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AN UPDATE FROM CFU VICE-CHAIR JIM GREEN

Vice Chairman Jim Green has provided an update from the Chester FC Boardroom…

With the first new signing through the door, pre-season friendlies being announced, and a new third kit launched, you can start to feel that buzz of a new season building again.

One of the good things about football is that there’s always something to look ahead to, and the chance to put things right. Last season has gone now and there’s been time for us all to reflect, analyse and learn, and now the aim is to use that to improve us.

We’ve been finalising our pre-season plans and have compiled what we hope will be a challenging schedule, but one that will be exciting for the fans. We look forward to welcoming Stockport County and visiting Macclesfield, with more games to be announced shortly. The trip to Isle of Man promises to be a great experience and we’re grateful to everyone involved for inviting us. No doubt there’ll be a large contingent of Blues travelling by sea and air to enjoy the weekend, but for Calum and the players, there are two important games to be played and a valuable chance to integrate new players into the squad.

I was delighted that our captain George Glendon committed his future to the club this week. George is coming off his best season in a Chester shirt, despite having a shortened pre-season as he completed his recovery from serious injury. The manner in which George approached the injury, his recovery and rehabilitation was testament to him and his character. We know there was strong interest from other clubs in George within our league, as well as the leagues above and below. Our wage structure means he could have earned more elsewhere, but he has found a home at Chester and I know George is desperate to achieve success with us. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do with a full pre-season under his belt.

We’ve announced Ben Pollock as the first new addition of the summer and he is a player we have tried to sign previously. He is someone who has always impressed against us, whether for Hereford, Boston and Spennymoor, and it will be nice to have him on our side instead. He will bring a huge amount to the group and his profile ticks pretty much every box. Calum has identified a list of targets and we’ve made a number of offers to players, but EFL and most National League contracts don’t finish until the end of June, so it can be a slow burner.

On the subject of recruitment, Monday will see the launch of Boost the Budget for 2024/25.

The success of the scheme since it was launched has been tremendous and further reinforces what an incredible fanbase we have at Chester. It’s our opportunity as supporters to support Calum in bringing in players who can help us achieve our ambitions, and hopefully we can hit our target once again. The National League North is ultra competitive and, despite what other clubs may suggest, our model means that we’re not one of the biggest spenders, so Boost the Budget can make a real difference.  If we are able to beat the target, this enables the board to give Calum additional funds so we can be even more ambitious in our recruitment.

SEASON TICKETS

The response to our 2024/25 season ticket campaign has been really positive, with sales now passing 850. Your support never fails to astound and we are well on track to break the 1,000 barrier over the coming days.

We had an important decision to make over our ticketing provider, as we’d developed a great relationship with Kaizen, but we felt Fanbase could offer us even more, so it’s been pleasing to see so many positive comments about the new platform. Any change comes with challenge, and we’ll follow up on the feedback about what could be improved, but overall the feedback has been good.

If you’re still to renew, or are considering getting your first season ticket, don’t forget you can spread the cost in three instalments and the Early Bird deadline closes on 31 May. Season tickets are an important source of income for the club, helping us plan with greater confidence and, if we can surpass our target, creating additional opportunities.

I have to thank Albert, the ticket office volunteers and the media team for their work, both on the campaign and managing sales and renewals. The All Of Us message is something everyone can get behind and will be the recurring theme this season.

CITY FANS UNITED

This month has seen the first significant changes to City Fans United memberships since reforming as a fan-owned club in 2010. It was something that had been discussed for a few seasons, and to be honest it was probably overdue. This is OUR club and we have a collective responsibility to play our part in ensuring it is funded sufficiently to compete, progress and be a club that supporters can be proud of.

The move to Fanbase has allowed us to introduce multi-level memberships, making it simple for fans who want to contribute more to do so, but, crucially, making sure we retain an affordable, inclusive entry point, and £2 a month does that.

These changes mean we have already beaten last year’s membership income, which is fantastic. Our aim is to work towards a membership of 2000, with scope to generate £50,000 annually. This would be a huge step forwards for the club and help us invest in stadium improvements and infrastructure projects, which in turn can grow revenues and push us forwards.

Again, the change has not been without its challenges, and we really appreciate your patience as we work through the various subscriptions and donations to migrate everyone across to the new membership platform, but it will be worth it.

I accept that as a supporter base, we will have different views about fan ownership, private ownership and what is best, and the position of the board is clear: should a serious proposal for a change of ownership be received, we will bring that to the members to consider and vote. However, until then, we will continue to run Chester FC on behalf of the membership to the best of our abilities, aiming to be a successful, sustainable supporter-owned club. Like every club, we’ve had ups and downs, but across the past 14 years, I think we’ve built something pretty special and if we can all embrace what we have, then there’s every reason to be positive about our future.

If your CFU membership has lapsed, or you’ve not been a member before but think you’d like to join, please head over to: 

www.cityfansunited.com 

The more owners we have, the louder our collective voice will be.

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