English football club Chester feared to close after being warned of violating Welsh coronavirus rules

An English football club outside the league is fearful of closing its doors after being warned it violated COVID regulations due to the fact that its stadium was apparently located in Wales.

Chester FC said they were called to a meeting with representatives from North Wales Police, Chester Police and two Welsh councils following matches played over the Christmas period.

The meeting discussed potential violations of Welsh law COVID rules in Vanarama National League North’s matches against AFC Fylde on December 28 and AFC Telford United on January 2.

The games were followed by crowds of 2,075 and 2,116 respectively.

While there are no rules on how many people can attend a game in England, in Wales Sporting events must be played behind closed doors according to rules to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

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But isn’t Chester in England?

Chester is an English town, but the border with Wales runs through it in the center, including through the club’s Deva Stadium, leaving the ticket office in England and the pitch in Wales.

By law all fans could meet in the parking lot and the club wouldn’t break any rules, but as soon as they set foot in the ground they are governed by Welsh law.

What does the club say?

The club said they had received a letter, on behalf of North Wales Police and Flintshire County Council, outlining their possible violation of the rules, and are now seeking legal advice.

In a statement, he added that the letter warned that if the team continued to play matches in front of fans on their home ground while the current restrictions remained in place, they could “commit other potential violations.”

President Andy Morris told the PA news agency: “As a club we rely on receipts from the gate. If the app is that we have to play behind closed doors, we are not a Welsh club, we are therefore not entitled to financial support.

“The whole 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.”

Mr Morris said: “While acknowledging that the border crosses the stadium, the club, for 30 years, have been treated like an Englishman with the address registered in England.”

“It’s amazing that all of a sudden we found out that we are Welsh,” he added.

Chester will next play at home when he takes on Brackley Town on January 15.

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