Category: CFU Board News

CFU Board Update

The board of City Fans United have strengthened their ranks with a new addition.

 

We would like to welcome Adam Langan, who has been co-opted to the board until the AGM later this year.

 

On joining the board, Adam said, “I am honoured and delighted to be joining the board in such a pivotal time for our club, I am excited to offer my skills to benefit the club I’ve supported for 20+years. I’m extremely excited to solidify the links between the council and the club and am extremely passionate about improving the stadiums facilities and the clubs infrastructure as these are the long term assets that if improved will enable us to compete at a higher level.”

 

CFU Chairman Andrew Morris, officially welcomed Adam to the board, “On behalf of the CFU board I am delighted to welcome Adam following his co-option to the board this week. Adam brings with him a range of skills and experience developed through his time working in local politics as well as experience and skills in community engagement which will be vital as the Club moves forward.”

 

In 2020 there have been some movements on the board, with Nick Phillipson joining as an Non-Executive Director, effectively assuming the role of Richard Lynes who stood down in December, and of course David Harrington-Wright stepped down as Chairman earlier this year.

 

 

CFU Board Statement

The Board of City Fans United can confirm we received notification from Stuart Murphy, on behalf of Exacta Plc, on Sunday 10th May advising his intention to end his association with the Club forthwith.

Therefore the Board wishes to advise members we consider Stuart’s approach to takeover the ownership of Chester FC to be withdrawn.

We can confirm that to date we have not received settlement of the outstanding financial commitments for the 2019/20 season, however we remain in discussion with Stuart regarding this matter.

Chester FC would like to place on record its appreciation to Stuart for his financial support and donations received since his association with the Club commenced in 2018 and we wish him well for the future.

The Board will provide further updates to members over the coming days and weeks, and is committed to fully engaging with the membership in developing a revised strategy to ensure we can overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to function sustainably and remain competitive when football returns as a 100% supporter-owned football club.

Board Update – 3rd May 2020

 

Chester FC would like to update supporters and City Fans United members on the progress that has been made as the club aims to navigate through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

These are extreme and unprecedented times for us all and first and foremost the thoughts of everyone at the club are with those who have lost family and friends. We wish to place on record our appreciation for the incredible NHS staff and frontline key workers who are going above and beyond to help others.

 

The impact of the crisis on the club has been significant with the loss of five scheduled home fixtures and the cancellation of a number of fundraising events resulting in significant reductions in income.

 

The board of City Fans United has been in constant dialogue during this period and engaged with key stakeholders including the Community Trust, the council and MBNA as we attempt to steer the football club through these uncharted waters and ensure the health and wellbeing of our players, staff, supporters and local community.

 

We continue to work tirelessly to safeguard the football club and maintain its financial stability, both in the short term and long term, to enable us to emerge in the strongest possible position for when football resumes.

 

This is a rapidly developing situation and as a board we are committed to presenting supporters with accurate information and thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Please find below an update on the steps we have taken already and the present situation:

 

What we have done

 

· While it is not possible to put an exact figure on the cost of the pandemic to the club, the cancellation of five home matches and several fundraising events mean a potential £100,000 worth of revenue has been lost. We have lost income from non-matchday related income such as Liverpool Women FC venue hire, as well as end of season pitch hire and our Awards Evening.

 

We have taken steps to collect a number of outstanding invoices and are grateful to those businesses and individuals who have made prompt payments. The club does have some debtors and will continue to pursue these.

 

· We have placed the majority of club staff on furlough leave and accessed the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The board decided to continue to pay all staff, including those furloughed, 100% of their salaries up until 2nd May. The first payment from HMRC was received this week and we wish to thank our players and non-playing staff for their understanding and cooperation. We have held discussions with staff with regards to what happens after the 2nd May and have also considered rotating furloughs for those staff that we still need to remain working.

At present the CJRS is due to run until 30th June. We are in continuing dialogue with HMRC regarding the scheme, however given the uncertainty around when football will resume there may well be more difficult conversations to take place as time goes on.

 

· The club has a number of ongoing running costs and annual outgoings to consider over the coming weeks and months including insurances, utilities and VAT. Where possible, we have taken steps to defer or postpone these payments, including the negotiation of payment holidays which means the club don’t have to pick up the cost later in the year. The club has applied for a Coronavirus Business Support Grant (£25,000) and club has received business rates relief for this tax year (£11,700). We wish to place on record its thanks to both Cheshire West & Chester Council and Flintshire County Council, who have been extremely supportive.

 

· We have been in frequent contact with the National League regarding the impact of the pandemic on the game. In April we supported a resolution asking member clubs to end the season and cancel remaining matches. The league has since asked member clubs whether the play-offs should be cancelled or postponed – the outcome of this vote has not yet been confirmed.

 

· We are due to receive circa £13,000 which is the advanced annual solidarity payment from the Premier League for the 2020/21 season. While this is not new money, we are grateful for the Premier League in bringing this payment forward three months.

 

· The virtual matchday initiatives have raised £4000 which will cover of the costs of improving the pitch over the summer. We wish to place on record our thanks to everyone who supported the virtual matchdays for making this possible.

 

· We have contacted sponsors and supporters who had booked hospitality packages for cancelled matches and we are extremely thankful to those who have generously advised the club to retain these funds. We have also received unsolicited donations from a number of supporters which are over and above forgoing pre-paid sponsorship and hospitality packages. This is an incredible gesture which is greatly appreciated and demonstrates what a true community club this is.

 

· We are currently contacting season ticket holders regarding the cancellation of the 2019/20 season and to discuss the options available. We are hugely grateful to those supporters inclusive of board members who have already informed the club to retain the full cost of their season ticket.

 

· The board has been holding at least two virtual meetings a week during the Covid-19 pandemic. These meetings have involved a number of key stakeholders and will continue for the foreseeable future.

 

· The Community Trust has been supporting the most vulnerable in our community with telephone befriending, practical assistance with shopping and prescriptions, delivering treat boxes to care home staff and producing Chester FC themed education resources for children who are home learning.

 

Next steps

 

Football

 

Like you, we are keen to see football return to the 1885 Arena as soon as possible. However, the board is united in its view that football can only return at a time when it is safe to do so for players, officials and supporters. We will continue to engage with the National League, footballing authorities and fellow member clubs on this matter and share any further updates with you at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

Season Tickets

 

This is normally the time of the year when supporters are able to renew their season tickets for the new campaign, however given the uncertainty around when football will return, which league we will be in and how many teams will be in the division, we do not believe we are in a position to start season ticket sales. This is one of the club’s main income sources and enables the club to work with the management to agree a playing budget for the new season. As the situation becomes clearer over the coming weeks and months, this position may change and we will communicate this to supporters at the earliest opportunity. The Fan Engagement Working Group (FEWG) has produced a season ticket pricing plan for the board to approve, however this will need to be revisited once more details are available regarding the future playing season.

 

Fundraising

 

As a supporter-owned club, fundraising is hugely important and as a board we genuinely appreciate every single penny and thank everyone who has donated past and present. These donations make a significant contribution to the sustainability and development of our club. We recognise the impact this crisis is having on people’s lives and know some of our supporters will be struggling. As a community club, we want you to know that we will do what we can to help you. The next few months will be extremely challenging and we have to continue to fundraise to ensure the future of Chester FC. We would welcome fundraising suggestions and ideas. We know we ask again and again, however this is your club and the more we can raise, the stronger we are.

 

Membership Renewals

 

CFU memberships expire on 31st May so now is the ideal opportunity to renew your membership for the next 12 months or sign up as new member. You can renew online at www.cityfansunited.com/join-city-fans-united and the cost remains just £12 per year to be an owner of our club. In these challenging times, your commitment and contribution is needed more than ever and of course the more members we have, the stronger we are collectively. Please consider setting up a Direct Debit for CFU membership via email to nick.phillipson@chesterfc.com as this makes future renewals much simpler and provides further revenue for your club as well giving you access to great benefits as a CFU member.

 

Enquiries

 

The 1885 Arena remains closed at this time and with most club staff on furlough leave, the board is continuing to respond to enquiries. Please email info@chesterfc.com if you have an enquiry and this will be forwarded to the relevant board member. We would be grateful for your patience given the current circumstances.

 

The Board is committed to maintaining the community ethos and values of Chester FC and taking the appropriate steps to safeguard the football club. The longer the current situation continues, the more challenging this will become, however we are confident that together we can emerge from these unprecedented times and look forward to a positive future.

 

We believe that as a fan-owned community club, we have a unique strength which is being demonstrated in the way everyone from the players and management, club staff, volunteers, academy, Community Trust, sponsors and most of all you as supporters has pulled together.

 

We commit to keeping you updated as we move forward and in the first instance ask you to consider renewing your CFU membership or signing up as a new member to support your club.

 

Until we can return to the pitch, please stay safe, do what you can to care for the most vulnerable and look after your family and friends.

 

Our City, Our Community, Our Club

 

The Board of City Fans United

CFU Board Statement

City Fans United can confirm that Chairman David Harrington-Wright has decided to stand down from his current role as Chairman as well as membership on the Board of City Fans United.

 

Formally elected to the Board in October 2017, before taking over the role as Chairman in April the following Year, David oversaw a significant period of stability and revival for the Club which had been challenged through a financial crisis as well as subsequent flooding and the Covid-19 pandemic during his tenure.

 

In December 2019 David took the decision to temporarily step back from his role as Chairman to support and care for his wife Fiona who sadly passed away in January 2020. He has now decided to permanently stand down from his role which will allow him to focus on his own businesses and personal well-being during this difficult time.

 

David has agreed to kindly support the board through this period of transition for which the City Fans United board are grateful for.

 

Upon leaving his role and the Board David stated;

“ I have been truly honoured to be the Chairman and a board member of my beloved Chester FC, and it’s fair to say the almost three years on the board have been a roller coaster!

I would like to think I leave the club in a better position than when I joined – but it’s not been solely down to me. The hard work of all my fellow board members and many many volunteers is something I am immensely proud of, and I thank each and everyone of them.

A great thanks from me to all our sponsors as well who have stood by us in difficult times, and also to Stuart Murphy without whom we may not have seen as much quality football in the past year as we have!

Finally a great thanks to all the fans – the support I have received from the majority especially over the past year with the issues I had away from the club has been humbling.

I wish Chester the best going forward whenever Football recommences, as first and foremost I have always been a blue!’’

 

At the City Fans United Board Meeting held on 30th March 2020 it was confirmed that current Vice-Chairman Andrew Morris would step up into the role of Chairman initially until the next AGM scheduled for 22nd October 2020.

Andrew Morris stated ‘It is an honour to take up this role on behalf of the Board and the wider CFU membership and I look forward to continuing to work with David during his handover period and alongside my fellow Board Members to continue the good work and momentum this Club has built even during this difficult period

Under David Harrington-Wright’s stewardship this Club has progressed significantly on and off the field and I speak on behalf of all my fellow Board members when I say he will be missed’.

CFU Board – Update

City Fans United directors have strengthened the board with Paul McDermott joining as an external director.

Paul, (58), brings a wealth of business experience, and will help develop the link between the board and Stuart Murphy, who are intending on working together to develop the club in the near future.

On his appointment as an external director, Paul said, “I am delighted to be involved in the club and to play a part in its development off the pitch and enjoy its success on it.”

Welcome to the board of City Fans United, Paul.

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.

 

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 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.