The signs were there that Chester FC 's finances were not in a great shape even before last night's key City Fans United (CFU) meeting .

It's just that no-one could have anticipated just how badly things have gone awry in such a short space of time.

The news that the Blues need to find £50,000 and fast has sparked a range of emotions from the fan base.

Supporters have flooded social online, included our own dedicated Chester FC Twitter and Facebook pages, to express their feelings.

And two Blues fans - one a CFU member, the other not - have contacted The Chronicle to write open letters to the board.

We are happy to publish those letters here - along with the thoughts of other supporters.

NEIL AVERY: 'It is not enough to simply get out the begging bowl and ask the fans to dig deep again. New ideas, new initiatives, new faces are needed or we are doomed'

I am not a member of City Fans United. I am not an ‘insider’ at the Swansway Chester Stadium. I am, purely and simply, a supporter of Chester FC since the days of Harry Mac.

Week in miserable week out my son and I pay on the gate for the pleasure of watching the Blues slip to defeat.

Last summer we answered the call from the club for volunteers to help at the ground in readiness for the new season. We spent a week or so clearing the weeds from the perimeter of the pitch.

We met Mark Maguire and Jon McCarthy. New players, new pitch, new sponsors... they filled us with optimism for the big kick off.

Fast forward six months. Maguire has gone and McCarthy is long gone. New players failed to deliver... but the pitch is great!

How bloody stupid was I. The people in charge, including the board, were gambling with the very future of the club so many worked so hard to create.

They have jeopardised the successful youth system and community work. They have jeopardised the very existence of the club.

Attendances have plummeted but do not blame the no-shows for the crisis unfolding down Bumpers Lane.

No club, including Chester FC, has a God-given right to expect the people of the city and beyond (I’m from Wales!) to part with their hard-earned cash and get nothing in return.

Businesses must deliver value for money or fail. Sitting through 90 minutes of rubbish and, at times, a lack of commitment from players is not value for money.

My great fear now, following the meeting last night, is that the people charged with rescuing the club are the people responsible for the mess in the first place.

They are volunteers but that does not exclude them from criticism. Nobody forced them to join the board. They accepted the responsibility and failed... and failed to keep the fans informed of just how bad things were.

It is not enough to simply get out the begging bowl and ask the fans to dig deep again. New ideas, new initiatives, new faces are needed or we are doomed.

And if there are people with the finances to help, don’t hide in the shadows but front up. This is no time for politics or posturing.

We are probably a certainty for relegation. But we must now think beyond the end of the season and try to stabilise the club and secure its long-term future.

I will now join City Fans United and try to help. Once an optimist, always an optimist...

TOM REED: 'As a CFU member I am absolutely outraged that the first I am hearing that my club could cease to exist within one month has come from the Facebook page of the Non-League Paper'

I am writing as a CFU member and former season ticket holder (now Exile living away from Chester) to share my dismay at the manner in which the current board is destroying Chester FC.

My experience of being a Chester fan during our first four years was overwhelmingly positive. Not because we were winning games and getting promoted, that was all beyond my expectations, but because I was supporting a team that genuinely seemed to show ambition to improve the club’s standing in the local community and the wider footballing world. The level of communication between the club and the fans was excellent and it was obvious everyone involved was passionate about growing the club and bringing in more fans into the Chester FC family.

However, since our return to the top level of non-league football the board seems to have entirely isolated itself from the fans and the city of Chester. The club motto of ‘Our City, Our Community, Our Club’ seems for like a mantra to massage the collective ego of the board members than it does a mission statement for the development of Chester FC. We all knew eventually the club would hit tougher challenges on the pitch and we were prepared to accept that. What we were not prepared for was the club easing off in its efforts to grow the club off the pitch.

At a time when the club should have been working harder than ever off the pitch to increase the fanbase and grow the brand, all these efforts just seemed to halt and instead the club began coming up with schemes to squeeze more and more money out of the same small fanbase. We are achieving the 10th best average attendances in out division and supposedly 100% of our profits are re-invested in the club and I imagine most clubs in our league could only dream of an ongoing sponsorship deal with a company the size of MBNA. Why then are we struggling to survive both on and of the pitch in a league which it would seem we are well equipped to compete in? A few clubs in this league may have wealthy owners but not all of them but few seem to be losing money as rapidly as we are.


As a CFU member I am absolutely outraged that the first I am hearing that my club could cease to exist within one month has come from the Facebook page of the Non-League Paper rather than directly from the club itself. This is a perfect example of the total breakdown in communications between the club and its fans in recent years. It seems there has been a sense of apathy at every level of the club that has trickled down from the boardroom for some time now.

Whilst due to work commitments I can no longer attend every home game as I did from 2010-2015, my recent visits to the stadium have been a total disappointment. The dilapidated condition of parts of the stadium which appear to have gone without basic maintenance of even cleaning for some time, the very limited selection of items in the club shop, and food kiosks running out of stock before half-time all suggest that the people running the club have no interest in getting involved in the day to day work that is required to run any business. Whilst arranging cleaning rotas, maintenance and ordering stock may not be as glamorous as hosting guests in the VIP bar on matchdays and arranging deals with sponsors, it still needs to be done and currently it clearly isn't.

As fans of Chester FC we all want more than anything for our club to succeed but we can only offer so much financial support each season, many of us are feeling financially squeezed by the current economy, too. The solution is not to ask all of us to keep giving more but to renew the efforts seen in the early days of our reformed club to grow the fanbase and improve links with the local community.

Chester FC and CFU was meant to be a second chance for football to thrive in the city of Chester. If we disappear again do you honestly think there will be a third? Please don't let my club die (again).