Notification to City Fans United Members – Thursday 7th May 2020
The Board of City Fans United wishes to advise the members that it has received an approach from Stuart Murphy (Exacta Plc) to takeover the running and control of Chester Football Club.
This marks a sudden and radical change to the previously negotiated relationship between Stuart and the Club. If agreed, the approach would end supporter ownership.
As a democratic supporter-owned football club, any decision to change the ownership model can only be taken by the membership at an Extraordinary General Meeting attended by at least 50% of members and with at least 75% voting in favour. Before this can take place, the Board has a duty to assess such approaches and if there is a serious and credible offer, our members will decide the outcome as set out in our constitution.
As the custodians of Chester Football Club, acting on behalf of our CFU members and supporters, the Board has therefore asked Stuart to provide:
- A detailed three-year business plan which can be shared with members.
- Full settlement of outstanding financial commitments which remain outstanding for the 2019/20 season by Monday 11th May and an undertaking that future commitments for 2020/21 will be maintained as per agreements already in place.
This approach has been received during a time of unprecedented uncertainty for the game and the economy.
We believe the absolute priority for the Board and everyone involved in the Club should be to focus on ensuring that we can navigate through these immediate challenges together, alongside developing a longer-term sustainable strategy for the Club suited to the post-Covid-19 world.
We have asked Stuart to respect the wishes of the Board on this matter and work with us as we plan our forward strategy.
The Board understand how much owning your club means and how proud our members are as to what has been achieved over the past decade. As such we believe that due diligence and the highest levels of professionalism are essential in dealing with all aspects of this matter.
We can confirm to members that we have consulted and engaged with a range of Stakeholders including the Football Supporters’ Association and Chester FC Community Trust in our discussions as well as accessing legal advice.
The Board has again thanked Stuart for the support that he has given the Club but note that the timing of the takeover approach presents us with real challenges. Given the current lockdown restriction it is impossible to engage meaningfully with our membership in face-to-face discussion and deliberation about a potential change in ownership and the implications (positive and negative) that any change in the model would bring to the Club while social distancing measures remain in place.
The Board commits to update all members once the business plan and settlement of outstanding invoices has been received, and wishes to thank you for your continued support of the club during this difficult period.
On Behalf of the City Fans United Board of Directors