Simon Olorenshaw has stressed Chester’s fundraising efforts must go well beyond their initial £50,000 target needed to remain in business.
The Blues were plunged into crisis last month after full details of their financial plight were revealed at a City Fans United meeting, but in just under two weeks since fans have rallied to raise over £40,000 for the cash-strapped club, who are closing in on the amount required to stay afloat this month.
However, despite cost-cutting measures already in place – including senior players being moved on and chief executive Mark Maguire parting company with the club – re-elected Blues board member Olorenshaw has insisted the efforts ‘can’t stop’ at £50,000 as Chester will continue to have ‘cash flow challenges’ in the coming months, with efforts also set to be made to replace the £100,000 ‘reserve pot’ which has been significantly eaten into in recent months.
Olorenshaw was previously CFU chairman from December 2015 until November 2016, named as successor to club legend Grenville Millington but stepped down owing to an increased workload away from the club at Merseyrail.
“It’s been a fantastic effort from everybody,” he said. “The situation shocked people, I don’t think people expected it to be as bad as it was.
“But the way the fans have responded has been superb. The amount of people at the youth game spoke volumes and the All-Star game will hopefully raise more much-needed funds.
“There’s nothing like a crisis to galvanise people. We held an open meeting on Saturday and again it was standing-room only.
“I said the purpose was to now look forward. The previous Thursday’s meeting was cathartic but we wanted to focus on Saturday on all the good work at the club, from Calum (McIntyre) and the academy and Jim Green in the community. There’s fantastic work going on with our fundraising group and we want that to continue.
“What we have to stress now is it can’t stop at £50,000. I’m confident we’ll hit that mark but that can’t be the end of it, as there will still be cash flow challenges to come and there’s a long way to go.
“Day-to-day running of the club is our priority but we want to keep the fundraising going to eventually go back into the reserve pot again which has been dipped in to.”
Popular broadcaster Colin Murray and former England striker Michael Owen – who hails from Northop – have thrown their support behind Chester’s cause by organising an All-Star Game at the Deva Stadium next Thursday (February 15).
“The All-Star game is one we can look forward to and it’s been superb to have both Michael and Colin throw their support our way,” Olorenshaw continued.
“It’s getting the message out there now. The number of followers they both have on Twitter, it gets our message out far quicker than we could ever do. It’s good publicity for the cause and I hope we’ll have a healthy crowd in for it.”