CFU had been in early discussions with a Danish group interested in investing in Chester City FC. CFU had an undertaking from the group that they would not proceed without CFU backing. We were shocked to learn on Sunday that a deal had been done by the Danish group to purchase the club without reference to CFU and Chester supporters.
CFU has always clearly stated that it would talk to any interested party with a genuine interest in saving the Club – and private talks have been conducted with more than one such party. It is the duty of CFU to examine any proposed takeover thoroughly before giving it its blessing. CFU is the custodian of the interests of the supporters. The recent history of Chester City is a litany of broken promises and unrealised ambition. We regret to say that the deal fails to satisfy CFU on the following grounds:
Stephen Vaughan Senior, (banned as a Director of the club (and any company), and disbarred from exerting any formal or informal influence for 11 years) appears to have agreed a deal with a representative from an organisation that has no formal constitution.
The initial cash requirement set out by the Club’s solicitors to enable due diligence to take place was set at £500,000. This was reduced to £50,000 for the Danish group. This was not offered to any other party and thus gave preferential treatment to one potential bidder over a number of other interested parties, including CFU and local businessmen.
There is no constitution in place for the Danish group for them to agree a sale with the club. It cannot legally buy the club as it stands. Indeed, their members are not meeting until March 6th, when they are selling shares for a period of six days.
The Danish investors are a group of people who have pledged payment to the company that does not exist at present. Many of their number are now expressing serious reservations about their own bid privately to CFU and publicly on Danish and UK based internet forums. Significant numbers are deeply concerned that their representatives have apparently done a deal without the backing of Chester supporters locally.
The Danish investors also claim that Stephen Vaughan Senior will be paying the outstanding debts owed on the creditors list on Friday 26th February. We remain highly sceptical. We would ask why these debts were not cleared previously, thereby allowing the club to fulfil it’s fixtures and avoiding the indignity of suspension from the league and inconvenience to our fellow Conference Clubs.
We anticipate that the Club will find it impossible to fulfil future fixtures as there is no infrastructure in place to run the club on match days. This will result in Football Conference clubs having to postpone further matches, and losing out on income. We would ask them to think about that scenario when it comes to this week’s meeting at Rushden & Diamonds.
CFU has a membership of 900 Chester City fans. It is the successor body to the Chester City Independent Supporters Association and the Chester City Supporters Trust, formed over 10 years ago. It is also fully backed by Chester’s 27 year old Exiles branch. He is happy to agree the sale of the club to a non-existing company, with no constitution, that has only been formed two weeks ago whilst he disregards and dismisses the concerns and representations of the Club’s supporters.
The Vaughan family’s stewardship of our Club has resulted our once proud club being dragged to its lowest ebb in 125 years.
Last week the local Council Leader, and Member of Parliament for the City of Chester, attended the public meeting staged in one of the most historic buildings in Chester along with 400 supporters. They are treating the CFU’s future plans for football in the City extremely seriously, as they know we are looking to deliver the club back to the heart of the community.
City Fans United will still plan for the future of football in Chester.