Thursday, July 14, 2011

FC United of Manchester clash centrepiece of Supporters Direct Fans’ Weekend

 Source: Chester Chronicle

 By Paul Wheelock

 CHESTER FCs pre-season friendly with FC United of Manchester on Saturday is the centrepiece of a footballing conference which will bring one of the sports leading officials to the city.

UEFAs William Gaillard is the star attraction of the annual Fans Weekend this year held in Chester and hosted by Supporters Direct the organisation which helped set up fan-owned clubs like the Blues and FC United.

Gaillard, a special advisor to UEFA president Michel Platini, will tomorrow deliver a keynote speech at The Queen Hotel on City Road before the focus switches to the Exacta Stadium when Chester do battle with their league rivals for the Supporters Direct Cup (3pm).

But even though there is silverware at stake, Blues boss Neil Young and his FC United counterpart Karl Marginson are likely to treat the match with caution.

When the Evo-Stik League Premier Division fixtures were released yesterday the clubs discovered they will meet just four games into the season. Therefore it seems highly unlikely either manager will want to show his hand.

A marquee will be erected in the car park at the Exacta alongside a bar and a barbecue and from noon onwards speakers including leading football journalist David Conn will give talks.

Chester director Jeff Banks said: Chester FC are extremely proud that Supporters Direct have chosen Chester as the centrepiece for this years Fans Weekend. We received tremendous support from the organisation when reforming the club and we wouldnt have enjoyed much of the success that we have experienced if it hadnt have been for their help.

Its also fantastic that two of our directors, Chris Pilsbury and Mark Howell, have been invited to speak.

Admission to the match is s10 adults, s7 concessions and s4 juniors with a percentage going to Supporters Direct and the Homeless World Cup.

For more information on the Supporters Direct Fans Weekend, which includes a comedy night at The Queen Hotel hosted by Chester-born comedian Bob Mills, see