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Landlords dash fans' plea

A CALL for Chester City Council to back the supporters' bid for a change of ownership at Chester City has been rejected.

A CALL for Chester City Council to back the supporters' bid for a change of ownership at Chester City has been rejected.

Supporter Darren Burling, of Hoole, wrote to the council's chief executive Paul Durham urging the council to intervene as calls for an end to the current regime continue.

In a reply to Mr Burling's letter Cliff Mallows, the council's head of property and project management services, reiterated the council's support for the club to continue playing football at the Deva Stadium.

But he added: 'The city council does understand the concerns and, indeed despair, being expressed in parts of the community at what is currently taking place at the football club. However, we are not in a position to force the changes you wish to take place.

'We are monitoring the position closely, but the focus for any immediate action must remain on the current owner and, if he wishes to sell the club, any possible purchaser.

'Whatever rumours you may have heard about the current lease I can confirm that the city council is not able to terminate the arrangement.

'Other issues in connection with the lease are subject to the normal rules of confidentiality between the landlord and tenant.'

Meanwhile, striker Chris Malkin is almost certainly out of the matches at Hayes tomorrow and at home to Nuneaton Borough on Monday (3pm) because of a recurrence of a groin injury. Director of football Gordon Hill has yet to name his squad.

Nuneaton are expected to include former city striker Steve Whitehall in their line-up.

The supporters' coach to Hayes tomorrow has been cancelled because of lack of interest, but organiser Barrie Hipkiss said there were still plans to run transport to future away games if there was sufficient response.

Chester City have revealed that files, documents and records are missing, believed stolen, from the club. A statement said: 'These documents could be altered to give a false impression of Chester City FC. We have no idea how long they have been missing.'

Chester Police are investigating.

The FA have confirmed they have asked the club for clarification on certain points, but have not made any charges following inquiries made by their compliance unit. There is no deadline for Chester City's response.

Chester City Supporters Trust have received the backing of a number of city businessmen including Tony Durkin, John Hocking, Mark Astbury, Guy Dodd and Chris Courtenay Williams and would welcome further interest from other businessmen.

Said Trust board member Richard Lynes: 'This signals a commitment from the business community to add weight to the campaign for fans' ownership.

'The Trust now believes it has the structure to take control of Chester City FC and calls on Chester City Council to add its commitment to assist in bringing a swift end to the current regime at Chester City and restore the club to local ownership.'

Chester had a flying start to their Lancashire League campaign with a 5-0 win over Colwyn Bay on Wednesday with goals by Chris Hopwood (2), Darren Wright, Lee Potter and Carl Rodgers.

The Youth Alliance team beat Chesterfield 3-1 on Saturday.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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