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Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 20:11 UK

Chester hit by 25-point penalty

Chester City

Chester City have been given permission to start the new Blue Square Premier season this Saturday - but will have to start with a 25-point deduction.

City were already due to be docked an automatic 10 points for having gone into voluntary administration following relegation from League Two in May.

But an "interim statement" issued by the Football Conference on Thursday has confirmed the increased penalty.

And City will now be able to play their game at Grays Athletic on Saturday.

Chester had initially been denied Football Association affiliation last month, meaning they could not have commenced their league programme until it had been granted.

And owner Stephan Vaughan, who resumed control at the Deva Stadium in June after taking the club into liquidation in May, attended a meeting with FA and Conference officials at Nene Park, Rushden, on Tuesday.

The Conference is yet to reveal why City have been further punished.

A full statement will be released when the matter is finalised but it can be confirmed that the club will commence with a deduction of 25 points

Conference interim statement

But, with the big kick-off less than 48 hours away, and needing to bring the matter to a swift conclusion, they have opted to release an interim statement on their website.

"To ease concerns being expressed by those member clubs who are scheduled to play them in the forthcoming weeks," it read, "it was felt prudent to release this interim statement at this time.

"A full detailed statement relating to the conditions being applied will be released when the matter is finalised but it can be officially confirmed that the club will commence with a deduction of 25 points as one of those conditions."

Having had confirmation that he will be able to take charge of Chester for the first time at Grays on Saturday, City manager Mick Wadsworth can at last concentrate on matters on the field.

He told BBC Sport: "It's going to be tough. In fact, I don't think I've faced a harder job in all my years in coaching and management but the main thing is that we still have a football club.

"You look at Luton Town and the 30-point ban they had last season and it just proved too much but they did get close to turning it round at one point.

"And Bournemouth and Grimsby Town showed what can be done, although their penalties weren't quite as much.

"We just have to go into the new season with spirit and belief.

"The mood in training this morning, now we know our fate, was one of optimism and the feeling that we just want to get started."

Since taking charge of Chester in late June, Wadsworth has so far brought in Hibernian's Uruguayan midfielder Fabian Yantorno, and defenders Tim Ryan and Michael Lea.

And he has also brought in two experienced 33-year-old strikers, Glynn Hurst and Gregg Blundell, who will be returning to the club for a second spell.

Blundell, signed by then boss Keith Curle in July 2005, scored 15 times in his last stay before moving on to Darlington in January 2007. And he is due to sign for a second time when he recovers from a pre-season injury.



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