TODAY is the most significant day in the history of football in this city when you, the decision makers, meet to vote on the future use of the Deva Stadium.
You, of course, have a duty to taxpayers to make a decision that is in their best interests.
But the choice is still a simple one.
Two groups want to run a football club from the ground.
One is a consortium of Danish football fans with an obvious passion for the English game.
The other interested body is one which carries the soul and the lifeblood of football in this city.
City Fans United is a dynamic and proactive supporters group which has already earned admiration from football supporters throughout the land.
More than 1,600 fans have signed up to the CFU cause and The Chronicle makes no apologies for nailing our colours to the CFU mast.
In the past few years we have reported on the disappointments and embarrassments suffered by these loyal fans and have to some extent shared their pain.
Initially there were those who suspected CFU may merely have been a well-intentioned but motley group of bitter stalwarts gathered in a pub to dream of bringing back the good times and possibly writing plans on a beermat.
Instead, as we soon realised, they were revealed to be organised and businesslike, ambitious yet realistic.
Most of all, they wanted an end to the seemingly endless humiliation of being a Chester fan.
A well-organised club run by fans for fans, playing attractive football at a decent level in front of enthusiastic crowds at the Deva Stadium.
It’s not much to ask and it may well be just the beginning.
Former players have been quick to pledge their support for the new venture, perhaps if only to stop legendary former manager Harry McNally spinning in his grave.
These refreshingly committed ex-players realise that CFU members not only feel a great fondness for the history of the club but, more importantly, share a determination that the pride should return alongside the passion.
The fans’ pride has taken a relentless battering in the 12 miserable months since Chester’s relegation from the Football League.
Since that dark April afternoon in Aldershot, the city’s flagship football club has suffered administration, crippling points deductions, expulsion from the Football Conference and, finally, the ultimate indignity of being wound up in the High Court.
But enough is enough.
You, the council decision-makers, today have the opportunity to place the Deva Stadium – and the future of senior football in Chester – into the hands of the fans.
Chester FC may be a long way from once more beating the likes of Sunderland and Fulham in League games but just to see the blue and white stripes running out at the Deva in August would in itself surely be the sweetest of all victories.
The Danes may have good intentions, but it is clear they do not have the backing of Chester supporters and their presence at the Deva would surely only lead to further divisions in a long-suffering and very wary fan-base.
There is an opportunity, at long last, to deliver some good news to Blues fans and choose in favour of the CFU bid.
Don’t let that opportunity pass.
It is time for the Phoenix to rise.....