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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Chester City up for sale for 1

Chester City

Chester City have been put up for sale for just £1 in the hope of sidestepping Wednesday's High Court date in London over an unpaid £26,000 tax bill.

The Blue Square Premier bottom club are due to face a winding-up petition, brought by HM Revenue & Customs.

But if they find a new owner prepared to pay off the crisis club's current debts, Chester can still be saved.

And after turning down one deal, Chester's current owners, the Vaughan family, are still negotiating.

An official statement from the club read: "Stephen Vaughan Junior is prepared to sell 100% control of Chester City Football Club for one pound.

There is a serious situation at the football club and I have been in consultation with the PFA and the Football League all week trying to get players squeezed through

Chester director of football Morell Maison

"The new owners will take on all existing creditors and will need to guarantee to pay existing creditors of the new company."

Chester director of football Morell Maison had told BBC Radio Merseyside on Saturday: "We're quite a way down the road.

"We're at the tricky part where the Vaughan family have to make some decisions. They have rejected an offer out of hand.

"They are mulling over another and there are negotiations going backwards and forwards.

"We can bring as many investors to the table as we like, they still have to make a decision."

Former chairman Stephen Vaughan was forced to relinquish his hands-on role at Chester in November, after being disqualified from acting as a company director for 11 years following an investigation into alleged VAT fraud at Widnes in 2006.

Since then, his son Stephen Vaughan Jr has been at the helm.

While negotiations are in hand to save the club's long-term future, Maison, appointed by the Vaughan family on Boxing Day, has been busy with more short-term footballing issues.

Having not been paid since October, a host of Chester's more experienced players have left the Deva Stadium. And the club remain under a transfer embargo preventing them bringing anyone else in.

"There is a serious situation at the football club," said Maison. "And I have been in consultation with the PFA and the Football League all week trying to get players squeezed through.

"We've had some tough times getting players in. We're trying to relax the rules, to get one or two in, which they won't.

"We've even managed to reduce the debt in the last week but it's tough work."

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