Once hailed as their saviour, he’s now the man many Chester City fans blame for their club’s present plight.
Once hailed as their saviour, he’s now the man many Chester City fans blame for their club’s present plight. Stephen Vaughan – former chairman and owner of the Blues – met The Chronicle’s PAUL WHEELOCK on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his position at the Deva Stadium and the proposed takeover of the club
CAN you clarify your position at Chester City?
I resigned as a director of Chester City Football Club, old co, on December 12, 2007. Chester City Football Club, old co, went into administration in April 2009, so I wasn’t a director of the club. I was a 77% shareholder and people were referring to me as the owner. Chester City Football Club, new co, was formed in 2004 when Chester City won the Conference title.
That vehicle was set up to try and transfer all of old co into new co, but it was turned down by the FA. So that company has been lying dormant for the last five years. Annual returns have been submitted for that company for the last four or five years, as a non-trading company.
This year it ignited, and it ignited with Bob Gray and Stephen Vaughan Jnr – my son – as the directors, and they purchased Chester City Football Club from the administrator. It was indemnified by Stephen Vaughan Snr, so it had a bit of substance and that they had a bit of money behind them to buy the club.
So what is your role now?
I haven’t got a role at Chester City, and I haven’t had a role at Chester City other than loan money in – which is all unsecured – for which I have been bombarded with criticism for my controlling interest in this club.
I don’t have any, other than I am an outstanding creditor of this football club, new co. What I do know now is Morell Maison has exercised his option to purchase Stephen Vaughan Jnr’s share in Chester City Football Club, new co. So that’s the position that we’re in right now.
Does Stephen Vaughan Jnr own 100% of the shareholding in the new company?
Stephen Vaughan Jnr owns one share in Chester City Football Club 2004. That’s one share, issued in his name, which is 100% control.
So Morell Maison has “exercised his option” – what does that mean? Has he bought it? Is he moving to buy it?
The deal that he has struck with my son is that he will buy this club, by way of instalments, over a two-year period. But the deal could be done in two months.
Can you tell me the details about those instalments?
All I can say to you is that Chester City Football Club, on handover, owes £138,000. That includes November and December’s wages; that includes HM Revenue, Customs and Excise; that includes all footballing and non-footballing creditors. On handover of this company, Chester City owes £138,000 and is owed £125,000 – that being the remains of the basic award money, ie parachute payment and also the number of fixtures to fulfil which will generate revenue.
So will Morell be the owner or he is part of a consortium?
He is the frontman for part of a consortium. He is the director of football. If I can help and support the club in any way I will still do so. But I’ve got no directorship in the club, or in any other company because of my disqualification.
Will the control of the club only pass over when the consortium has paid off all the instalments?
That deal will be done like a normal business transaction. If a payment was to fall short, the deal would reverse. Morell’s had a meeting with the CFU; he’s had a meeting with other potential buyers. This deal that Morell Maison has taken was given to Steven Harvey and Paul Baker. So this deal has not just appeared. We’ve done a deal that suits Chester City Football Club, not the Vaughan family.
What’s Gary Metcalf’s role?
Gary is representing Stephen Vaughan Jnr as he’s more experienced than Stephen in this field. There is a non-disclosure agreement within the deal, but we’ve got no problem in discussing that with anybody. I’ll bring Stephen to a CFU meeting tomorrow if they wanted to know what the contents of that deal is, but they’ve only got to ask Paul Baker and Steven Harvey because they both turned the deal down.
My last act with Chester City Football Club was when I loaned them £36,606.28 to safeguard the future of the club by paying off the footballing creditors. I’ve only been staying at this club to ensure this club stays afloat. There’s plenty out there who wanted a fire sale, but there’s no fire sale. The club has done a deal with a party, and hopefully the club will not look back.