THE decision to give Chester City a further two weeks to pay their debts has been met with anger and frustration by Vauxhall Motors.
The Football Conference this week confirmed that the deadline for City to pay off their football creditors has been pushed back from November 16 to Monday, November 30.
The initial payment deadline was missed by City in October – and this week’s second reprieve has infuriated near neighbours Vauxhall.
Club chairman Alan Bartlam, whose team is owed around £2,500 for the loan agreement that took striker Paul Taylor to Chester last year, said: “It is simply astonishing. When we are given a deadline to meet certain criteria, it is set in stone. If we do not comply, we are penalised.
“But deadlines in respect of Chester City are seemingly not worth the paper they are written on.
“We have been owed money by this football club for over 12 months for a football-related matter, yet the so-called powers that be seem incapable of exerting any power whatsoever.
“Furthermore, I find it offensive that, as we are one of the clubs cited, no-one considers asking us what we think before providing yet another extension. It is a disgrace.”
Chester were originally given until Monday, October 26 to settle the matter or face expulsion from the Conference. That date was then changed to November 16.
City’s other footballing creditors include the Professional Footballers’ Association and Blue Square Premier rivals Wrexham, who are owed in the region of £10,000 from away ticket sales from September’s Racecourse derby.
Wrexham secretary Geraint Parry said: “In October, when we did not receive the gate receipts from Chester, we applied the Football League rule that they should come within 10 days. We asked for advice from the Conference and they are more flexible than the League. They told us to give Chester another week.
“We did that and after the money didn’t arrive we asked the Conference for more guidance and they said they would write to Chester. Within a couple of days we were cited in a press release by the Conference as they imposed an embargo on Chester.
“Wrexham Football Club never reported Chester to the authorities. We have a good relationship with Chester City and get on well with each other.
“Hopefully Chester can come through this and come out the other side as we did when we had our own problems a few years ago.”
The Blues want to settle their debts mainly by using the parachute payment they are owed by the Football League following this year’s relegation to the Conference.
This week’s Conference statement read: “On Thursday, November 12, notification was received from the board of the Football League that they required further time to enable them to seek and take legal advice on the award and distribution of possible payments to Chester City FC from monies held by the Football League Ltd.
“As a consequence of this request, the Football Conference has agreed, that in the interests of the competition as a whole, to extend the date of compliance to Monday, November 30 for Chester City FC to fully comply with the financial payments ordered against them.
“The board reiterate their previous statement that any failure to make such payments in full by this date will lead to a move to call a meeting of member clubs to consider the club’s expulsion from membership in accordance with the rules of the Football Conference.”
Additional reporting: Alec Doyle.