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I’d get the fans on board

ONE of the groups seeking to take control of Chester City is fronted by a former Blues player who is promising to give fans a say on the running of the club.

ONE of the groups seeking to take control of Chester City is fronted by a former Blues player who is promising to give fans a say on the running of the club.

Football coach and entrepreneur David Jones, 40, is at the head of a four-man consortium from Germany which has held talks with Blues owner Stephen Vaughan about taking a controlling interest in the League Two outfit.

He broke his silence yesterday and outlined his plans for the club in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle.

Jones, who played for Chester’s reserves in the 1988-89 season and returned to coach the youth team in the mid-1990s, said: “If we were successful in coming on board, we would offer a place on the board for a supporter’s voice from an independent supporters’ group. It would have to be one group, and one voice representing that group. They would get their voice heard on the board.”

Jones’ belief in fan power is in total contrast to the approach of maverick businessman John Batchelor, who saw his bid to buy the Blues rejected by Vaughan last week.

Batchelor was intent on renaming the club and showed open contempt for the fans, claiming he was more concerned with securing big-money sponsors than bringing the local public through the turnstiles.

Jones, who read Batchelor’s Chronicle interview online last week, said: “The supporters are the only thing that keeps the club together.

“There’s got to be a lot more commercial interaction with the community, local businesses and everything else, and that’s where my expertise comes in.”

Jones, who hails from Ellesmere Port, had a varied playing career that started when he was on Reading’s books as a schoolboy. He also played in Hong Kong and Spain, before establishing a successful soccer school in America.

For the last two years he has lived in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he works as an Academy coach with SV Wehen Wiesbaden while also running a player agency called Worldwide Sports Management.

Jones has joined forces with a Frankfurt-based property developer and two other wealthy German professionals to launch his bid to buy Chester, who were put up for sale by Vaughan last month.

Jones claimed he faxed an initial offer to buy a 51% stake in City to the club on Sunday, although Vaughan yesterday insisted that he had not received any official bid.

Jones said: “Whether Stephen Vaughan agrees with that offer or not is down to him.

“If not, we’ll move on and get another club. The only reason I’ve come to Chester first of all is because of my own association with them. We may go to another club, we may not.”

Despite having his bid to buy Chester rejected, former York City owner John Batchelor is planning to attend tomorrow’s home game against Notts County.

His presence at the match is not likely to go down well with Vaughan or the fans, many of whom were angered by Batchelor’s controversial plans to “rebrand” Chester.

Batchelor told The Chronicle: “I’ve been invited by a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous. I don’t care what Stephen Vaughan says, I’m quite within my rights to attend the game.”

 

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