Page last updated at 09:18 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 10:18 UK

Fans take over lease of Chester City's Deva Stadium

The gates are closed at the Deva Stadium, home of Chester City Football Club
Chester City was wound up by the High Court in March

Fans of Chester City have been given the lease to the club's stadium by their local council, prompting hopes of a revival.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has offered City Fans United a five-year lease to the Deva Stadium.

The authority rejected a proposal from a Danish consortium.

Chester City was wound up in the High Court in March, after being expelled from the Conference in February for failing to play games due to debts.

They plan to start life again as Chester Football Club in August, playing in a lower league.

CFU, which had pledged to maintain league football in the city, said they were "delighted" with the decision.

'Key to plans'

Jeff Banks, from CFU, said: "It has been a long few weeks and months really, preparing for the day when we could get the go-ahead from the council.

"The Deva Stadium is key to our plans to take the football club forward so we put together a fantastic business plan which I'm pleased to say the council has given their thumbs up to.

"Now we can get on with bringing the city of Chester a football club it deserves."

CFU and the Danish consortium Fodbold Selskabet presented their business cases to a special panel led by the council's chief executive, Steve Robinson.

This authority will do everything it can to help, support and advise the new club and we urge the Chester public and businesses to do so as well
Steve Robinson

In a statement, Mr Robinson said the panel had been impressed with both bids but members had agreed unanimously that Chester Fans United should be offered the lease.

He said they felt the fans "were further advanced in terms of required management structure and overall ability to enter a team into whichever league is determined by the FA".

"Without doubt, their pride in club and city is unrivalled, as indeed, would be the support for their proposal from the people of Chester and its surrounding area," he said.

"It was these factors, combined with the very strong community engagement element in their case which persuaded the panel to assign the lease of Deva Stadium for five years to the CFU Board.

"CFU have promised a club 'run by the community for the community' with a multi-sport approach designed to reach all sections of our society from the young to the disadvantaged.

"On that basis this authority will do everything it can to help, support and advise the new club and we urge the Chester public and businesses to do so as well."



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SEE ALSO
Chester fans await Deva decision
29 Apr 10 |  Chester
Chester fans choose new club name
25 Mar 10 |  Chester
Chester wound up at court hearing
10 Mar 10 |  Chester
Chester league results expunged
08 Mar 10 |  Non League
Chester expelled from Conference
26 Feb 10 |  Chester
Council want football in Chester
19 Feb 10 |  Chester

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