Tranmere Rovers have been allocated half of Chester FC ’s home ground for next month’s National League clash.
With the Blues in the midst of a financial crisis and needing to raise as much revenue as possible to get themselves back on an even keel, a decision has been taken by the board of City Fans United (CFU), the supporters group that owns the football club, to hand over both the South Stand and the Swettenham Chemists Community Stand for the visit of Rovers on Saturday, April 7.
The decision to free up more tickets for promotion-chasing Tranmere means that season ticket holders in the Swettenham Chemists Stand - 187 of them - will have to be moved elsewhere. It is a decision that the club says it has made with reluctance.
A CFU statement read: “In light of the current situation at the club, and with the impending need to raise funds for Chester FC, we have reluctantly decided to free up more tickets for visiting Tranmere Rovers supporters.
“It is not a decision we have taken lightly given our beliefs in looking after our own supporters, wherever they may be located inside the Swansway Chester Stadium.
“We sincerely hope that those 187 supporters who hold season tickets in that area understand why the board have taken this decision, which will be the only occasion this season in which we make such a move.
“As we want to look after our own supporters, we would like to invite all 187 supporters that hold season tickets in the Swettenham Chemists Community Stand, to come and select their choice of seat in the Red Insure Stand (not occupied by season ticket holders) prior to the date tickets go on general sale.
“Following this date, supporters who have not selected a seat in the Red Insure Stand will be invited to occupy an unreserved seat for this game.”
Swettenham Chemists Community Stand season ticket holders have been contacted via letter or email to advise them of the decision and ticket details and sale dates will be released in due course.
Chester remain in financial difficulty and the issues caused by mismanagement over the past12 months will take some time to pass.
Blues fans have raised a phenomenal £95,000 so far to aid the club, a figure that will ensure that Chester reach the end of this National League season.
But with relegation to the National League North now seeming a near certainty, next season could be even tougher for the Blues given their liabilities on the playing budget likely to well exceed the £100,000 that was quoted at the CFU members meeting last week should those on two-year deals not be moved on.