“Problem resolved” for Chester FC as spectator rules scrapped
All limits on spectator attendances at sports events have been scrapped in Wales, an issue that had closed doors of football and other clubs across the country.
The First Minister was challenged over Chester FC’s recent issues at the lunchtime briefing, where the words from Chester MP Chris Matheson put to Mark Drakeford, who was asked if those describing the situation as “political point scoring” were right.
The club’s Deva Stadium, built 30 years ago just off Bumpers Lane, lies within Wales, apart from the club offices and front car park which sit within England.
Chester Football Club recently postponed a first team home game along with a youth fixture due to the recent limits on spectators at such events after the post-Boxing Day covid regulations were introduced.
Over the festive period the club appeared surprised to learn they were in Wales, despite making specific ‘operational changes’ in line with Welsh Government pandemic regulations for some areas of the ‘stadium’.
The First Minister rejected the ‘points scoring’ challenge, “No. You know the rules are very plain to see. If you have a ground in Wales, then it is the Welsh rules that have to be followed.
“Chester is in that very unusual situation of being an English club where the road you walk up to get into the ground is in England, but the ground you play on turns out to be in Wales.”
“I always believed myself there was a sensible way of resolving that position. I’m very grateful to the club itself and to all those who got round the table and found a way through.
“Because from six o’clock this morning, there are no longer any restrictions on people attending games where the game is in Wales and Chester’s games are in Wales the problem has resolved itself.”
Chester Football Club indicated they had received legal advice, and were seeking further such advice, but none has yet been made public.
Recently Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council, said: “As a Council we are committed to working with the football club and our partners to provide clarity on the long-term management of the ground and facilities.”
Andy Morris, Chair of Chester Football Club said: “This club has a proud history and is looking to a bright future. The discussions we are having with our partners will make things clearer, building on our shared commitment to the future.”
Wrexham AFC, yesterday poked a bit of fun at the situation on social media:
“So anyway, they built the thing and it’s in the wrong country 🤣”
🔴⚪️ #WxmAFC pic.twitter.com/vb2wmtmaM6
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) January 20, 2022
Chester’s home game is against Brackley Town on Tuesday 1st February, with the kick off at 7:45PM for the Vanarama National League North tie.
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