17 December 2009 ~ Chester City's problems have been widely documented. They're 24 points from safety at the bottom of the Blue Square Premier and may yet go out of business before the end of the season. Having failed the fit and proper person test, chairman Stephen Vaughan has handed control of the club to his son Stephen junior and claims to be willing to sell up. Meanwhile, last Friday the team was watched by just 518 for their FA Trophy tie with Fleetwood Town. The web feed organised by the visiting club was seen by more people than attended the game.
The low crowd was partly due to the game having been rearranged on the advice of the local police authority. Stewards at Chester are also used for Wrexham’s home matches, and with both having been drawn at home in the FA Trophy, the police requested that the Fleetwood game be moved. There were also fears of a fan demonstration on the pitch against the club owners similar to the one that caused the abandonment of a recent Blue Square Premier match with Eastbourne Borough.
Fleetwood complained but the game went ahead on a freezing, foggy night. The visitors brought 110 supporters so just 408 home fans saw their side lose 1-0. Cheshire police would probably have had enough of a presence to fit them all into any available vans in the car park outside the ground, but in any case the protest didn't materialise – Chester fans simply stayed away instead. A live interactive text feed from Fleetwood Town’s own website had 737 users following the game minute-by-minute, some of whom must have been Chester supporters.
The club is due to start its 125th anniversary year in 2010-11. In the meantime, Chester City supporters group have unified into one body, City Fans United, in the hope that they can ensure the club's survival beyond this season. Robert Jeffries