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Those Directors have been replaced by four co-optees, Jeff Banks, Calvin Hughes, Mark Howell, Simon Olorenshaw and the addition of a non-exec Director, Rich Lynes, who will extend his role as Head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”