TALKS are ongoing between Chester FC and the Welsh Government amid a bizarre row on Covid restrictions.

Last week we reported that the club may be forced to play their home games behind closed doors after the Blues received a joint letter from North Wales Police and Flintshire County Council saying that the club may have breached Welsh Covid regulations.

The football club played out two draws in matches held at the Deva Stadium, which straddles the Wales/England border, on December 28, 2021 and January 2, 2022.

As the pitch and stands are technically on the Welsh side of the border, NWP and FCC had warned the club they could be in breach of Welsh Covid restrictions which currently prevent more than 50 spectators watching sport. More than 2,000 were in attendance for the fixtures over the Christmas and new year period.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said he hoped “a sensible pragmatic solution” can be found over the dispute between the English football club and the Welsh authorities.

Non-league Chester FC fear going out of business if the club is made to play behind closed doors.

The English National League North outfit's Deva Stadium straddles the border, with the front gates, car park and main office door in England but the pitch in Wales.

Elite sporting events in Wales are currently being played behind closed doors after new rules to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant came into force on Boxing Day.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said Welsh Government officials would be discussing the issue with the club, police and local authority.

“I’ve already asked my senior officials to have discussions today with the police, with the club, with the local authority that owns the ground, the Chester local authority,” he told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday.

“I’m sure there is a sensible pragmatic solution here but doesn’t mean that the club is placed in jeopardy, but doesn’t result in the law being broken either.”

The club, who consider themselves English with an English registered address, are fearing the potential consequences and are seeking legal advice.

Chairman Andy Morris told the PA news agency last week: “As a club we rely on gate receipts. If the enforcement is we have to play behind closed doors, we are not a Welsh club, so we are not entitled to the financial support.

“The entire future of the club could be in doubt. There is no financial support for English clubs playing behind closed doors at the moment. It could be the end of the club.

“I don’t think there is any clear jurisdiction in terms of which rules apply but we have been acting within English legislation since the stadium was built in 1992.

“While acknowledging the border runs through the stadium, the club, for 30 years, has been treated as English with the registered address in England.”

The club learned of the issue after being invited to a meeting along with representatives of North Wales Police, Flintshire County Council, Cheshire Police and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Chester, who next play at home when they host Brackley Town on Saturday, January 15, are hoping the matter can be quickly resolved to avoid an expensive legal case.