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Gagged Smith just won't go away!

TERRY Smith's controversial reign as overlord of the Deva Stadium may be over, but football hasn't seen the back of him it seems.

TERRY Smith's controversial reign as overlord of the Deva Stadium may be over, but football hasn't seen the back of him it seems.

He has issued writs to the Football League and the FA claiming £6 million because he alleges he was sold the club under false pretences, believing previous owner Mark Guterman should not have been in office after being disqualified from being a director.

But, in fact, Guterman was only barred from directorships for a short period while he made a successful application against the disqualification ruling.

There are 22 claims, one of which claims £1m for 'not governing a fair competition and allowing corruption within the game.' The League and the FA have jointly applied for the claims to be struck out. A League spokesman said the allegations were completely without foundation.

The Chronicle has gagged Terry Smith for the last few months, but on his departure we reproduce extracts of his 3,000 word farewell which includes an admission of failure.

He stated: 'Steve Vaughan and his associates will do an excellent job for Chester City Football Club. I am sad that I was not able to bring the club I loved so much the success I so badly wanted for it and I accept the complete blame for this failure because the buck stops with me, but at least I was able to bridge the gap between what would have been definite liquidation and a bright future.

'There will be many memories that I will one day be able to look back upon and cherish. I thank everyone in Chester whose thoughtful kindness and friendship brought about these fond memories for me and I thank you for sharing your club and city with me for two years.

'I also would like to put a stop to the false rumours about the financial state of the club. Chester City Football Club has probably the best and strongest balance sheet of any football club in the country below the First Division.

'I took over a completely insolvent football club that was in the Third Division. Unfortunately, the club went down on goal difference while I was paying off all the £1 million of debts.

'However, despite this setback, I have left behind to Stephen Vaughan a club that is worth £2-£3m of net assets and is in the best financial shape of its history.

'Therefore, from a business perspective, the club has improved by about £4m of net worth since my arrival. I have funded this improvement through the £400,000 that I have personally put into the club and through two years of very hard work.'

Smith went on: 'If I had been able to sell the club last March after the two huge cup quarter-final wins over Southport, as I wanted so badly to do, but which the false buyer left me sitting for hours waiting for him to show up with the cheque, then I could have left on a high note when 90% of the supporters were with me, instead of now when the media and radicals have been able to create lies so as to put me through seven months of torture and to put most supporters against me.'

'These people will claim a victory against me. However, they did not achieve a victory in any way. I have always wanted to sell the club because I hated to have to waste my life in a completely no-win situation.

'Steve Vaughan is the only legitimate buyer who has made an offer for the club, but others who called themselves buyers were just time-wasters.'

Smith went on to criticise ISA official George Rogers and Trust chairman Graham Ross who, he claimed were 'treated like heroes by the Press and supporters for trying to force the club out of business so they could get the club for free,' while he was treated like the villain.

Smith added: 'One day, true supporters will realise that Chester City FC was not saved by these destructive radicals and by this destructive media as they try to claim, but rather the club was saved DESPITE these destructive radicals and media through my own love for the  club, through individual perseverance, determination and commitment and mostly through the grace of God.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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