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Page last updated at 19:13 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Chester City seek Welsh Premier spot

Chester City

Chester City have applied to join the Welsh Premier League following their Football Conference expulsion.

"The Welsh Premier League have received an application from Chester City to join," league secretary John Deakin told the Chester Leader.

The club face a winding-up order in the High Court in London on Wednesday over an unpaid tax bill of £26,125.

They were booted out of the Conference on 26 February due to money problems and their failure to fulfil fixtures.

And, on Monday, their Blue Square Premier results for the season were expunged after they decided not to appeal against the expulsion.

It is unlikely that Chester would be allowed straight into the Premier Division, although entry into a feeder league could be an acceptable option to the Welsh clubs.

And the final decision would rest with the Football Association of Wales rather than the Welsh Premier League board.

But the Welsh Premier League discussed Chester's application, submitted by City's club secretary Tony Allen, at Tuesday's board meeting.

Andy Day

Chester's Deva Stadium home, which straddles the England-Wales border, has already been earmarked as a potential Welsh Premier League venue by The New Saints.

TNS have now opted not to persist with that application, club secretary Ian Williams admitting: "We made a formal request to ensure the use of the Deva Stadium facility for both domestic and UEFA fixtures, but we eventually ran out of time."

Should they be accepted, City would have no pathway back to the Football League and would no longer be allowed to compete in the FA Cup.

But Chester, whose fans are more in favour of becoming a 'phoenix' club and reforming within English football's pyramid structure, remain hopeful that they could become 'Welsh'.

"I am well aware of all the idiosyncrasies surrounding Chester's ground location," added Welsh Premier League secretary Deakin. "But the subject of whether to accept Chester into our league will be run past the board.

"I would prefer not to comment in detail about the application which was signed by Chester's club secretary.

"But, if Chester are accepted into the Welsh Premier League next season, it would have an effect on the league's plans to reduce the number of clubs in the division from 18 to 12."

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