Chester FC has been plunged into financial crisis with the club in desperate need to raise £50,000 to avoid going out of business 'within months'.

Board members faced calls to resign at City Fans United’s first meeting of 2018 at the Deva Stadium on Thursday night – which was also streamed online - as members of the volunteer-led CFU board addressed growing concerns regarding the club's increasingly dire financial situation, with the current cash-flow situation so poor Chester could run out of money by the end of February, with £50,000 needed to be raised in the ‘short-term’ to save the club.

The CFU board, led by chairman Jonny Hughes, admitted they had 'failed' the club's supporters, as the true extent of Chester's financial plight was revealed in the wake of the decision to part company with chief executive officer Mark Maguire on Wednesday morning, who will work 12 weeks notice before the role is made redundant.

Board member and financial director Laurence Kirby stated home crowds 'must go up' if the club is to survive, before adding the club's reserves, understood to be in the region of £100,000 and regarded as a safeguard for Chester's future, have been eaten into in order to stay afloat.

Kirby told members: “If we can’t raise £85k-£90k a month then we could be finished within a couple of months. We need to recover the deficit which has eaten away at reserves. This is the reality.”

Kirby stressed that current first-team players on two-year contracts – including Paul Turnbull, Kingsley James, Ross Hannah, Craig Mahon and Matty Waters – will have to be moved on in order to come into line with a vastly-reduced playing budget for the 2018/19 season, whether or not Chester manage to claw their way to National League safety or are playing in National League North.

The playing budget will have to be slashed from £450,000 to £250,000 if the club remains in business. The Blues are currently four points adrift of safety in the National League with 15 games remaining.

Kirby accepted the situation would be 'difficult' in whichever division Marcus Bignot's side end up. It was confirmed Bignot’s current deal runs until May.

Board members were forced to explain their individual roles within the CFU, with David O'Toole said to be 'embarrassed' with the financial mess the club has gotten itself into.

That ‘financial mess’ has come despite the club securing a transfer fee last summer for Sam Hughes from Leicester City, believed to be £125,000, with the second installment of that deal due this summer. Hughes’ sell-on clause remains the ‘biggest asset’ to Chester according to Kirby, who stressed it was crucial the club avoid a situation where that is sold in a bid to raise funds.

The meeting concluded with former CFU chairman Simon Olorenshaw agreeing to help the club in their current plight by working on strategy for the business, with fellow board members looking to implement plans to take forward the football, commercial and membership side of the business.

Over £1,200 was raised by members on the night in donations.

Chester were reborn in 2010 after Chester City was wound-up, and enjoyed great success in the initial years since reforming, gaining three consecutive promotions back into the National League.