Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chester City

Chester City FC ceases to exist.

There you have the story of the death of a football club. It is a sorry tale with no “they lived happily ever after” at the end of it.

I am not especially familiar with the full story of their protracted demise but after reading that BBC report it seems to me that even their own fans had turned their backs on a club that had ceased to represent its constituency and the players had given up any hope of ever being paid.

Maybe the wider truth here is that no club which can only hope to attract a crowd numbered in the region of a couple of thousand fans can operate on a professional basis in the modern era?

Whatever their bigger picture I do hope that a phoenix club can rise from the flames of their financial pyre and given that the ground is still there then maybe the CFU option can give Chester’s football fans, no matter how few there may be of them, a team to follow at some level.

HMRC’s action which has killed them off for the paltry, in footballing terms, sum of around £26k seems harsh but I don’t suppose that HMRC is the only body owed money and if it was not them then it would have been somebody else. It has also been obvious for some time that HMRC has been keen to flex their muscles and make the point that their bills must be paid and here they have done just that.

That this should happen in a world where many a second tier player can expect that sum as a weekly wage shows just how desperately skewed the distribution of wealth is in English football and that just cannot be right.

There must be many other clubs such as Cardiff, Pompey, Palace, Darlington, Stockport and Bournemouth who are looking nervously over their shoulders now.

I don’t want to see any football fan lose his team but something has to change because teams at every level of the game are struggling to keep going and it is about time that somebody, somewhere did something to protect the clubs, even if it is quite possibly from themselves, or else the pyramidal structure of the English game itself is under threat.


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