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Page last updated at 22:09 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Troubled Chester await their fate

Chester City

Chester City will now have to wait until Thursday to learn their fate following another troubled weekend.

City were already due to be dealt with on Monday regarding their continued non-payment of debts to creditors.

But the Blue Square Premier's bottom club are now under a new investigation following Saturday's pitch protest.

Chester fans, upset at the running of the club under former owner Stephen Vaughan, caused an abandonment of the home game with Eastbourne Borough.

They now have to answer both to the Football Association and the Football Conference.

But, after a day of discussions, a decision on any punishment is now delayed until Thursday (3 December) when the Conference has convened an emergency board meeting.

Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick told BBC Sport: "I'm waiting for the referee's report.

"And it will depend on what he says before we decide what action should be taken.

"All misconduct charges are dealt with by the FA.

"But the Conference will deal with what happens with regards to the game itself."

Although Chester had just taken a 3-2 lead when Saturday's game was abandoned, the precedent already set by the Conference suggests that they will be further punished.

Gateshead's players allegedly refused to return to the pitch after a long delay following Martin Brittain's leg-break in a home game against Hayes & Yeading on 5 September.

Following the resulting abandonment, Gateshead were charged by the Football Conference for "failing to fulfil a fixture" and the points were awarded to Hayes & Yeading.

As for Chester's financial fate, the club have been threatened with expulsion from the Conference if they do not settle outstanding debts to the Professional Footballers Association, as well as to two neighbouring clubs, Wrexham and Vauxhall Motors.

But Chester are holding out for their share so far of the £225,000 discretionary parachute payment due to them from the Football League.

We've done everything we can and we hope Chester have done everything they can

Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick

That already amounts to a six-figure sum. And they are also due an as yet unpaid £70,000 share of the £1m payment kindly made by the Premier League in September to help all 68 Conference football clubs cope with their 'current financial difficulties'.

Conference boss Strudwick added: "It's not a problem that can be solved by the Conference or Chester City but there might be a solution provided by the Football League.

"We've done our best to promote the game and to help Chester but the creditors have to be paid.

"We've done everything we can and we hope Chester have done everything they can.

"We hope the Football League can help. And we know they're keen to come to the party."

A statement released by the Football Conference on Monday night confirmed that "positive discussions have continued between themselves, the Football League and Chester City FC concerning the club's continued membership and participation in the Blue Square Premier."

Chester's game away to Cambridge United on Tuesday night (1 December, 1945 GMT) will go ahead as scheduled.

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see also
Chester-Eastbourne game abandoned
28 Nov 09 |  Non League
I'll still support City - Vaughan
28 Nov 09 |  Chester
Chester owner under new scrutiny
24 Nov 09 |  Chester
Chester receive payment extension
16 Nov 09 |  Chester
Conference clubs handed windfall
16 Sep 09 |  Non League
Hayes & Yeading awarded victory
17 Sep 09 |  Hayes and Yeading

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