Blue Square Premier crisis club Chester City have been made to fear for their future after being served by HM Revenue & Customs with a winding up order. Chester have been summoned to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice in London a week on Wednesday (27 January). The club must also attend a date with the Football Conference this week to outline their financial position.
"We will be taking appropriate investigative action," said Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick. "But I can confirm we have been made aware of the latest development this morning," he told BBC Sport, ahead of a meeting with Chester officials on Thursday, 21 January. Chester, who have not paid their players since November, lost another two of their already under-strength squad last week, Anthony Barry and James Owen, as well as manager Jim Harvey.
They are now under the guidance of a new director of football, former Sunday league manager Morell Maison, who was appointed on Boxing Day. Maison is yet to take charge of any game following three successive postponements since 26 December. Chester are due to resume their campaign at home to Salisbury City on Tuesday night.
That would earn the cash-starved club their first gate receipts since the FA Trophy defeat by Fleetwood on 11 December. But there have been serious concerns about Chester's growing problems all season within football's corridors of power. After going into administration in May, following their relegation from the Football League in May, they were then controversially bought back by a consortium involving the family of former owner Stephen Vaughan.
He is now prevented from taking a hands-on role after failing the Football Association's fit and proper persons test, but his son Stephen Vaughan Jnr has been the official owner of the club since December, when fellow directors Ian Anderson and Rob Gray stood down. After initially being refused permission to play in the Conference this season by the FA, there is now a very real chance that they will not be allowed to finish the season if things do not go the club's way in The Strand on Wednesday week.
"We're still hopeful," former City managing director Gray told BBC Sport at the Deva Stadium on Monday afternoon. "We're still looking for potential investors and hope to hear something positive by the end of the week."
Very sad to see Chester in such a terrible position. I really feel for the fans.BBC Sport Report