WHILE the club is being snubbed by most of the fans Chester City have clinched a major sponsorship deal on the eve of the Conference opener against Woking at the Deva Stadium tomorrow.
Red Square, a popular alcoholic drink, will be unveiled this morning as the new shirt sponsor. The company which makes it has an office on Merseyside and has agreed a one-season contract with the option of a further year.
The deal is a big boost to beleaguered Blues owner Terry Smith and his father Gerald, a club director, who is on a visit from his Florida home.
They are still very much in control at the Deva as the future of the club remains uncertain with at least one proposed deal stalling.
Abusive phone calls to his Blackpool home was a major reason for their friend and former commercial director, Dan Brooks, backing off from his bid to buy the club, he revealed this week.
But the Canadian hasn't ruled out resurrecting a deal to take over at the Deva. 'The proposals made to us didn't meet our expectations, so we couldn t move forward,' he said. 'If Terry comes back to us and his demands are in line with our offer we could do business. The ball is in his court.
'But while I expected I could be tarred with the same brush as Terry in the eyes of the fans I didn't expect the abuse I have received at my home.
'The situation, as far as I am concerned, has been soured by some people's response to my interest in buying the club. I would have to speak to my partners about going forward if the occasion arises, but I think I'd still be prepared to do so.
'I would stress that if a deal was done all connections with the Smiths would be severed.'
Merseyside businessman Phil Davies also claims to be in the game with his three backers. 'We think we are making ground,' he said. 'I have spoken to Gerald Smith on a number of occasions, but I don't want to build up people's hopes.'
Admission prices to Chester's home matches will be unchanged from last season £12 in the stands (£9 for senior citizens and £6 for children) and £10 on the terraces (£7.50 and £5).