Chester FC was born eight years ago as a fan-owned football club – and it’s part of what makes it unique and special.
But earlier this week, news broke that a third party has approached the board of City Fans United (CFU), the supporters group which owns the Blues, about potential investment in the cash-strapped club.
The anonymous wealthy entrepreneur has a string of connections to the city and the board has confirmed the offer will not ‘in any way’ threaten or affect the principle of fan ownership.
It means the Blues would remain 100% in the control of supporters and that the membership will be consulted as and when the enquiry progresses.
Further details about the enquiry was given by CFU board members last night in a exclusive discussion with the Chronicle’s Chester FC reporter Dave Powell in a special edition of the True Blue Podcast .
But with the potential injection into the club after relegation to the National League North was sealed last weekend , we asked our jury members...
“How do you feel about the offer of investment in Chester FC?”
Here’s what they had to say...
Matt Nickson "I appreciate the efforts of the volunteers throughout the club but I just don’t think the current model works with our smaller fan base."
“I would welcome any external investment and personally feel that we need to go down the 49/51% ownership model leaving us with overall control.
“This is the only way that I can see the club have a sustainable future with the ultimate goal of getting us back into the Football League.
“We need a figurehead at the club to drive us forward that is within the club on a full time basis as in a CEO.
“We had this with Mark Maguire and that ultimately didn’t work out. I believe that this is due to him not having clear goals and targets that he should have been accountable to when they were not being met.
“I appreciate the efforts of the volunteers throughout the club but I just don’t think the current model works with our smaller fan base and we can’t have multiple chairman/heads of the club as this means there is no level of continuity and maintained strategy.”
Kieron Shiel "In terms of an investor and a change to the model then it really depends on the investor, the amount, the control expected and the intention."
“I have mixed feelings about this to be honest.
“I like the fact that we are fan owned but let’s face it, it’s not worked as the board is still made up of the same faces that lead us to this mess.
“I don’t believe there will ever be transparency or accountability no matter how often the fans/owners stamp their feet for it we are without true voice.
“In terms of an investor and a change to the model then it really depends on the investor, the amount, the control expected and the intention.
“I did expect this, and of course any entrepreneur makes their move at the point of relegation as it significantly impacts the price of course. So I’m not surprised at the timing at all.
“By definition no entrepreneur is going to give money away or pump it into the club without some level of return on investment or control required.
“My only hope is that it is a footballing person someone who has been in and around the game for years.”
Rio Doherty "In my opinion, I have no problems with the fan-owned model but at times we need to execute it correctly."
“Since that fateful evening on January 25, all of our supporters have brought ourselves together to raise much-needed funds for our club.
“We have done incredibly well to raise over £100,000, but for some it can be difficult having to dig into their pockets all of the time. I, for one, am happy to give the club as much money as it wants.
“At times it may need the money more than me as it’s crucial that a young supporter, like me, has a club to support for many years to come.
“However, when I read the news about a potential investor offering to provide a large sum of money to the club, I felt rather happy.
“In my opinion, I have no problems with the fan-owned model but at times we need to execute it correctly.
“So it is good news that the fan-owned model won’t be affected if this investor does provide us with money. Also, it will ease the burden off some of our supporters who are continuously putting their hands in their pockets.
“This news has gone down well with a lot of our supporters which is good. However, if the board is to receive a shed load of money, they seriously need to spend it wisely.
“I wouldn’t just throw it at the playing budget and buy really good players who could get us promoted.
“That may sound good for the short term, but for the long term it wouldn’t. I would prefer to give a small portion towards the playing budget, then give out large potions to the Youth Academy, Inclusive Blues and the Community Trust.
“Most importantly though, I would use a lot towards infrastructure such as a 4G training facility. We are spending too much on renting out pitches at different places across Chester.
“If we could build a ‘community hub’ for the first team, academy and the general public to train on then we could earn loads of money. Just look at how well Sutton are doing.
“Of course, these are only early days yet. We’ll just have to see what comes across the potential investor and whether this proposals gets accepted.