We would like to take this opportunity to wish all within the Chester FC family a happy and prosperous New Year, and express our gratitude for your outstanding support during the past 12 months.
The continuing impact of Covid-19 through 2021 has presented further challenges for our Club, not least the disappointment at the cancellation of the 2020/21 season in the early part of the year after such a promising start to the campaign.
We entered the current season with the belief that we could build on the progress that had been made, however it is evident that results and performances over the second half of the year were below the level expected, leading us to part company with Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley after over three years in charge.
The appointment of Steve Watson shortly before Christmas means we enter 2022 with renewed optimism as we begin what we hope will be an exciting and successful new era for our Club. We look forward to working with Steve to improve our fortunes on the pitch over the coming weeks and months, and thank you for the tremendous welcome you have given him already.
It has been a welcome sight to see supporters back at the Deva Stadium in good numbers this season and, while we acknowledge there is still work needed to rebuild our attendances, the increasing number of young fans and families attending matches offers promise for the future.
It is clear new variants and rising case numbers pose a continued risk to football and crowds in stadia, but we sincerely hope the success of the vaccination programme and the protective measures that have been put in place across the game will mean we can continue playing without further restrictions.
We are immensely grateful to our players, staff, volunteers and supporters for the understanding and loyalty they have demonstrated towards the Club, and this has been integral to enabling the Board to ensure the Club has remained financially stable despite extremely difficult trading conditions.
Although we anticipate further challenges, we believe our Club is well placed to meet these head on while continuing to push for the success on the pitch that will allow us to realise the ambitions we share with our fellow supporters.
There is undoubtedly work to do and we recognise the importance of developing our off-field performance, with a particular focus on improving our commercial position, the matchday experience and fan engagement.
Aligned with the opening of the King George V Sports Hub, the ongoing growth and success of our Academy and Women’s teams, and the impact of the Community Trust, we passionately believe that if we continue to work together then there is much for us to be positive about as we look ahead to the next 12 months.
Thank you again for your support and we look forward to welcoming you to the Deva for our first game of 2022 tomorrow.
Up the Seals.
On behalf of the Board of City Fans United