When the 2019/20 season kicked off last August, none of us could have predicted what was to come.
The unprecedented scale and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic stopped football in its tracks and our campaign appeared over.
But following months of uncertainty, we now have the chance to finish what we started and challenge for a return to the National League.
The team has earned this opportunity on the pitch and you have been right there with them throughout, but unfortunately the play-off games will take place behind closed doors.
Although you can't be there in person to support the team, our fans still have a vital role to play.
The play-offs will cost the club a potential £30,000 due to testing for players and management, bringing staff back from furlough leave and compliance with the strict protocols and regulations.
These are expenses the club could not have foreseen nor budgeted for and must be covered with no income from paying spectators, hospitality or matchday revenues.
The players have made an incredible gesture in donating their contractual entitlements for the play-offs back to the club and without this we would not have been able to take part.
We are so proud of everyone connected with our football club and we are truly #InItTogether so now we are asking our loyal supporters and the city of Chester to help us acheive our goal of promotion.
We know many of you have already made generous donations to Boost the Budget and moved us within touching distance of our £100,000 target. The response to this campaign has been fantastic and will give us the best possible opportunity of being competitive in the 2020/21 season, whichever league we are in.
In the 48 hours since we announced our intention to compete in the play-offs, we have been inundated with positive messages and people asking how they can match the squad's gesture and contribute to the costs.
You can contribute in a number of ways. You can donate the cost of a match ticket for the game, add your face to the crowd, or buy your usual pint and a pie. In return for supporting the #InItTogether campaign, you will receive access to a play-off special digital edition of The Cestrian match programme and a personal message of thanks from Bern and Jonno.
We know you will be following the action from home so if you pledge £5 for your pre-match pint and half-time pie we'll include your name in the digital match programme as a thank you.
For £25 you can be a face in the crowd and have your own cardboard cut-out placed in the Gary Talbot Stand during the campaign, which the managers will sign before it is returned to you.
You can make multiple pledges if you wish, whether for yourself or on behalf of family or friends, and you can also make a simple donation if you prefer. Every single penny will help and prove we are #InItTogether.
PRIZE DRAW - BE PART OF THE SQUAD!
Pledge £10 to enter a special #InItTogether Prize Draw giving one supporter a unique opportunity to be part of next season's squad!
The Club is now offering fans the chance to win one of five brilliant prizes including a place in the team photo for the 2020/21 campaign and your name and chosen shirt number listed as part of the squad on matchday programme throughout the season.
Entries to the draw are £10 and you can enter as many times as you wish. Just head to the Crowdfunder page, choose the #InItTogether Prize Draw reward and pledge.
The full list of prizes can be found below:
- Part of the Squad - You will line up alongside the players in the 2020/21 team photo in the kit and have your name and shirt number printed as part of the squad on the back of the matchday programme
- Director for a Day - You and a friend will enjoy pre-match and half-time hospitality in the Board Room and watch the game from the director's seats in the Gary Talbot Stand
- Signed Chester FC home shirt - A new Kappa home shirt signed by the 2020/21 squad
- Signed Chester FC away shirt - A new Kappa away shirt signed by the 2020/21 squad
- Framed retro Chester City FC 1989/90 home shirt
- Football signed by the 2020/21 Chester FC squad
BUY YOUR TICKET FOR THE GAME
Your support this season has been unbelievable and, while you can't be there, the players are determined to play for you.
We are asking you to pledge either £10 or £15 in place of your match ticket and take your 'virtual' seat in the stand or spot on the terrace.
If you wish to donate more then please choose multiple match tickets.
FACE IN THE CROWD
It will be very different playing without you in the ground but pledge £25 for a Face in the Crowd and we will place your own cardboard cut-out in the Gary Talbot Stand for the duration of the play-offs.
The squad will be training at the Deva Stadium and, depending on results, we could host Gateshead in a promotional final, so this is a great way to show your support for the team while you cannot be there in person.
Once the play-off campaign has finished, Bern and Jonno will sign your cutout before it is returned to you.
How does it work?
- Pledge to have your cut-out added to our artificial crowd in the Gart Talbot Stand. You can add your partners, friends and family members by selecting the rewards on the right-hand side of this page. Please ensure you use choose the reward and not the donation button.
- Leave a message of support when you pledge on Crowdfunder and we will pass these on to the players.
- Send us your 'head and shoulders' picture for the cut-out – full details available here.
- All cut-outs will be signed by the managers to thank you for your support and returned when it's safe to do so.
Important information: cut-out deadlines
Deadline for pledges: Sunday, July 12 (9pm)
Deadline for photographs and artwork: Monday, July 13 (5pm)
The match: Sunday, July 19 (3pm)
Please make sure you send across your pictures, videos or artwork to us as soon as you can once you've pledged, and we can begin working with our partners to create our Foamex supporters. Late submissions may miss out given our tight deadlines.
Please also ensure you opt into project updates when you make your pledge to ensure you receive the latest updates from us. We will not use your details for any other reason.
What happens if the play-offs don't go ahead?
Should the play-offs not go ahead for whatever reason then you will be able to refund your pledges on Crowdfunder. Alternatively your donations can be added to the Boost the Budget campaign to help us prepare for the 2020/21 season.
Whatever happens in the event of it not going ahead, we'll work together with you to make alternative arrangements we're all happy with.