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> Stuart Murphy's open letter to Chester FC fans as he looks to comp
EltonblueS
post May 10 2020, 09:44 PM
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Stuart Murphy's open letter to Chester FC fans as he looks to complete takeover of club

STUART MURPHY insists any potential takeover of Chester will allow him the opportunity to “leave an indelible impression” on a club he truly cares about.

The board of City Fans United revealed on Thursday that they had received an approach from Murphy to take over the running of Chester.

A statement noted that “this marks a sudden and radical change to the previously negotiated relationship between Stuart and the Club. If agreed, the approach would end supporter ownership”.

Murphy has since issue an open letter to Chester fans in order to reassure supporters that he wants to take charge of the club, whom he donated £1m to in June 2018, with the best of intentions.
The letter confirmed: “I would like to make it clear that things would be different if I took the reins. I believe that I have already demonstrated I have a deep affinity with the club. It is NOT a business opportunity for me, it is a unique opportunity for me to leave an indelible impression on something I care so much about.”

Referring to his donation and the future of the club amidst the coronavirus crisis, Murphy wrote: “It is almost two years since the announcement that I had agreed to support the club with a commitment to provide the board with a cash injection of £1m.

“The objective was to utilise this money to proceed with projects that could develop the infrastructure of the club and its’ facilities to ensure financial stability in the longer term.

“For example, to modernise the supporters’ hospitality areas to make them more attractive and utilised in greater numbers thereby generating additional income.

“It was made clear to me and my representatives that we could have no control over the club beyond assisting with decision making in connection with my investment.

“I could see then that the club was in a perilous position and I was delighted to be able to help financially. Being involved with the club since then has been a privilege. It has been a real eye-opener for me and a challenge I have relished getting my teeth into.
So far, the £625,000 of my donation has been used. Rather than cash generating projects, it has been use primarily to improve the quality and stability of the first team by attracting new players and to ensure longer-term contractual commitment from both managers and players. Progress has certainly been made on this front, but the core infrastructure and ground improvements remain outstanding.

“Before the coronavirus crisis, the remainder of the money was earmarked for this purpose - £375,000. But this virus has totally changed the dynamics for non-league clubs such as ours. I can assure fans that my focus remains firmly on Chester and how we get through this unsettling period.”

Key to Murphy’s plans is The 1885 Sporting Village, a project the entrepreneur presented at the club’s AGM in November.

The letter continued: “Our fanbase will now allow the club to survive at the current level. We need to draw upon as many revenue streams as we can to give our managers the best chance of producing winning football.

“The 1885 Sporting Village will allow us to do that. I cannot emphasise enough how ground breaking the development will be. It will absolutely transform the area. It will be like a living, breathing organism with the football club right at the heart.

“This will allow the club to punch significantly above its’ own weight.

“As a club we must strive to better ourselves all the time. I do not want us to ‘settle’ for being a National League side. I do not even want us to settle for being a League Two side, we have the potential to achieve great things providing the foundations are firmly set in place.
“For my part, I am willing to invest more time and money into “The 1885 Sporting Village”. Other potential investors and partners have also declared an interest as we look to finance the development.”

Murphy also insisted that his hunger to help the club has grown stronger.

He wrote: “Now that my donation to the football club has almost been spent, I do not want to end my financial commitment. In fact, my hunger grows stronger.

“However, what is clear is that to play football at a meaningful level to the club will require additional funds, not just to give to Bern and Jonno the players they need, but for ground maintenance and improvements.

“I am willing to help financially - not just next season, but on an ongoing basis. But this is not a ‘one-off’ donation anymore - this is an ongoing commitment to Chester FC - and for me to be able to drive things forward at a pace I need to take control of the club

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