The publicised meeting between City Fans United with Morell Maison, the recently appointed Director of Football at Chester City FC, took place last Friday at 3.15pm in Chester.
Mr Maison was accompanied by Gary Metcalfe and met with three members of the City Fans United board. These representatives asked a number of questions put forward by CFU members and received the following responses:
1. Who currently owns Chester City?
The club is owned by two members of the Vaughan family; Stephen Vaughan Jr. and Stephen Vaughan.
2. When was Morell Maison appointed as Director of Football of Chester City and who was he appointed by?
Morell Maison was appointed by the Vaughan family. He was introduced to the club by Gary Metcalfe who, having met Maison through Paul Wells, felt that Maison would be a good candidate to help the club progress.
3. What is Eric Whalley’s current position?
Eric Whalley enjoys a good relationship with Stephen Vaughan and, having run Accrington Stanley on small budget for a number of years, it was felt that he could offer a significant amount of help to the club. However, he is no longer Director of Football.
4. What is Bob Gray’s current position?
Bob Gray is the safety certificate holder at the club and remains at Chester City.
5. Is Chester City for sale and if so, what is the valuation?
Yes, the football club is for sale. Morell Maison and Gary Metcalfe are attempting to broker an exit strategy for the Vaughan family. CFU were unable to ascertain a valuation.
6. If the club is sold what will be the situation regarding Stephen Vaughan Jr. and James Vaughan?
As part of the exit strategy the Vaughan family, including Stephen Jr. and James, will leave Chester City FC.
7. How much debt has the new company generated in six months?
Gary Metcalfe said “Creditors have been identified and are currently being managed. Any investors will be made fully aware of the current levels of debt.”
8. Are the books fully open for due diligence?
In September 2009 Gary Metcalfe brought Kevin Taylor to the club to carry out a form of due diligence. This task personally cost Metcalfe £2500. The findings were published on the clubs website on the 29th September 2009.
9. Is the club prepared to offer an indemnity to any would be purchaser to cover any undisclosed debts?
Standard practise is for such indemnity not to be given.
10. As he was mentioned in some detail in the creditors report, do you know Paul Wells?
11. What is your relationship with Paul Wells?
When Morell Maison was at Kettering Town, Paul Wells, who is a FIFA licensed football agent, brought a number of players to the club on trial. Maison offered some of these players an extended trial. During this time Paul Wells became friends with Maison. When Maison later developed the International Soccer Academy Wells became involved.
12. What role do you see your academy playing in CCFC and if it does have one, how what effect will this have on the youth policy of Chester City?
Morell Maison’s academy would be no different to any other pool of young talent available to Chester City FC. The academy will have formal links with the club but only players deemed good enough will play for Chester City FC.
13. As a supporter for the last 47 years who will not now attend games at Chester City due to the current regime what can be done to attract fans such as myself back to supporting Chester at the Deva?
When Morell Maison was brought to the club he was not informed of the transfer embargo. Within a matter of days he uncovered a number of issues. His primary objective at the moment is to source the funds to clear outstanding wages to the clubs players. He is currently talking to two consortium’s, therefore any discussion over his future plans to attract fans back to the club would be hypothetical.
Morell Maison and Gary Metcalfe are attempting to broker a deal that would result in a change in the ownership of the club. Mr Maison and Mr Metcalfe confirmed that they had spoken to two potential new owners, one of which is a consortium led by Steve Harvey. The identity of the other is, at this stage, unknown to CFU.
City Fans United have requested to meet with these consortia as a matter of urgency to confirm that they are a genuine purchaser who would be able to reinvigorate the fortunes of the club, engage with the supporters and community and be welcomed by the fans. Mr Maison has agreed to attempt to arrange this. We will endeavour to release further information the moment we get it.
City Fans United is an independent supporters group representing the supporters of Chester City. More details can be found at www.cityfansunited.com