BLUES fans have hit back at former Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan after he branded them “idiots” who meet in “bingo halls”.
City Fans United, the club’s official supporters group, were on the receiving end of a stinging verbal blast from Vaughan in an interview with Sky Sports News this week.
With the Blues seemingly doomed, CFU were eager to form a new professional football team in the city from scratch – but their plans were thrown into turmoil over the weekend when it emerged that a Danish consortium had agreed a deal to buy the Vaughan family’s 100% stake in the troubled Conference club.
Vaughan, who has transferred his shares in the club into the name of his son Stephen Junior, went to war with CFU in an interview screened on Monday.
He said: “I couldn’t care less what the CFU think, the CFU are a bunch of idiots who are hell bent on destroying this club. When you’re making meetings in bingo halls do you need taking seriously?”
Almost immediately, Vaughan said City’s fans – many of whom are CFU members and attended a meeting at the Guildhall last Thursday to discuss plans for a ‘phoenix club’ – should return to the Deva.
“My message to the CFU is if you want a club you get behind it,” said Vaughan. “They want a club for their own ends. This CFU’s only been formed in the last four months, they have got no credibility whatsoever. If they want credibility get behind the new owners of this football club when they take over.”
But Jeff Banks, CFU press officer and committee member, defended the group’s vision for the future.
He said: “It is all well and good for Mr Vaughan to speak out about the credibility of the CFU but where is his? He’s not even supposed to be involved in the club.
“He calls us a minority. In fact we have over 900 members – more than double the number of fans still attending the Deva Stadium when matches are played.”
Banks felt many of Vaughan’s arguments were flawed and was interviewed by Sky Sports News on Tuesday so he could defend the actions of CFU, which aims to safeguard the future of professional football in the city.
Banks told The Chronicle: “He claims we formed four months ago, but we were formed from the merger of the independent supporters’ association and the supporters’ trust, organisations with 10 years of history.
“He then shows his ignorance by stating we meet in bingo halls. The CFU hosted its public meeting last week at Chester’s Guildhall, one of the most historic buildings in the city. It’s hardly a bingo hall.
“We are at our lowest point in 125 years. The company providing the team coach has not been paid, the players have been paid one week’s wages in four months.
“Stephen Vaughan is now trying to sell the club to an organisation without a constitution, yet he calls us idiots.”
Some Chester fans have rejected the CFU’s official boycott of home games, choosing instead to stick with the club in the hope it might survive in its current state.
They have been heartened by the approach of Danish group Chester Projekt but the CFU pleaded with them to unite with the main body of Blues fans.
“We have met the Danes, they have no plans for the club beyond buying it,” said Banks. “We do not believe the club will survive long-term under their stewardship.
“It is not our wish to have two clubs in Chester, or to split the fanbase. Chester City is almost certain to die in its current form and we have to prepare to start again.”
Representatives from Chester Projekt, the Danish consortium looking to buy the Blues, met CFU members over the weekend. They also turned up with a Danish TV crew at a CFU race night on Saturday, but were refused entry because they had no permission to film at the Home Guard Club.
Chester are due to host Oxford United on Saturday. The match is yet to be officially called off, but will surely not go ahead due to tomorrow’s Conference vote in Rushden.