Category: CFU Board News

First team manager statement

Chester Football Club can confirm that First Team Manager Marcus Bignot will leave the club upon the expiry of his contract in May 2018.
The decision was made by the City Fans United Board of Directors at a meeting last Monday.

The board would like to place on record their thanks to Marcus for remaining professional throughout his tenure – especially of late – given the challenges currently being dealt with by the club.
This season has been an extremely tough one to endure for each and every Chester FC supporter. It has also been a challenging environment for Marcus to be involved with. The board wishes to emphasise that we understand the frustrations of all concerned.
We do thank the fans for their continued support and ask for their ongoing backing as Marcus manages the team for the remainder of this campaign. He has worked very hard in extremely difficult circumstances and it is vital that he retains our full support for the remainder of his tenure.

The board of directors
City Fans United

CFU informal meeting postponed

The informal City Fans United members meeting originally set for Thursday 29th March has been postponed due to the proximity to the Easter weekend.
The meeting was initially a ‘formal’ meeting, however, the formal meeting took place in the Blues Bar on Thursday 1st March, with the meeting on the 29th then planned to be an ‘informal’ one.
Once a new date has been fixed, we will also advise of the venue and kick off time.
We hope you all enjoy your Easter holidays and of course hope to see you at the Swansway Chester Stadium, on Good Friday for our match with Torquay United, with three excellent (we’ve avoided using the pun!) offers for the match, listed below.
– FREE Entry for Under 16s – please download this simple to complete form to then take to the game to claim your FREE ticket
– Reduced Adult prices on the Harry McNally Terrace – it’s just £10 for this match on the terrace!
– FREE Easter Egg for Under 12s – please visit the CFU Gazebo that will be outside the ticket office to claim your FREE Easter Egg! Please note it’s a limited supply and will be on a first come, first served basis and will be restricted to one egg per child!
See you there on Friday!

Tranmere ticketing announcement

The board of City Fans United have decided that in light of the current situation at the club, and with the impending need to raise funds for Chester FC, we have reluctantly decided to free up more tickets for visiting Tranmere Rovers supporters for their match here on Saturday 7th April.
Visiting supporters will be allocated the entire Swettenham Chemists Community Stand, in addition to the South Stand, for this fixture.
It is not a decision we have taken lightly given our beliefs in looking after our own supporters, wherever they may be located inside the Swansway Chester Stadium.
We sincerely hope that those 187 supporters who hold season tickets in that area understand why the board have taken this decision, which will be the only occasion this season in which we make such a move.
As we want to look after our own supporters, we would like to invite all 187 supporters that hold season tickets in the Swettenham Chemists Community Stand, to come and select their choice of seat in the Red Insure Stand (not occupied by season ticket holders) prior to the date tickets go on general sale.
Following this date, supporters who have not selected a seat in the Red Insure Stand will be invited to occupy an unreserved seat for this game.
All Swettenham Chemists Community Stand season ticket holders have been contacted today via letter or email and we would like to thank Chester FC supporters for their cooperation following this announcement. Ticket sales dates will be released in due course.
The board of City Fans United

Rescheduled CFU meeting reminder

A reminder that the rescheduled CFU members meeting will be held Thursday night (8th March 2018) at 7.30pm in the Blues Bar, Chester Swansway Stadium.
The meeting was postponed last week due to the bad weather.
Chair’s introduction
Finance update
Working groups
Date of next meeting Thursday 12th April 2018 – this will be informal, venue to be confirmed.
Wrexham Tickets
Tickets for the Wrexham away fixture will also be available for sale from the ticket office between 6.45 and 7.20pm on Thursday evening.

From the boardroom…Sunday Supplement

As part of our desire and commitment to improve our communications to CFU members and fans, our new Chair, Simon Olorenshaw has put a piece together to provide a bit of light Sunday reading…
“Following the turmoil of the past 5 weeks I am pleased to say that we now have a settled Board, with all four co-optees having been successfully approved by the FA. I am also very proud, and privileged, to confirm that, at the Board Meeting on Monday evening, I received the backing of the rest of the Board and was elected to the role of Chair of the CFU. As many of you will know this is a position that I occupied in 2015/16 when I had to step down due to work commitments, and this re-appointment gives me the fortunate opportunity to complete the work started at that time.
As recent times have shown it is vital that, as a fans owned football club, there is a structure in place that allows for the continual evolution of Board members. Our Constitution dictates that at least a third of the Board stand for re-election every year so a change of people is inevitable. But that should not mean that a change in direction, or the way that the club is run should follow. As a Board it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a clearly defined strategy, with underpinning objectives and action plans, that provides the blue print for those who are charged with leading the club. This will ensure continuity and enable us to rebuild our proud club in a controlled and sustainable manner. As you would probably imagine there is a lot for the Board to focus on at the moment, both short term and long term, and it us my role to ensure that we get the balance right, whilst also developing a robust governance structure.
Once we have stabilised the club we have a duty to look back at the past season to review how we ended up with the situation that we found ourselves in on that fateful night on January 25th. Not to apportion blame, but to make sure that we learn from those lessons and ensure that we never repeat those same mistakes again. To that end we have introduced a new role onto the Board, that of a Non-Executive Director. Rich Lynes, who heads up our Governance Team, has kindly agreed to accept this position, and his role, which has no voting rights, is all about ensuring that the Board are operating within the guidelines set down by our Constitution, our Strategy, as it develops, and good business practice.
On the playing side I can assure you all that we have not given up on this season. Our financial position has been much publicised, and we have had to make some very tough decision to secure the future of our club, but we are also extremely grateful to the various sponsors who have enabled us to strengthen the squad. Whilst it is still mathematically achievable we will be doing everything in our gift to achieve survival in this League, and recent performances have shown that the players still have that belief.
Over the coming weeks I look forward to hearing your views on how we are doing as a Board so look out for me at CFU meetings, in the Blues Bar and around the ground before games. I want to ensure that, moving forward we build on the momentum and good-will that we have seen over the past five weeks, as we get back to the spirit that built this club in the first place, Our City Our Community Our Club.”

CFU board allocated portfolios

Following a meeting of the board of City Fans United directors this week, and the subsequent postponement of the members meeting originally scheduled for Thursday 1st March, details of the various portfolios for board members have been released.
With the exception of Chair, Simon Olorenshaw, each board member has had a portfolio assigned to them.
So, with immediate effect, the portfolios and owners, are:
Laurence Kirby – Finance
Mark Howell – Youth
Mike Day – Youth/Systems
Andrew Morris – People
David Harrington-Wright – Commercial
David Williams – Fundraising
Mark Jones – Governance
Calvin Hughes – First Team
Jeff Banks – Fan Engagement & Community
Richard Lynes holds no portfolio as non-executive director on the board, whilst Marion Needham continues in the role of CFU Secretary.
Simon will oversee all board members and their portfolios, whilst also acting as the figurehead for the CFU.
There will be an update on each of the working groups at next Thursday’s CFU members meeting, which starts at 7.30pm.
Members can renew their membership for the 2018/19 period on the night, and you can also join on the night as a new member or via the online link here
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday night!

CFU members meeting – POSTPONED

Tonight’s scheduled City Fans United members meeting at the Swansway Chester Stadium has been called off due to the adverse weather forecast and dangerous conditions in the car park.
The meeting has now been moved to next Thursday (8th March) – still in the Blues Bar at 7.30pm.

New Chair Appointed

Following a meeting on Monday 26th February, the board of City Fans United (CFU) are pleased to announce that Simon Olorenshaw has agreed to take the role of Chair of City Fans United.
Simon, who was co-opted to the board 4 weeks ago, will lead the board in developing a strategy that will place the club in a strong position for the future, whilst also providing the drive to address the current challenges both on and off the pitch.


Upon his appointment, Simon said, “I am privileged to be re-appointed. Despite the current situation we find ourselves in, I am confident that there is a future for our football club. We have a duty to our supporters, our youth and our community to win this battle and move forward. There is going to have to be a lot of hard work put in over the coming months, but with everyone’s support we will achieve our goal of being a sustainable fans owned club.”

The board have also announced that a revised target of £150,000 has been set to help with the cashflow situation at the club. The previous target of £50,000 which was set to solve the club’s immediate cashflow problem was passed two weeks ago, and tonight the current amount raised stands at £81,201 – and this does not yet include two fundraising events that took place last week which have raised a combined figure of over £9000, and once this has been banked will see the current total raised to over £90,000 which is an incredible achievement in such a short space of time and will go towards seeing the club survive beyond the end of the season.

The next event on the calendar is the City Fans United members meeting, which takes place this Thursday (1st March) in the Blues Bar at the Swansway Chester Stadium. The meeting gets underway at 7.30pm and the newly appointed Chair is keen to see as many members at the meeting as possible, “The support at the recent open fans meeting was fantastic, and we ask everyone to come down on Thursday night to not just hear about our plans for the immediate future, but also to come down and hear the latest on the financial situation which I know everyone is keen to hear given the recent fundraising efforts, and also to hear from the various working groups that have been meeting every fortnight at the club since January.”

Board portfolios are also being finalised at present, and will be covered at the meeting on Thursday night too, along with a preview of next season’s home kit choices.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Our City. Our Community. Our Club.

Inside the Boardroom

They say a month in politics is a long time, well a month at Chester Football Club is a lifetime!
It is just four weeks ago that the financial plight of our football club became public knowledge but the reaction of the fans, the city and the footballing community as a whole has been absolutely fantastic.

In less than three weeks we raised the incredible sum of £75,000 through raffles, auctions, donations, an upsurge in CFU members and of course, the fantastic All Stars football match last Thursday which also featured Sam and Ian Pemberton, who had bid £2,000 for the privilege to be involved. Special thanks goes out to Jeff Banks who was the lynchpin in organising this match with the invaluable support of Colin Murray and Michael Owen. There are still many items of memorabilia from this match that will be made available for fans to bid on over the coming weeks, so keep a look out.

We also had that memorable night when our Youth Academy side triumphed against Gateshead in the National League Under 19 Alliance Cup in front of 1,065 supporters who had raised over £12,000 that night. How special must it have felt for Cain Noble to celebrate his winning goal in front of a packed East Stand, a memory to treasure. But we cannot stop now, we must continue with our fundraising efforts to guarantee the certainty of our future.

Off the field there have been a number of changes to the CFU Board with four Directors stepping down. We would therefore like to thank Jonny Hughes, Anne Salmon, Neil Bellis and David O’Toole for their dedication whilst serving on the board.

Those Directors have been replaced by four co-optees, Jeff Banks, Calvin Hughes, Mark Howell, Simon Olorenshaw and the addition of a non-exec Director, Rich Lynes, who will extend his role as Head of the Governance Working Group into the Board environment to ensure that the required checks and balances are always in place when the Board are making our decisions. Once the FA have approved these appointments we can formalise all roles and focus on ensuring the survival of our precious football club and make sure that we have a team to support next season.

On the field, last Saturday showed that the feel-good factor created by the euphoria of the All Stars match had reached the first team. Probably our best home performance of the season brought us a valuable three points, given the results of most of the teams above us. On Tuesday, we really do believe we deserved more from the game having shown great passion in the match on the back of Saturday’s result. The last two games have shown that when we get behind the players on the pitch there is a willingness to perform and play for the shirt, we’ve got 7 home games left, lets make each one of them a cup-tie and create an atmosphere that lifts the lads.

As a Board we appreciate how difficult it must be in these uncertain times to prepare for a game when there is the possibility that players will move on at short notice, but we hope you would agree that the players Marcus is bringing in to the squad demonstrates that we all have the ambition to turn this season around, and that’s where you, the supporters, come into play again.

We’d also like to wish everyone making the trip down to Dagenham tomorrow a very safe journey. and also to the Chester Exiles attending the game we’d like to thank you all for your support, and hopefully we can return with all three points.

On and off the field we can, and we will survive.
Andrew, Calvin, David W, David H-W, Jeff, Laurence, Mark, Mark, Mike, Rich, Simon”