Colin’s all stars line up!
Match ticket included as well as a souvenir from the night itself.

For enquiries please contact the commercial team on 01244 371376 or email to secure your booking.

Act quickly though as this is expected to be in very high demand!

Boardroom changes

City Fans United can today announce that four new Directors have been co-opted onto the CFU Board.

The Board are delighted to announce that Jeff Banks, Mark Howell, Calvin Hughes and Simon Olorenshaw have been co-opted – all subject to FA Clearance.

Richard Lynes will also take on the role of non-executive Director.

Also following last night’s board meeting at the Swansway Chester Stadium, David O’Toole has resigned from his position as Director with immediate effect.

Fundraising working group update

The Fundraising Working Group have now met twice to establish it how it can assist Chester FC in both short and long term objectives.

There are a number of plans for events which will be formally advertised this week. The Chester FC website will have a dedicated fundraising page and there is also a fundraising twitter account being created.

There will also be the launch of an Auction Site with some great items on.

Any suggestions or comments can be made via We have received many suggestions and please keep them coming in. Due to the fact that we need to establish some quick wins, we have focussed our efforts on getting a number of events running in February and March but will continue to put an active programme of fundraising events throughout the year.

On Wednesday we ask all supporters to attend the Youth Academy Match and show your support to this initiative. The Fundraising Team will be in the Blues Bar to offer assistance and promote forthcoming events.


Jonathan Kerr

David Williams

David O’Toole

Peter Mitchell

Ed Jones

Geoff Leith

Lee Saxby

Jon Allman

CFU statement

Following Thursday’s CFU meeting at the Swansway Chester Stadium, three directors have decided to resign from the CFU Board with immediate effect.

They are Jonny Hughes, Neil Bellis and Anne Salmon.

The scheduled board meeting for Monday will go ahead as planned with the remaining CFU directors. Updates from that meeting will follow in due course.

Below follows statements from Jonny, Neil and Anne.

Jonny Hughes, Chair of City Fans United

Firstly, let me express my gratitude and respect to all the concerned CFU members who gathered at the Swansway Chester Stadium last Thursday night at our Formal CFU Meeting.

It was never going to be easy to give such news to you all and I have to admit that for quite a while I felt under tremendous pressure and some of my replies probably reflected that.

I understand, however, that for all the pressure I felt, you were all hearing this news for the first time and were understandably hurt, angry and upset: For that I am truly sorry and I apologise for my part as a member of your board that didn’t let you know sooner and I also accept that I let you down.

Since then I have been reflecting heavily on how we can all move forward together as one team to ensure there will always be a Chester FC. For that to happen I strongly believe we all need to come together, like we did at the Guild Hall, galvanised by purpose and passion and with nothing but fire in our hearts as we continue to realise our dreams of a sustainable fan owned football club playing at the highest level possible in the city of Chester.

For that to happen, I also believe there needs to be changes. So, with the best interests of the club at heart, I have taken the decision to resign my position of Chair of City Fans United and as a member of your board of directors with immediate effect.

That in no way means I am giving up the fight for our club however … no chance. I intend to continue to be the fully-committed and active fan and volunteer I always have been and to continue to offer my skill-sets, verve and energy in support of the club so I can do my part to help put things right.

I have been humbled by the messages of support that I have received in the last 24 hours, but for all of that I recognise that as a board we got some important things wrong: Again, I am truly sorry. I love this club. I love the people. I love our volunteers: There is and only ever will be one Chester FC, so my support for the team on the pitch and the team off it will always be unwavering.

Together we will get through this and prosper under the banner of Fan Ownership and City Fans United. Together, we are Chester FC.

Thank you for the privilege and see you on the Harry Mac (greatest terrace in the land), Jonny Hughes


Neil Bellis, Vice-Chair of City Fans United

After a period of reflection over the past few days, I have decided to resign from the board of City Fans United.

It is clear that the board needs to regain the confidence of the fan base in order to move forward as a club. As a member of the board which has failed so badly over the past year, I feel it is necessary that I stand down. I also wish to take this opportunity to apologise to the fans for that failure.

I am still committed to the future of Chester FC as a fan-owned club, and will continue to offer any support to the club that I can.

Thank you, Neil Bellis

Anne Salmon, Director of City Fans United

I have done a lot of thinking since the meeting on Thursday and I believe that as one of the longer-standing board members, I should apologise for my part in our joint failure to act quickly or decisively enough to prevent the situation we find ourselves in today and therefore resign from the CFU Board with immediate effect.

I will continue to be committed to the survival of Chester FC, supporting fundraising initiatives as a CFU member and a fan and I sincerely hope that those who have been calling for more immediate and decisive action will now step up and volunteer – especially with regards to Health and Safety.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who believed in me and voted me onto the Board in 2015, it was an honour and a privilege and I am sorry if you feel I have let you down. I also wish all those remaining on the CFU Board and in the working groups, every success over the next few weeks.

Thank you, Anne Salmon.

Fundraising working group meeting

The next fundraising working group meeting is taking place tomorrow (Sunday January 28) at the The Chimneys inn, Hooton Green, in Hooton.

The meeting will start at 3.30pm. Anyone who feel like they could help is invited to attend.

If you can’t make it but still want to be involved in the work of the group, or have any ideas which you would like the group to look at, then please email

CFU board summary – 18th January 2018

Summary of board meeting minutes 18th January 2018

In addition to board members attending this meeting, Richard Lynes in his role of chair of the Governance Committee attended to audit board meeting processes and procedures.

Report from CEO
Mark Maguire said that his main focus had been on the 100 club and that the PR launch was planned for later in the month, some commitments had been made by businesses and others were expected following the launch.

A date was still awaited for the James Alabi.

Following the Safety Advisory Group meeting there are no obstacles in respect of the Stagecoach proposal and a detailed proposal is now awaited which will be submitted to the board in the first instance.

Finance update

Laurence Kirby highlighted his concerns regarding the financial position – full details to be explained at the CFU meeting on 25th January.

Working groups

Following a meeting of the board, with some former directors, key stakeholders and volunteers, it had been agreed that a number of working groups be established, these were:
• Football
• Membership/community/fan engagement
• Commercial/Fundraising
• Strategy

Terms of reference will be set for each group and they will meet regularly and feedback to the CFU board, their notes will be published on the CFU website.

CFU meeting

The agenda for the CFU meeting was agreed and subsequently published on the CFU website.

Operations board

The minutes of the Operations board held on 18th December, 2017 were noted, also that an update on Health and Safety had been produced.

Volunteer strategy

Andrew Morris had produced a draft volunteer strategy which will be discussed at a future meeting.

Formal CFU meeting next week

CFU members are invited to attend our first formal CFU meeting of 2018 in the Blues Bar on Thursday January 25, starting at 7.30pm.

The agenda for the evening is as follows;

Welcome (JH)


Finance update (LK)


Working groups (all)


The streaming service will be available for any owners who can’t make it down to the stadium on the night. You must be a registered CFU member to watch the streaming service. Please email by January 24th if you want to watch the stream but haven’t previously signed up.

Seals lottery December 2017 draw

The latest Seals Lottery draw has taken place with the random number selector ‘button’ being pressed by Haidee McHugh of the Accounts Office,, witnessed by Barbara Rogers Accounts volunteer and Lottery Administrator Brian Burns.

1st – £525.00 no. 958 Mr G Pullar
2nd – £393.75 no. 816 Mr J Bithell
3rd – £262.50 no. 409 Mr J Harding

Total lottery prizes are also matched by funds going to the development of Chester Football Club To join the Seals Lottery, download the Application form today via this link and you could be the next big winner

or pick up a form from the ticket office. (cost is £5 per number per month)

(Note : -The Seals Lottery is now open to anyone aged 16 or over).

CFU statement – The fight is on!

The CFU Board wish to provide the following statement to all members, volunteers, supporters, stakeholders and friends of Chester FC.

The Board of City Fans United is aware of the concerns currently being expressed across the CFU Membership and the wider fan-base regarding the direction of the Club both on and off the field of play. We want to assure everybody that we are listening and that we intend to act to address these concerns and that your club needs your passion, support and help in assisting us to do this.

We also understand that when the prolonged period of results on the pitch are not going as we either hoped or planned, this has led to a decline of the ‘feel-good’ factor we enjoyed in the early days after our reformation. We have also seen our attendances drop considerably.

We know we need to recapture this and concentrate our efforts and ethos back onto community and fan engagement. Improved communication from us as a Board will be key to this.

On Monday night, we organised an informal consultation meeting with ex-board members, previous key volunteers, Community Trust colleagues and our CEO to assess and address the current issues surrounding the club and to work with us to produce and deliver a strategy to help improve the club’s fortunes.

As an outcome of this honest, frank but positive meeting, we will be setting-up a number of working groups and asking for fan involvement in these to take our plans forward. You, the volunteers and fans of this club are its greatest asset and our club needs your support now more than ever.

The main message is, however: The fight is on to avoid relegation and address the impact of reduced gates on our finances and budget projections. We have 18 league games left, 10 of which are at home and we all need to be behind the team as we grind our way out of relegation: The club needs its 12th man.

As we launch new initiatives, we ask you support them with vigour and as the lads battle on the pitch, we urge you all to get to each and every home game and to bring a friend or two (or ten) to boost our support and cheer them to victory.

This club is precious. This club is ours. Together WE are Chester FC and WE can do this!!

Our City, Our Community, Our Club (Always)

Jonny Hughes
Neil Bellis
Laurence Kirby
Anne Salmon
Mike Day
David Harrington-Wright
David O’Toole
David Williams
Mark Jones
Andrew Morris

CFU board summary – 14 December 2017

When the board met on14th December, they received a presentation on the General Data Protection Regulations from Susan Oldfield who is a member of the governance team; these new regulations will be introduced in 2018 and plans have to be put in place to ensure that the football club is compliant.

The regulations will cover how data is:

· Collected
· Stored
· Processed
· Secured and handled
· Clear responsibilities will have to be assigned to both CFU board members and staff.

The first step in staring to implement these new regulations will be to undertake an audit – Mark Jones is the director with the lead on this issue.

Mark Maguire attended the board to provide an update on progress in the establishment of the 100 club that has previously been referred to at CFU meetings, the aim is still to launch this initiative in January 2018. MM reported that discussions are ongoing regarding the possible Stagecoach development and there is a new initiative to tray and increase attendances at home games with the use of advance ticket sales.

In addition to a small selection of merchandise being on sale in the Evening Leader Office, the Tourist Information office on the Town Hall square have a limited range of merchandise.

LK provided an update on the financial position which showed the continuing trend of match day attendance being lower than planned and the associate spends also being down – programmes and 50/50.

Following the recent announcement at the informal CFU meeting in November, there was further discussion relating to reporting arrangements by Directors at CFU board meetings, JH had produced a template for income generation reports and also for membership and engagement reports. It was agreed that these should be used by all directors.

A policy regarding safeguarding of vulnerable adults was approved and it was agreed that there should be a page devoted to safeguarding on the club website and this will include copies of relevant policies relating to safeguarding.

The minutes form the operations board held on 27th November and 4th December were received – the issues covered at these meetings had already been discussed as part of MM’s report.

A calendar of meetings for the year was agreed Board meetings
18th January
22nd February
22nd March
19th April
17th May
14th June
12th July
9th August
6th September
4th October
1st November
6th December