CHESTER FC will be playing in the Conference Premier division next season.
The shock U-turn comes after relegation rivals Hereford United were expelled for financial reasons.
Fans and bosses at Chester FC have spoken of their delight but also expressed condolences to supporters and those involved with Hereford.
A statement released by the Blues said the board and management team will now focus on building a competitive and sustainable squad capable of competing in the Premier.
“The Board of Chester Football Club would like to wish the fans and community of Hereford well in what is, as we know, a very difficult time for the club,” said Tony Durkin, chairman of Chester FC.
He added: “Despite the circumstances, the Board is thrilled for the members and fans that the disappointment experienced during the final days of last season are now behind us and we have been granted a reprieve. We would like to take this opportunity to assure everyone that we will endeavour to build on our strong off-season following, in particular, Steve Burr’s commitment to the Club as full-time manager.
“The Board of Chester Football Club is, however, disappointed that members of the Conference Board have been abused via social media, emails and verbally by people claiming to be Chester Football Club supporters.
“People need to understand that this situation has been a very complex one for the board to handle and behaviour of this nature, from so-called ‘fans’, is very unhelpful to our cause and has left an unsavoury taste from the situation.”
Reggie Jones, CwaC councillor for Blacon and die-hard fan, said: “For me the sadness of the situation is that another proud football team is losing its place in a league due to financial circumstances.
“I think the Chester fans will sympathise with the Hereford fans in this troubled time. But having said that it's great news that Chester is to be reinstated into the league it belongs in. We didn't play anyone last year that we couldn't have beaten and with a tiny bit more luck we would have stayed up by right.”
Gary Talbot, a former player and fans favourite from his days playing for Chester City in the 1960s and president of the Former Players Association (FPA), said: “I'm crying with joy! I'm absolutely delighted for Chester FC and for all the fans. This is a well-deserved reward for the volunteers and everyone at the club who have worked so hard. If it wasn't for those few minutes we would still have been in that league and the club deserves to be there."
See full story in the Chester Leader