Unsexy football

CHESTER City’s demise does not make a particularly sexy story, which is probably why it has received so little attention. That lack of attention is probably why a farcical state of affairs at the Deva Stadium was allowed to continue for so long before Chester were finally booted out of the Conference last Friday.

I’ve been following the increasingly ludicrous developments at the club via an excellent blog written by experienced journalist and broadcaster Charlie Lambert – a Chester fan.

His recent article on the reasons for the club’s collapse is as clear an analysis of their plight as I’ve read anywhere. I won’t attempt to match what he has written – I will just point you in his direction.

Link: Charlie Lambert on Chester

Lambert, in passing, suggests that the national media won’t bat an eyelid over Chester’s woes. (Having been expelled from the Blue Square Premier, the club faces a winding-up order on March 10 over an unpaid tax bill of £26,125. It seems implausible that they would survive that, but it is not impossible.)

The sad thing is, he’s probably right. With Portsmouth, you could always focus on the huge debts, the multi-millionaire footballers, the string of exotic and/or mysterious owners, the images of Harry lifting the FA Cup two years ago.

Throw in a quote or two from Harry, and mock up a Premier League table as it would look if Pompey went bust mid-season, and you could probably even persuade Tim Lovejoy to take an interest in the story.

But Pompey haven’t gone bust, and they’re still getting more attention than Chester, or Stockport, or any of the other lower-order clubs with grim futures. Is a Premier League club going into administration worthy of more attention than a Conference club hurtling into oblivion? I would say not. I accept that many people would disagree with me.

Then again, I’d also say Chester’s troubles are more newsworthy than a footballer refusing to shake hands with another footballer. If only a French lingerie model had been involved in their downfall, the club might have got more publicity.


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