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Vaughan's triple bid to secure finances.

Byline: NEIL TURNER

TODAY could prove to be a momentous day in Chester City's long road to financial stability, when club chairman Stephen Vaughan embarks on three important meetings to ensure a brighter future for the club.

This morning Vaughan meets representatives of the Football Association and the Nationwide Conference to discuss a number of alleged irregularities in the club's finances that he claims he has uncovered since he took over at the Deva Stadium.

This afternoon he meets members of Chester City Council to discuss ways forward for the club, and ideas he has for the improvement and fundraising activities at Chester.

The round of meetings comes to an end this evening, when Vaughan addresses members of the club's Supporters Trust.

The Trust are currently endeavouring to raise money, so they can purchase a seven per cent shareholding in City.

"It's going to be a hectic day.

Ideally I didn't want three important meetings in one day, but that's just the way it evolves, " said the Merseyside boxing promotor.

"I hope we can get a mature, ongoing dialogue up and running with the FA and the Conference, and also get to know members of the City Council better, while getting away from the confrontational situation that seems to have been the norm between the club and the City rulers in the past."

Elsewhere, City announced last night that the scheduled Nationwide Conference fixture against Northwich Victoria at the Deva Stadium on New Year's Day will kick off at 1pm, after the club took police advice.

City's injury problems are building up as they prepare for Saturday's visit to fellow strugglers Woking. Defender Chris O'Brien is already doubtful for the game because of flu, and yesterday the situation worsened when fellow central defender Carl Ruffer pulled up in training with a recurrence of his old knee injury.

"Both players must be considered as doubtful, we will just have to keep a close eye on Ruffer's knee problem and hope for the best, " said beleaguered City manager Steve Mungall.

FOOTBALL: The Football League have been boosted by the news that ITV intend to fulfil their pounds 315million television commitment.

Granada plc published their annual report yesterday and announced that the Granada and Carlton companies will be given the funds to see out the remaining two years of the current three-year contract.

This follows speculation that the ITV Sport channel could not guarantee the money.

Charles Allen, chairman of Granada plc, said: "Granada and Carlton have both indicated that their current intention is to provide funds to ITV Digital and ITV Sport to enable their businesses to meet their operational requirements as and when they fall due."

The news was welcomed by David Burns, chief executive of the Football League, who said: "This is excellent news and is undoubtedly further evidence of the successful launch of the ITV Sport Channel.

"The ITV Digital platform has a subscriber base of more than 1.2million households and Football League games can now be seen in more than 6,000 bars and clubs."

But Burns urged Sky and ITV to clinch a deal where all league games appear on both channels.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2001
Words:526
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