In the latest development for the financially-stricken Vanarama National League club, Chester FC have announced the departures of three board members.
The following statement was posted on the club’s website:
Following Thursday’s CFU meeting at the Swansway Chester Stadium, three directors have decided to resign from the CFU Board with immediate effect. They are Jonny Hughes, Neil Bellis and Anne Salmon.
The scheduled board meeting for Monday will go ahead as planned with the remaining CFU directors. Updates from that meeting will follow in due course.
Below follows statements from Jonny, Neil and Anne.
Jonny Hughes, Chair of City Fans United
Firstly, let me express my gratitude and respect to all the concerned CFU members who gathered at the Swansway Chester Stadium last Thursday night at our Formal CFU Meeting.
It was never going to be easy to give such news to you all and I have to admit that for quite a while I felt under tremendous pressure and some of my replies probably reflected that.
I understand, however, that for all the pressure I felt, you were all hearing this news for the first time and were understandably hurt, angry and upset: For that I am truly sorry and I apologise for my part as a member of your board that didn’t let you know sooner and I also accept that I let you down.
Since then I have been reflecting heavily on how we can all move forward together as one team to ensure there will always be a Chester FC. For that to happen I strongly believe we all need to come together, like we did at the Guild Hall, galvanised by purpose and passion and with nothing but fire in our hearts as we continue to realise our dreams of a sustainable fan owned football club playing at the highest level possible in the city of Chester.
For that to happen, I also believe there needs to be changes. So, with the best interests of the club at heart, I have taken the decision to resign my position of Chair of City Fans United and as a member of your board of directors with immediate effect.
That in no way means I am giving up the fight for our club however … no chance. I intend to continue to be the fully-committed and active fan and volunteer I always have been and to continue to offer my skill-sets, verve and energy in support of the club so I can do my part to help put things right.
I have been humbled by the messages of support that I have received in the last 24 hours, but for all of that I recognise that as a board we got some important things wrong: Again, I am truly sorry. I love this club. I love the people. I love our volunteers: There is and only ever will be one Chester FC, so my support for the team on the pitch and the team off it will always be unwavering.
Together we will get through this and prosper under the banner of Fan Ownership and City Fans United. Together, we are Chester FC.
Thank you for the privilege and see you on the Harry Mac (greatest terrace in the land), Jonny Hughes
Neil Bellis, Vice-Chair of City Fans United
After a period of reflection over the past few days, I have decided to resign from the board of City Fans United.
It is clear that the board needs to regain the confidence of the fan base in order to move forward as a club. As a member of the board which has failed so badly over the past year, I feel it is necessary that I stand down. I also wish to take this opportunity to apologise to the fans for that failure.
I am still committed to the future of Chester FC as a fan-owned club, and will continue to offer any support to the club that I can.
Thank you, Neil Bellis
Anne Salmon, Director of City Fans United
I have done a lot of thinking since the meeting on Thursday and I believe that as one of the longer-standing board members, I should apologise for my part in our joint failure to act quickly or decisively enough to prevent the situation we find ourselves in today and therefore resign from the CFU Board with immediate effect.
I will continue to be committed to the survival of Chester FC, supporting fundraising initiatives as a CFU member and a fan and I sincerely hope that those who have been calling for more immediate and decisive action will now step up and volunteer – especially with regards to Health and Safety.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who believed in me and voted me onto the Board in 2015, it was an honour and a privilege and I am sorry if you feel I have let you down. I also wish all those remaining on the CFU Board and in the working groups, every success over the next few weeks.
Thank you, Anne Salmon.