New Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley certainly have a big task on their hands with Chester FC.
But despite taking over a club in English football’s sixth tier, they have inherited a dugout which attracted much attention from prospective bosses after Marcus Bignot’s sacking.
More than 80 applications were received by the club which showed the appeal the Blues have within football.
And after a protracted recruitment process, which included speaking with several candidates and talks ending with prospective boss Neil Redfearn after an agreement over financials could not be reached, the club finally have their men.
So here are some things Morley and Johnson will have to tackle at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
Build a squad on a limited budget
The money spent last season during what became a calamitous campaign both on and off the pitch for the Blues was the biggest budget the club has had since its reformation.
As attendances dwindled throughout the campaign and the club’s finances were laid bare at a City Fans United (CFU) meeting in January which revealed Chester needed £50,000 in the short term to survive.
Blues fans and the football community rallied round over the following months to break the £100,000 mark.
But having dropped down a division, the playing budget for this season is likely to be much lower, with a figure of around £250,000 mooted.
With less money to play with than then-manager Jon McCarthy did last season, Morley and Johnson will have to use the funds wisely to replenish the Blues ranks.
And indeed Morley believes that though the budget is not a ‘great’ one, it is also ‘not a bad one’ and that it can be competitive in the National League North.
Create a competitive team with an attractive playing style
It’ll be easier said than done in this division with the budget, and it’s surely what every supporter up and down the country wants for their club.
But having watched a dismal relegation campaign last season which included 25 losses in the league and an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Kidderminster, on top of a shocking second half of the 2015-16 National League season where the Blues eventually narrowly avoided relegation, Chester fans could be easily forgiven for wanting to watch a competitive team playing attractive football once again.
And though it won’t be a stroll in the park in this league, the duo have aspirations of building a team which can at least reach the play-offs of a division they celebrated winning just a few weeks ago.
Morley has admitted success this season will be reaching a top-seven berth and the play-offs as a minimum as the process to begin recruiting players and moulding a team capable of that challenge starts.
Bring supporters back to the Swansway Chester Stadium
Fans are the lifeblood of any football club but Chester FC supporters are more than that – they own it, and it’s what make it unique and special in the modern era.
But attendances at the Swansway Chester Stadium dipped as the season wore on, culminating in the lowest home crowd for a league game since the club reformed in 2010 with the win over Bromley in April in front of just 754 home fans.
Ultimately fans want to watch a winning team, of course, and few can blame supporters for staying away from a team that is more than likely to lose come 3pm on a Saturday.
If Morley and Johnson can create a competitive and winning side, then the stands will be fuller than the last campaign and will in turn help the club’s coffers and bring in much needed revenue, which could be used at vital times in the campaign to bring in players and aid a potential play-off push.
Unite the fanbase
Managers and players are not always to everybody’s taste and it has been no exception at Chester FC with the last two bosses.
Jon McCarthy took over initially as a caretaker from the sacked Steve Burr, before being given the job permanently in 2016.
He took the Blues as high as seventh at one stage in the 2016-17 season before a miserable post-Christmas run saw them finish 19th, two points above the drop zone.
He was later relieved of his duties in September as Chester found themselves in the relegation zone and having not won at home since December 17, 2016.
His successor Marcus Bignot took over in the aftermath but was unable to prevent the club’s slide into the National League North before he himself was sacked last month with the Blues’ fate sealed and three games of the season remaining.
The past two incumbents have polarised opinion among the Blues supporter base, for various reasons.
But for Morley and Johnson, it is important everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet on and off the pitch and Blues fans will have a role to play in what could be the most important season in the club’s history since its 2010 reformation.
And with the majority of fans appearing to back the appointment, the duo have got off to a positive start with Blues supporters, who now eagerly await transfer developments.