CHESTER City chairman Stephen Vaughan pulled the club back from the brink again this week with another big payment to the Inland Revenue.
He signed a personal cheque for £168,888 to cover two tax instalments following a court hearing in Liverpool on Monday - and then revealed his total personal outlay to the cash-strapped club now stood at almost £4m.
The club was granted a week's adjournment for the cheque to clear and the Inland Revenue claim is expected to be formally withdrawn on Monday.
Vaughan, who moved from Liverpool to a new house in Wirral yesterday, admitted: 'The club has no money. I did a deal to pay the outstanding instalments personally and that was accepted provided the cheque cleared, which it did.
'This takes the total amount of money I have put into the club to nearly £4m and I must admit it is beginning to hurt.'
How close the Inland Revenue was to pulling the plug on Chester City isn't known because they don't discuss individual cases with the media, but this wasn't the first time the club had been in court this season.
Supporters were shocked when the club revealed it was facing demands from the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise and a winding-up order was sought by a York-based finance company against Vaughan's company, Vaughan Trading.
An out-of-court settlement with Goldcrest Finance Corporation was reached and the issue with the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise was said to be 'under control'.
An instalment of £84,000 was paid to the Revenue in March when it was revealed two more similar instalments had to be found before the end of the season, hence Monday's appearance in Liverpool.
'That is the end of the matter as far as the Inland Revenue is concerned,' added Vaughan. 'But the situation at the club is like a slow puncture. You pump it up, only for it to go down again. And so it goes on.
'I am not sure how long I can keep doing this. I am hoping the new manager can turn things around. We need the supporters to rally round and buy season tickets and for the stadium to be packed every home game.'
In fact, record sales of season tickets for next season are being set. Sales are outstripping the same period last year and Vaughan is delighted.
'This is great and shows the fans are looking forward, like me, to next season,' he said. 'The prospects for the forthcoming campaign look extremely bright.
'Of course, the effect that Keith Curle appears to be having is also a positive one.'