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Controversial Chester City FC Bid Rejected

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A controversial bid for League 2 outfit Chester City has been rejected by owner Stephen Vaughan. Maverick businessman John Batchelor had the funds in place to purchase the club for a figure believed to be in the region of £2m. The major stumbling block was over Batchelor's plans to completely re-brand the club, including, according to Sky Sports News, re-naming after fictitious television team Harchester Rovers. The stadium name and the team colours would also have been changed, while the focus would have been on attracting big-money sponsors rather than bringing fans through the turnstiles. Batchelor told the Chester Chronicle that he did not 'give a monkey's' about toying with City's history and heritage. Batchelor, however, has not given up insisting that 'Chester City FC could define how clubs are run for the next 100 years.'

Batchelor, 49, is a former stand-up comedian and racing driver / team owner who acquired York City for just £1 in 2002. The club was plunged into administration less than a year after he took over. He turned to 'fixing' companies in financial distress after his racing career was ended by a neck injury he suffered in a crash at Oulton Park in 2002. He ran for parliament as an independent candidate in 1997 and 2002. Sometimes one is led to wonder if the maverick businessmen who are attracted to football investment, particularly in lower league clubs, have more money than sense. Vaughan, City's majority shareholder since 2001, still intends to sell up. He held talks with an unnamed party of potential buyers at the end of last week. Property advisers First Asset Management and Worldwide Sports, a German firm who represent American backers, are still in the frame.