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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

A 'new' Chester City given council encouragement

Chester City

Cheshire West and Chester City Council intend to help maintain a football club in the city should Chester be expelled from the Football Conference.

City are suspended from the Blue Square Premier after pleading guilty to five breaches of the league's rules.

"We will work with, support and help any group if they can bring back football to Chester," council leader Mike Jones told BBC Radio Merseyside

"I mean good quality football, where we win matches."

The club's fate will be decided at a general meeting of member clubs on a date to be decided, and they remain suspended until then.

Jones believes a vote in favour of expelling the Blue Square Premier club from the Football Conference could be in the best interests of Chester City fans, whose opinions have been most strongly voiced by their main supporters' body, City Fans United.

"I'm very hopeful that they will vote to extinguish them," added Jones.

"That will enable some of the local groups, particularly City Fans United, to actually get things moving now, sort out this mess, pick up the pieces and create something good for Chester."

Chester, who have lurched from crisis to crisis since relegation from the Football League last May, have failed to fulfil their last two fixtures.

But, despite this, and their big drop in home gates over the last two years, Jones believes that there is still an appetite for football in the city.

Jones continued: "City Fans United had over 350 people at their meeting last night, so there's a lot of enthusiasm to get some football back into that stadium and hopefully involve it in the community much more than it has been in the past."

We're not going to put money into the club because I don't think that's the right use of council taxpayers' money but we will support with advice and help and business planning

Mike Jones

Jones says that while the council will help maintain football in the city they will not be able to offer any financial aid.

"We're not going to put money into the club," he said. "I don't think that's the right use of council taxpayers' money but we will support with advice and help and business planning."

What could aid any potential new club is the fact that the council own the Deva Stadium.

The current 126-year-old club are almost certain to be relegated even if they do see out the season after starting with a 25-point deduction.

They are still on minus three points, 31 points from safety.

Chester were scheduled to visit Histon on Saturday until the game was postponed earlier this week.

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