Monday, February 11, 2013

11 February 2010 - Chester City Pays The Price

On 11 February 2010, the Football Conference suspended Chester City for failure to field a team for a scheduled match. Shortly afterward, the 125-year old club folded.

Founded in 1885 (as Chester FC), Chester City straddles the border between England and Wales, with the administrative offices located in England, while the stadium was in Wales. They started collecting honors early on, winning the Welsh Cup in 1908, then again in 1933 and 1947, while finishing as runners-up 10 times.

They joined the Football League in 1931 and spent the majority of their existence in the two bottom tiers, but were relegated into the Football Conference in 2000 and spent four seasons there before returning to the league in 2004. They were then relegated back down to the Conference in 2009.

Financial problems dogged them throughout the 2009-10 Conference season, culminating in their abandonment of an away match against Forest Green on 9 February when their unpaid players refused to board the team bus. Their upcoming home match against Wrexham scheduled for 14 February was also canceled when the police--still awaiting payment from previous matches--refused provide security. In response, the Football Conference hit Chester with a seven-game suspension.

Just over two weeks later, on 26 February, the other Football Conference clubs voted to expel Chester and the club was wound up on 8 March.

Following the club's demise, supporters started a new club. Taking the original name of Chester FC and using Chester City's old stadium, they started play in 2010 in the eighth tier of the English football pyramid, the Northern Premier League Division One North. After earning successive promotions in their first two seasons, they now play in the Conference North, where they are currently sitting at the top of the table.

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