November 2009 Archives
What a week of football it has been, with crazy results, poor performances and controversy abound. But how do the events compare? Let's find out:
* Case 1: Wigan Athletic being pummelled, thumped and destroyed in a 9-1 drumming.
Sunday's result wasn't the greatest for Wigan. Things looked alright at half-time, having been thoroughly outclassed but only one goal down. Their worst ever second-half sees the result become a more eye-popping 9-1 in favour of Spurs by the final whistle. It's the sort of result the videprinter likes to rub in for fans on the losing side, as it slowly types out Tottenham Hotspurs 9 (NINE) - Wigan Atheltic 1.
Result: - Wigan Athletic fans feel about one-fifth as despondent as Chester City fans do right now. They lost 9-1, with a defensive performance their manager Roberto Martinez hasn't seen so wayward since his playing days at Chester City, under 'team captain' Stephen Vaughan Junior. But, they score the same number of points as they would have done if they'd lost 2-1, and they'll get over it.
Case 2: Ireland vs France and something to do with someone called 'Henry Handball'
Yes, yes, it's ol' Thierry Henry and using his va-va-voom to cynically cheat and unfairly put the Republic of Ireland out of the 2010 World cup with a blatant, disgusting act of cheating. It was an act so disgraceful even the French were quite embarrassed about the whole thing (but not too embarrassed to insist on a match replay, obviously).
Result: Republic of Ireland fans feel about half as despondent as Chester City fans. Yes, this bad result will sting now, but there's still a good team there, and Euro 2012 will be around before they know it. They weren't going to win the World Cup anyway.
Case 3: Swindon Town and the winding up order threat
Swindon Town are facing a winding up order over a £2.45m debt bill which threatens to strangle the life out of the club. Depressing stuff. That's it.
Result: Swindon Town fans feel almost as despondent as Chester City fans. The debt is just over half the size Chester City's was over the summer, but at least good, honest people are trying to sort out the matter for the benefit of the club, without resorting to unsavoury loopholes.
Case 4: Chester City
Well, where to start? Who's the owner of the club now- is it Stephen Vaughan, or is it his son Stephen Vaughan Junior, who in a desperate attempt to show that while dad is officially not a fit and proper person to run a football club (no, really?), has 'bought' the club and will apparently have no influence from Vaughan the Elder.
Assuming Vaughan the Younger did buy the club over the weekend, according to a local radio station, then how much was it for? A consortium failed to buy the club for a rumoured £250,000 last week, with the offer described as 'silly'. Well, clearly Vaughan Junior must have been saving up his pocket money very well, or has been earning £40,000 a week while at Northwich Victoria, if he's made an offer that's matched the asking price (supposedly £750,000)!
Oh, and on top of that, the threadbare team is losing to part-time squads, the players are holding crisis talks, loan players are departing and none can be brought in to replace them, and the crowds are paltry.
Suddenly a one-off handball cheating incident doesn't sound so bad, does it?
Yet again it's been a busy week in the history of Chester City Football Club!
With just four days to go until the Conference & Football League meet to decide on the future of the club, we now hear that Stephen Vaughan has been disqualified from acting as a company director for 11 years - now I'm not going in to the ins and outs of that, but it does appear that Stephen Vaughan is losing his grip on CCFC.
Something has to give soon, there is the possibility that Stephen Vaughan Junior or even James Vaughan could become majority shareholders in the club, if Vaughan Senior is forced to sell at least 70% of his shares, that opens up a whole new can of worms as to whether that is still being involved indirectly with the control of the club.
I hope for their own sakes that Stephen Junior and James do not have this thrust onto them, it's the last thing we, the fans want, and I'm sure it's not an ideal situation for them either.
Can you imagine if your father put a loss making company in your own name, consider your own credit status, this will surely not only fail the "Fit & Proper Persons" test that the FA are investigating, but also fail the "Fit & Proper Father" test, as I'd go ballistic if my Dad was forcing a company onto me that was forecasting to lose half a million in the next year!
On the pitch things had been improving with those three BSP wins propelling us to within four points of the magical "zero" point, and the Wimbledon game was a joy to watch, with both teams going all out for the win, and despite the chants of "Going Down & Going Bust" from the Womble fans - who should know better - it was still a good atmosphere inside the ground for the first time in ages!
I was actually down in the big smoke over the weekend, sadly not at the Grays match, but having a weekend of leisure, so I was glued to the texts & internet on my phone, and was so pleased when I saw that Nick Chadwick had put us 3-1 up, that being the clincher of the points, how spoilt are we to experience three league wins on the bounce?
We did of course come down to earth on Tuesday night at York, but we'll excuse them for that one, as a lot of us thought York may prove to be too much at this stage, but hopefully we can do a job on Tamworth on Saturday, and get to within touching distance of that big "zero"!
It's also been a busy couple of weeks with the CFU and Junior Blues too, as membership applications have been flowing through at a pace, and with the online applications now being taken, we are expecting a lot more to fly through!
So, what's next in this rollercoaster of a season?
Oh yes, the simple question, will we have a club in five days time?
I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to enjoy watching a Chester game - then suddenly I get greedy and watch two wins in a row, with an amazing six goals scored by the Blues!
Hello, Madowl Blue here. I'm back and I'm grumpy.
Since my last entry (back in the somehow-less-gloomy time of February this year), Chester City have plunged down into the root of the Blue Square Premier about as quickly as its dignity, having its good name dragged through acres of mud during the off-season.
The latest chapter has been the miserable, yet somehow fully-deserved, 0-4 thrashing against Barrow to deny the club an FA Cup 1st round draw, and more crucially, the revenue such a cup tie could have brought.
For Barrow, it was poetic justice to get revenge on Stephen Vaughan, who had effectively brought their club to the brink of extinction before he moved on to bigger and better things. Like saving Chester City. Lucky us...
And so, following a dismal performance and anger at the way a couple of protesting City fans were treated during the match, a protest movement was organised at short notice. A mobilised, united force to meet outside Chester Town Hall, marching valiantly toward the Deva Stadium with a clear protest message against the way the club is being run.
Except it all fizzled out quite quickly.
Maybe it was the short notice given to fans, maybe it was because the march didn't have the backing of the newly-formed City Fans United (who understandably don't want to jeopardise any potential future negotiations with Stephen Vaughan), maybe it was because City fans have been too apathetic about the situation (feeling numb from too many defeats and broken promises over the years), or maybe because, most unlikely of all, the club played excellently against AFC Wimbledon!
But let's not kid ourselves. True, Chester reduced their points deduction to 'only' -7 with a convincing 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon, another club whose fans know full well what it's like to go through the hard times. It also meant it was the first back-to-back league wins for 99 matches, and means Chester's run of form recently looks in decent shape. Compared to Liverpool, anyway.
But all of this means diddily-squat if the club faces further sanctions or even expulsion from the Conference if it doesn't cough up the money needed to pay two outstanding debts by Monday, November 16. Fans can't suddenly think everything's all wonderful at the Deva again because Chester City is now only 16 points behind 23rd slot. Sorry to burst the bubble like that, but it's a harsh reality.
And what's available if the club can't pay up? City Fans United have already admitted they won't be in a position to do much if the club folds tomorrow, instead building up a 'war chest' for a possible August 2010 bid. Besides that, there's only the slim chance a potential buyer for the club is found in the meantime, with (an even skinnier chance) Vaughan prepared to reduce the club's asking price.
Until then, future protest movements need to be focused and simple. Saturday's involved too many stages and too much of a timetable, and so not many bothered. For the fans, a simple statement such as the red card distribution idea would get the message across more succinctly and more easily. Just a thought.