With 11 games remaining, baring a miraculous recovery Chester FC’s five-year stint in the National League looks set to be coming to an end.

The Blues -who have won just six league matches all season – are beginning to look cut adrift in the bottom four, with a terrible goal difference and fixtures still to come against the current top six compounding their miserable position.

Relegation will ultimately be the culmination of a series of catastrophic decisions which have not only seen a decent mid-table side quickly turn into near-certainties for the drop, but almost led to a proud football club going out of business, just eight years after reforming out of the ashes of Chester City.

Down to the incredible efforts of the club’s supporters to raise a total in excess of £90,000 and still rising, the immediate threat of insolvency has been staved off. But now the fans want actions and clear indication of buildings block being put in place to avoid a repeat scenario.

A vastly increased summer transfer budget was signed off by the board and former chief executive Mark Maguire – one of the recent casualties of Chester’s financial crisis – and subsequently blown by Jon McCarthy on a squad of largely sub-standard players with a major imbalance to its make-up.

For McCarthy, certain summer signings were recruited to save face with the club’s supporters, rather than actually addressing what was needed. He released consistent performers Elliott Durrell, Johnny Hunt and Ryan Lloyd – who all wanted to stay– replacing them with the likes of Kingsley James, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and John McCombe, earning twice as much. You do the maths.

McCarthy and Maguire have rightly taken plenty of the blame for Chester’s current financial mess, but the club’s board members – four of whom have since resigned in the wake of the dire financial revelations - must shoulder their fair share of the stick.

This brings me around to Marcus Bignot, McCarthy’s predecessor who has been left to fight the fires set well before his arrival as Chester manager in mid-September.

Bignot was faced with an underprepared squad, with no confidence, who were not universally liked by the club’s fanbase, mainly due to a run of 15 home matches without victory. 'Resentment' is the term used by Bignot to describe the ill-feeling from the fans towards the players.

Financial constraints – plenty of which he was forced to keep to himself as things fell apart behind the scenes – meant players have only been able to arrive on short-term deals or loans, while the one player he was able to secure on a two-year deal – Jordan Archer – looks a decent centre-forward who could thrive in the right environment.

Granted, results have not dramatically improved under the 43-year-old, but you’d struggle to find a Blues fan out there who can’t honestly say the performances since the turn of the year haven’t been a vast improvement on what was seen before. Despite losing key players left, right and centre, Chester have produced – bar the 3-0 defeat at Maidenhead – performances the fans can be proud of in each of their 2018 league games. There’s a lot to be said for that.

Bignot polarises opinion amongst the Blues fans. There are many who feel he deserves credit for the way he has handled the off-field situation, crumbling in front of him, and like his open, honest approach to dealing with matters.

Yet there are plenty who are vocally critical of his tactics and style of football, which is certainly direct but can be very effective when it works well – home wins over Maidenhead and Eastleigh prime examples.

The club’s board – newly elected chairman Simon Olorenshaw included – must soon decide whether Bignot is the right man to take Chester forward in – all-likelihood – National League North, given his current contract only runs until the end of the season.

Decisions of this nature – at all levels of football – should always revolve around the same question: Is there someone out there – who is attainable - in a better position to manage the football club?

In my opinion, the answer to this is no. Chester must not lose sight of Bignot’s track record with Solihull Moors when deciding who leads them into life in the sixth tier.

The Blues already have a manager who has a National League North title on his CV, has a proven track record of working on a strict budget and gaining results, while also promoting youth players and providing them with a pathway to the first-team. If these aren’t attributes Chester want in next season’s manager, I for one would be surprised.

It’s also important to note Bignot appears energised by the challenge of rebuilding Chester on half of this season’s budget. Most managers in his position would have walked by now, or be strongly considering doing so in eight weeks time. Bignot though, seems excited about the prospect of starting over.

Speaking last week he said: “I believe we can recruit young and we’re making players better. I’m up for it, I’m absolutely up for this challenge. I know where this club can go and I’d love to be at the helm to do that, and I want to achieve that. Can it turn into a career move? Yes it can.”

Given Chester’s run-in – still to travel to leaders Macclesfield, Sutton, Boreham Wood and Wrexham – there’s a fair chance Bignot’s side could finish further adrift than their current six-point gap.

Recency bias will likely lead to a clamour for a fresh approach in the dugout going into the 2018-19 campaign but for my money, Bignot should be regarded as the ideal candidate to lead the Blues back from the brink.