Eight short years ago City Fans United was born.
Born out of a common goal to help realise a better future for a football club who had suffered a succession of gut punches under unscrupulous ownership. The final blow was its death in the High Court back in 2010.
But out of the ashes rose Chester FC , a football club where the fans were all at one behind it and the off-field politics seemed a million miles away. We were indeed City fans united.
Now we face dark days once again. Having focused our efforts on fighting a common enemy all those years ago we have now turned on each other and one of the cornerstones of what we built Chester FC on in the first place has gone - trust.
The resignations of CFU chairman Simon Olorenshaw and director Mark Howell on Monday night show a board at odds and the fall out has shown that the fan base, of which I am very much part of, are split.
When the financial mess created by a series of terrible decisions over the past 18 months or so was revealed at the CFU meeting in January the fans rallied and they kept up their end of the bargain. Over £100,000 raised in two months to help a football club stay on its feet.
New people came onto the board, Olorenshaw and Howell along with Calvin Hughes and Jeff Banks.
There was a blind hope that everything would simply change for the better and that we could move on from this mess at the end of the season and rebuild. This was never going to be the case.
Everyone goes on the board to contribute and do what they think is best for Chester Football Club, of that I am convinced.
At the CFU meeting in January myself and others called for greater transparency moving forward in order to build up the trust of a fan base so disillusioned with its club.
Communication has no doubt improved in some aspects but in order for us to move on from this lowest of points in the club’s reformed history there has to be warts and all transparency and a clear vision for what we are doing and where we are going.
Silence breeds rumours and scaremongering and only serves to further alienate fans. What has gone on to get us to this point, all the mistakes and bad decisions, they need to be made clear as day. No more kicking the can down the road and ‘this is not the time for blame’. Without total honesty there can be no catharsis and the future is very bleak indeed.
We will not get another chance at this, please know that. There will be no more Guildhall moments to rally behind, we are facing the very end of our football club as we know it if we continue to pull in different directions.
The cancelling of the most recent CFU meeting due to it being ‘close to Easter’ was a bad PR move, no doubt. We need the channels of communication need to be wide open now.
As and when my time at the Chronicle comes to an end my association with this club will not end. Like every Blues fans and everyone who serves on that board it has been one of the great passions in my life, something that has brought me great joy and deep despair, not in equal measure.
It is in my interests, both professionally and personally to make sure that I do what I can to help this club thrive and flourish, but that doesn’t come with the caveat of being a media noticeboard.
I love this football club deeply and seeing a fan base turning on each other when we are the ones with the power to change things is worse than seeing a fan base voting with their feet to remove a regime.
But the apathy that has been pervading through every part of the club has turned to anger in the past 12 hours or so. That means that there is fight left in the belly.
If there is appetite for an EGM then so be it, if there isn’t then there should be a bumper turnout to the next CFU meeting. That anger needs to be channeled though, and articulated into what you want from your football club. And that is the key question.
I have previously offered both the current and former CFU boards the chance for a weekly editorial both in print and online as well as regular appearances on our podcast. That offer still stands and I very much hope it is taken up. Only if we communicate can we succeed.
The coming days will see questions asked, by myself and others. Those who volunteer for the often thankless task of being a board member deserve respect but it does not mean that they can be beyond question.
I desperately want this football club to succeed and thrive, we all do. The challenges we face are great and varied and the time is now for cards on the table and what has gone on and what is to come.
Our very existence depends on it.