Dear Stephen Vaughan,
CHESTER City is once more standing on the brink of disaster and it is time for you to truly consider your legacy, your reputation and the future of the club you stepped in to save almost a decade ago.
Yes, you paid a pretty penny to win the Conference and give Blues’ fans their greatest achievement to date, a title. But what is that worth if the club goes out of business?
If, by some miracle, the club clings on through yet another Football Conference deadline today, now is surely the time for you to bid Chester and the Deva Stadium farewell and hand over a debt-free club to someone who will protect and nurture its historic name.
Fans care little for business practice, profit and loss. All they care about is seeing their team play football and do as well as they can. When supporters are boycotting games and hoping the club will fold, when they are invading the pitch and forcing games to be abandoned when the focus of Conference chiefs is trained on the club closer than ever, that is when the club truly has hit rock bottom.
Why save a club from extinction only to drive it back there? Over the last couple of seasons, as the club’s finances have worsened, you have consistently stated that anyone wishing to buy the club can do so if they make a realistic offer. Well right now, a realistic offer is surely a figure counted in a few thousands rather than millions.
There is a recession taking hold of the world and everyone has taken a hit on their investments. Even in the best of times you would never convince someone to part with millions for a Conference or even a League Two club with no tangible assets and a rented stadium.
By your own admission you got caught up in Chester City and overspent in the early days. Think about those who are still caught up in the club.
Think about the effect on them of their club dying. Write off the debt.
Don’t be remembered as the man who forced two clubs to start again. Whatever happened at Barrow is in the past, but if you learn the lessons, if you clear the decks and hand the club over to the fans, the custodians who will ensure its history and status are protected, then in the annals of the club your final act will be remembered as a good one, one to dispel the bad memories of your tenure.
The club shares may now be in the name of your son, Stephen Vaughan Jnr, but while the club is with the Vaughan family, you can still have influence and make sure it lives on.
Even if the club survives this pressure and the Conference later today decide to give the Blues another chance, how long before the next crisis?
Gordon Taylor has admitted the club has loaned a lot of money from the PFA in recent years for players wages and it is clear to anyone with a passing interest that the club can no longer cover basic expenses like player salaries.
So now, on Judgement Day, with a once-proud club probably in the 11th hour of its life, we send a simple message to you...
Write off the debt, give the club back to the fans and walk away today.