WEEKS of waiting are over for City Fans United after Cheshire West and Chester Council announced the keys to Deva Stadium will be handed to the supporters group.
On a landmark day for football in the city, the authority has handed power back to the fans and their phoenix Chester Football Club - and not the rival Danish consortium - with a five-year lease on the Bumpers Lane facility.
The council's chief executive Steve Robinson said: "It was the panel's unanimous view that City Fans United were further advanced in terms of required management structure and overall ability to enter a team into whichever league is determined by the FA.
"Without doubt, their pride in club and city is unrivalled, as indeed would be the support for their proposal from the people of Chester and its surrounding area.
"It was these factors combined with the very strong community engagement element in their case which persuaded the panel to assign the lease of Deva Stadium for five years to the CFU board.
"Whilst the Danish consortium is bound to be disappointed with the outcome, their enthusiasm to be involved with Chester FC could perhaps still be channelled into work with, and providing support to, CFU."
Both parties - the fan-led CFU and their Danish rivals Fodbold Selskabet - pleaded their cases to a special council panel last Thursday and after a thorough consideration the authority sided with the supporters group.
Relieved CFU chairman Chris Pilsbury said: "We would like to express our gratitude to all involved for their assistance in bringing the fans the news they so desired.
"We look forward to living up to the faith the council has shown in the CFU business plan, and working in partnership to give our city a football club that we can all be proud of."
For unrivalled coverage on this breaking story - including the exclusive announcement of Chester Football Club's new CEO - pick up today's Chester Chronicle.