Controversy as former Chester owner plots football return

Stephen Vaughan Jr, the man who oversaw the demise and eventual liquidation of Chester City FC, is planning a return to football as manager of a newly formed club.

Widnes Town FC has applied to enter the North West Counties League from next season and named Vaughan, who was owner of Chester City, as manager.

Meanwhile, ex-Liverpool and England star and former Chester City manager Mark Wright has been named as the chairman of the newly-founded club in a bizarre role-reversal for the two figures.

The club has applied to enter the league from next season and the application has now been passed on to the FA for a fit and proper person test before a League committee votes on their inclusion in  next season’s division.

The team is believed to have lined up Widnes Rugby League Club’s Halton Stadium as a venue for home games after agreeing a deal with Halton Council to use the facilities.

However, the team faces difficulties already after an FA source revealed it would not allow a team called Widnes Town to be affiliated with it because it clashes with a current junior team.

This would mean the team, registered as a business under the name Widnes Town Football Club Limited, would need to change its name before receiving FA backing.

League Secretary John Deal said: “We are, of course, always interested to receive applications from potential members of our league at a time when we have vacancies.  However, as this approach is from a new club we have had to refer the matter to the FA as per National League System Regulations.”

Stephen Vaughan Jr is an ex-Chester City player but has had no formal management experience before joining Widnes Town.

Vaughan Jr is a controversial figure having inherited Chester City from his father, Stephen Vaughan, after the latter became the first (and only) person to fail the fit and proper person test

He was disqualified as a company director for 11 years in 2009 over his involvement in an alleged VAT fraud while chairman of Widnes Rugby League Club, who also play at the Halton Stadium, and was forced to pass shares in Chester to his son.

Chester City collapsed under £7m worth of debt – £5m owed to Vaughan Snr – in 2010.

Prior to owning Chester City, Vaughan Snr owned Barrow FC, which entered liquidation in 2008 under his ownership.

Vaughan Snr has recently completed a 15-month jail sentence for affray and serious assault of a police officer in an incident which also saw Vaughan Jr pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and received a six month community order and 120 hours unpaid work.

If Widnes were to be accepted into the league they could join South Sefton’s bid to join the sixth tier of non-league football.

The Litherland-based side applied to enter the league in December after agreeing to play at the Litherland Park Sports Centre, an Olympic training venue.

Update: The NWCL has confirmed there are eight places available in the league next season and Widnes Town’s bid does not affect South Sefton. Priority will be given to clubs who have finished in the promotion places in tier 8.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    You have mistaken former owner Stephen Vaughan with his player son Stephen Vaughan junior

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