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What The Papers Say - 2000
Back in the day we used to have fantastic coverage from the Gloucester Citizen and in these pages you can see how good it was with a digested version of their headlines. This was 2000.
January 3rd 2000 - Hughes goes back to Management
Gloucester City manager Brian Hughes will be able to leave himself out of his team to take on Halesowen at Meadow Park this afternoon. Hughes had to answer his own SOS for the 0-4 away defeat against Worcester after his squad became infected by a bout of flu, injuries and suspensions.

The situation has now improved with defender Mark Abbott having recovered from illness, midfielder Paul Chenoweth is fit again while Gary Thorne is back after suspension.
City midfielder Paul Chenoweth is fit to face Halesowen after recovering from a knee injury
City midfielder Paul Chenoweth is fit to face Halesowen after recovering from a knee injury
City 2-2 Halesowen Town - Citizen report
January 5th 2000 - Thorne may join exodus
Gloucester City defender Gary Thorne could be set to link up with former Meadow Park teammates Gary Kemp, Pat Mountain and Andy Mainwaring at Newport County.

Thorne, who recently had trials with Nationwide Division One side Swindon Town, has been the target of the Spytty Park club since before Christmas. The Tigers are believed to want a fee for the highly rated centre half who has just returned to their Dr Martens Premier division side after a two-game suspension.

City chairman Tracy Newport confirmed that the Welsh side had shown a strong interest in Thorne, but no deal was yet on the table. "Newport are one of two clubs that have shown an interest in Gary," said Newport. "Swindon were the other. We spoke to Newport County prior to Gary's suspension before Christmas and nothing else has happened since then."

"There is nothing new for clubs to be interested in our players and it does not surprise me that a player of Thorne’s quality would be attracting such interest."

Newport boss Tim Harris confirmed that he would be interested in taking Thorne to Spytty Park, where he would join Mountain, Kemp and Mainwaring who have all left the club since the end of last season.

"There is no doubt that Gary Thorne would be a good acquisition for us," said Harris. "We spoke to Gloucester about him before Christmas and have spoken again."

"There was a rumour that we had bid £8000 for him and that isn't true at all, but that is not to take anything away from him. He has done very well since he's been at City."

Should Thorne leave City, he would be the latest in a long line of departures this season.

Matthew Coupe and Mark Hervin joined Clevedon Town in September and Kemp went to Newport. Striker Darren Keeling and midfielder Brendan Hackett also left the club during a period of wage cutbacks.

City chairman Newport has also revealed that Aston Villa have been tracking Striker Jimmy Cox.

"There are some exciting things happening at the club," said Newport. "Clubs are continually knocking on our door to have a look at our players because there is a lot of talent out there, especially among the youngsters."

"I can see a bright future for the club. Our immediate task is to get to the end of the season and after that I have in mind plans that could see us knocking on the door of the Football League within five years."
Defender Gary Thorne may be about to follow the well trodded path between Gloucester City & Newport County
Defender Gary Thorne may be about to follow the well trodded path between Gloucester City & Newport County
January 8th 2000 - Experts installed in Boardroom change
A reshuffle at Gloucester City has seen planning and environmental experts appointed to the board of directors.

Tracy Newport has been confirmed as chairman but executive director Brian Hobbs has stepped down.

New recruits include Colin Hygate, planning consultant Paul Duncliffe, who has represented the club in their bid to get a new access road to Meadow Park has also become a director. He also dealt with City's application for planning permission to develop the former Fielding and Platts sports complex into an industrial estate.

Estate agent Darrel Cox is also confirmed a director. The rest of the board is made up of major shareholder Eamonn McGurk, his wife Sarah Christie, Rob and Jackie Wallace, new football director Richard Bull, Mark Blanchfield and Ken Turner.

Brian Cooke, who was formerly a director with Cinderford Town before issuing a joint winding up order with brewers Whitbread against the Dr Martens Western division clubs in February 1999, remains as a director, as does Peter Barnes.

Meanwhile, Newport says he is even predicting entry to the football league within five years. The chairman echoed the promises of former chief Keith Gardner, who in 1994 said city will appear in a FA Trophy final and win promotion to the Nationwide Conference within five years.

Newport said: "I can see bright future for the club."

"Our immediate task is to get to the end of the season and after that I have in mind plans that could see as knocking on the door of the Football League within five years."

"I am planning long-term. I am not the sort of person who goes a long month by month. You have got to have ambition."

However, Newport says the club will have to accept that the land around Meadow Park may one day be developed for business use. The land around the stadium was sold to McGurk three years ago and in the summer, the Gloucester City social club was closed and has since lay empty. The value of land in Hempstead will increase within the next two years once the south-west bypass is completed and Newport says city will have to accept the changing face of their location.

"I don't think it would be a bad thing if businesses moved in around Meadow Park," said Newport. "It would help increase the profile of the area and Hempsted would no longer be known as a place with just the football club."

Gloucester City are currently organising a millennium sponsorship prize draw to finding the main sponsor for next season. Newport says around 300 companies, who each pay £500 plus VAT to be entered into a draw, have responded to city's initial approach. The winners of the draw would have the chance to become the club's main sponsor. Hartland motors, the company of previous chairman Rob Thomas, are current backers but that deal is up in the summer.
Wigg: "I am better than ever"
Gloucester City midfielder Nathan Wigg says he has never felt so good since completing his recovery from a broken leg.

The 25-year-old former Cardiff City man made his first appearance with the Tigers last Monday since suffering the horror injury last August.

When Wigg broke his leg at Margate, it was feared the injury would end his season. But the Welshman has bounced back quickly after intensive physiotherapy and is ready to help City out of trouble in the Dr Martens Premier division.

"I'm raring to go," said Wigg. "If anything I feel fresher and stronger now than before the injury and I have been given the all clear by the surgeon."

"I wanted to get back sooner but there have not been many reserve games for me to build up my match fitness."

"I've been working on my fitness morning and afternoon and feel ready to start matches for the first time again."

Wigg needed a metal plate inserted into his ankle after the tackle which left his foot facing back on itself. He admits he had to overcome a psychological barrier before was totally confident of playing again.

"After an injury like that, there is always something in the back of your mind that it might happen again," said Wigg. "It was important for me to get that first tackle under my belt and after that I felt better."

Wigg was introduced as a second-half substitute against Halesowen town and says the match provided him with a tough test of his mettle. "When I came on, we were 1-2 down and the tackles were really flying," he said. "I got through that and now I am ready."
City 1-5 Clevedon Town - Citizen report
January 10th 2000 - Strain starts to show at Tigers
The strain of keeping Gloucester City in business and afloat in the Dr Martens Premier division took their toll on chairman Tracy Newport after Saturday's crushing 1-5 home defeat against Clevedon Town.

Players have lifted the lid on scenes in the Tigers dressing room after the final whistle when the City Chief vented his anger and frustration after six months in the Meadow Park hotseat.

Newport questioned the commitment and passion of the players before, it is claimed, manager Brian Hughes said the team will be transfer listed unless things rapidly improved.

City are now seventh from bottom in the table and five points off the drop zone.

One player, who did not wish to be named, said the relationship between the boardroom and players had hit an all-time low, although morale within the squad was still high.

He said: "Tracy Newport came into the dressing room and started ranting and raving and told the players that we had no passion for the club."

"There was a threat that we will all be put on the transfer list, but I think it was something said more in the heat of the moment."

"To be honest, transfer listing the squad would not have much effect because it is 50-50 whether people are going to stay or go at the moment. It is just one thing after another and everyone is wondering what the next problem will be.

"There is good morale within the dressing room but nobody seems to know where the club is going."

He also revealed the players were not paid following the 0-4 defeat at Worcester City on December 27th, and claimed that there are doubts over wages being available following this Saturday's visit to Cambridge City.

Hughes did not wish to comment on events in the dressing room after the Clevedon defeat, but said: "The only thing I feel is that this is the first game where we have really let the supporters down."

"I say we because it is not just the players, I have a part to play in that as well."

Another player revealed that Newport's presence in the dressing room had angered the City players, who felt he had no right to be there. He said: "It is Brian Hughes's job to talk to the players, that is what the manager is for. Speaking for everybody, it was felt that Tracy Newport should not have been in there."

"He said we have no passion for the club, but the players here have taken three pay cuts since the start of the season and still kept going through everything. That is what passion and commitment is all about."

A third player added: "it is probably a good thing that this did happen because it gets everything out into the open and we can go forward from here."

Newport said: "I followed Brian Hughes down to the dressing room after the game and watched him give a dressing down to the players."

"He then left and I made my own point to the players. I felt that they had not shown passion or the commitment that was needed."

"I am working to build up a better relationship between the board and manager but sometimes I feel that other parties within the club do not appreciate what the board have to go through."

"We take all the flak and the verbal abuse from supporters when things go wrong, and I just felt the players should be made aware of this."
January 13th 2000 - Nine listed in City bombshell
Brian Hughes has dropped a bombshell on his Gloucester City flops by transfer listing nine first-team players.

The move follows Saturday's 1-5 hammering by Clevedon Town - a defeat which saw extraordinary scenes in the dressing room after the game when chairman Tracy Newport told the squad they lacked passion.

The players, all on contract, who have been told they can go are: defender's Gary and Wayne Thorne and Nigel Niblett; midfielders Andy Tucker, Nathan Wigg, Paul Chenoweth and Mike Wyatt; and strikers Jimmy Cox and Jimmy Smith.

The Tigers lie seventh from bottom in the Dr Martens Premier division and face a crucial relegation crunch match at Cambridge City on Saturday.

Hughes says he has had to make rapid changes in the side are to avoid the drop.

"I sensed on Saturday that the players were not up for the fight and that they did not want to be there," he said. "I need players who are going to stand and fight with me in the trenches now. I have told them that I will stay until the end of the season to try and keep us in the league. I want players who feel the same way and I'm not looking to get out."

"I have opened the door for anybody who wants to leave. I told the players to come and see me if they wanted to go and nobody has yet, so that says something. We will just have to wait and see if any clubs bite and make offers for them. We will take it from there."

Gary Thorne has already been linked with Newport County and Cox is known to have attracted the attention of several clubs.

City chairman Newport said news of Hughes's decision had taken him by surprise and was unaware that every club in the Nationwide Conference and Dr Martens league had been faxed a list of available players.

"I know nothing about it at all." Said Newport. "This has come completely out of the blue."

Football director Richard Bull, who works closely with Hughes, was also unaware that the bulk of the side was on the market. He said: "I didn't know that had happened. Brian Hughes has total control of all football matters and it has nothing to do with the board."

Hughes wants to bring in at least three more players before Saturday's visit to fellow strugglers Cambridge City and is trying to set up loan deals. However, financial pressures at the Tigers, who have sustained several wage cuts this season are likely to mean any new arrivals will break the budget unless there are swift departures.

"I don't know what the financial situation will be," said Hughes. "It is possible that nobody will have to leave if we bring in players on loan, but if you want to sign players permanently, then people will have to go."

City have already started to sign on the youngsters, with midfielder Neil Griffiths the first to agree a contract.

Bull added that other members of the youth brigade - Kwesi Cairns, Steve Hickey, Mike Devlin and Mark Abbott - were expected to sign contracts within the next week.
For Sale - City's nine contracted players
For Sale - City's nine contracted players
January 15th 2000
Cambridge City 2-1 City - Citizen report
January 18th 2000
City 1-0 Merthyr Tydfil - Citizen report
January 19th 2000 - City striker Cox is a wanted man
Swindon Town and Cardiff City have joined Aston Villa in the chase for Gloucester city's teenage striker Jimmy Cox.

Premiership giants Villa have been on the trail of the former Luton forward and a representative watched him again in last night's 1-0 win over Merthyr at Meadow Park.

Swindon manager Jimmy Quinn, accompanied by coach Allan McDonald, and Cardiff coach George Wood were also in the stand.

"They have been sniffing around Jimmy for a while," said City manager Brian Hughes. "I am good friends with Jimmy Quinn but I did not know he was coming."

"Perhaps you read that we have got players on the list."

"Jimmy is young and he has got pace, which frightens people."

Cox was overshadowed by strike partner Jimmy Smith last night, the former Cheltenham striker scoring his 17th goal of the season to seal a crucial win for the relegation haunted Tigers.
City get new sponsors
Lorry firm Scania will have their name on the Tigers shirts for the rest of the season.

They were drawn out of the hat after last night's game as the winners of the Millennium sponsors package.

Chairman Tracy Newport said: "20 companies paid £500 each to enter the draw, and I would like to thank them all for taking part."

"It has raised £10,000 the club and we are very grateful."
January 21st 2000 - Gannaway gets three match ban
Gloucester City goalkeeper Ryan Gannaway has been handed a three match ban after his sending off at Cambridge City last weekend. He will miss the Tigers' trips to Dorchester and Newport and the home game with Atherstone.

City manager Brian Hughes, who will now have to sign a new goalkeeper to cover for Gannaway's absence, will have the luxury of selecting from a full strength squad for his side's visit to Weymouth in the Dr Martens Premier division tomorrow.
January 22nd 2000
Weymouth 4-1 City - Citizen report
Benton trains with the Tigers
Former Cheltenham Town left back Steve Benton is currently training with the City. Benton has just returned from a round the world trip and left Whaddon Road after struggling to recover from a knee injury which has hampered a promising career. Hughes hopes Benton can find his feet at Meadow Park and shore things up at the back.

"Steve Benton is still some way from fitness and he is training with us," said Hughes.

"The most important thing for us is that he is a defender and we haven't got many of those at the club."

"Against Merthyr, my three centre halves were more natural midfield players."

"The defence is an area of the side that we need to address because that is where we are getting beaten. We don't ship goals when we are at full strength."
January 25th 2000 - Mokler set for return to City
Goalkeeper Steve Mokler is set to return to Meadow Park as an emergency stand-in for the suspended Ryan Gannaway.

Mokler, who has had his contract cancelled by Atherstone United and has been suffering with a back problem, has answered pleas from City boss Brian Hughes who will be without his first choice keeper for three games. Gannaway is in the squad for tonight's Dr Marten's Cup third round trip to Bath City but is ruled out of Saturday's league trip to Dorchester town, next Tuesday's clash at Newport County, and the visit of Mokler's old club Atherstone on February 5th.

"I have asked Steve Mokler to help us out and he was happy to agree," said Hughes. "I never had a problem with his goalkeeping while he was here, the only problem was that he had so much travelling to do and it was getting him down as well."

"He was a good servant to the club when he was here and we're looking forward to him having an impact on what essentially will be a week of three games."

"Steve Mokler was really the obvious alternative after losing Gannaway. We can't bring someone in on a months loan and because we have to pay them."

"We needed someone who could bridge the gap while we are without Ryan and Steve can do that."
Bath City 3-0 City - Citizen report
January 26th 2000 - "Tiger Talk" with Mark Shepherd
Relegation is not a word which would have been uttered around Meadow Park with any seriousness in the summer. But right now, it is the consuming thought of everybody with a hint of yellow in their blood as the Tigers slipped further into trouble at the bottom of the table.

Let's get one thing clear right from the start. Gloucester City are not too good to go down and they will find themselves playing Dr Martin's Western division football very soon unless a greater effort is made to give the team the resources it needs to stay up.

Last night's Dr Martens Cup game at Bath City was disappointing for a number of reasons, but most of all, for the way City simply gave up hope when the home side took the lead. The heads dropped, the effort ebbed away and it was like a training night at Twerton Park.

Manager Brian Hughes is faced with a difficult job now. He has made it clear that he does not see any future for himself at Meadow Park beyond the end of the season, unless there is a radical rethink behind the scenes. How long can this team sustain the kind of offhand treatment they seem to be subjected to by the people who run the club?

We have had the chairman letting off steam in the dressing room and supporters who constantly complain of not being given enough information by the Directors of the club.

There have also been many claims in Citiy's matchday programme over the last few months that matters are being sorted out, but anyone who can understand the league table will surely know this cannot be the case.

Should the Tigers go down this season, it will have serious repercussions on the long-term future of the club. Attendances are slowly falling and relegation would band City into the same category as Forest of Dean side Cinderford Town.

Cinderford, with their crop of local players, barely attracts crowds of more than 200. Would City, a club which has earned a reputation as high players to players, be able to survive on that?

It seems that the time for action has been and gone. All City can do now is fight on and hope for the best.
January 29th 2000
Dorchester Town 1-2 City - Citizen report
Pink 'Un Q&A with Brian Hughes
As Gloucester City gear up for a battle against relegation, Citizen soccer writer Mark Shepherd asks manager Brian Hughes the questions every supporter wants answered. His response was a frank assessment of the Tigers as current plight.

Q: What can Gloucester City do to avoid relegation at the end of the season?

A: "We have to work to turn it around. At the moment it is all down to self belief and not necessarily about the picking the best technical players. I need players who I know are going to go out there and give it their all, and that doesn't always mean playing the best players we have at the club. It is an old cliche, but when you're at the bottom, absolutely nothing goes right for you. It is as frustrating for me as it is for anyone when I watch us get turned over by sides who I think we could beat if we'd held on to all our players earlier in the season, or even beaten them with the squad we had last year. We have to try and believe in ourselves now. I keep telling players that they are good enough to get us out of this mess, now all they have to do is believe it."

Q: If you knew then in 1998 what you know now would you have accepted a job as Gloucester City manager?

A: "Yes, absolutely. I have no regrets about the last 18 months. When I was offered the job, I was proud to do it. It is a job I wanted and a job I had always dreamed of doing. There have been times when it has been difficult. I think I've gone through more in the last year or so as manager of Gloucester city than most managers do an entire career. I think all that has happened can only stand me in good stead and make me a better manager in years to come. I think I have handled everything which is being thrown at me with credibility. I had to tell the players the wage budget was being cut which is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I don't think that the players blame me for that set of circumstances."

Q: Tracy Newport has been quoted as saying he wants to build a better relationship between yourself and the board of directors. What is the relationship like now.

A: "It has improved 100% since Richard Bull came on board as Football Director. He is a personal friend of mine outside football, and that least the board are talking about football now which is significant. During that time of the budget cut, it was very tense and there were a number of bust ups. I think it was inevitable that this would happen when you take into account the situation the club was in. For every problem I had, the board of directors had to deal with the problem of their own and I think it is important that both parties understood that and we do now. A lot of muddy water has passed under the bridge during that time and it will take time to put everything right, but things a lot better now."

Q: How did you feel when you budget was cut and how did you deal with it?

A: "I never had a problem with the club cutting the budget because it was a decision that was taken in the long-term interest of the club. I was bothered by the way it was handled and I think it could have been dealt with differently. I had a situation I'd promised players deals and contracts in the summer only to be told two weeks into the season that the money was no longer there. It is like me giving someone £10 and telling them to go away and spend it. If I call them again two hours later and tell them I need eight pounds back, if they've already bought something with that tenner, then you've got a big problem. If I had been told in the summer what the situation was going to be, I think a lot of the problems we had would not have happened."

Q: Given the club's financial restrictions, how realistic are you about further developing the club's youth policy?

A: "The policy is something that has suffered this season and we have to be careful that we don't let it lapse. We haven't been able to organise any games for the under 12's and under 14’s which were a big success last year and that is a shame. Chris Hemming and and Kenny Blackburn are doing a wonderful job on their own and they don't tend to ring me at the moment because they know I've got a lot on my plate. Without them, there wouldn't be anything happening on the youth front and I am grateful for all they have done."

Q: The loyalty of the players this season has been tremendous, but how much more can they take?

A: "I have got nothing but admiration for the players. When I went in and told them the budget was cut, all but two played ball, which I found surprising. When I was playing, not a single player would have budged. They would have taken the money and gone.I didn't blame the players that went, I was disappointed that we lost Gary Kemp, but he was closer than most to the situation. He wanted to go to a club and just be a footballer like everybody else and not have to worry what was going on behind the scenes. In the years he was at Gloucester city, he became a kind of ambassador for the club at all levels and I think he just wanted to concentrate on his football."

Q: In your view, what does Gloucester city have to do to become the force in Southern League football it used to be?

A: "It is not all doom and gloom. Gloucester City is still a great club, but I think it is paying now for seven or eight years of neglect. It would be harsh to lay all the blame on the doorstep of the current chairman. Everybody over the last decade has taken a little bit of responsibility. The club has to consolidate from the position it finds itself in. It knows it can't spend money it hasn't got and also knows it must do the best with the resources it does. Things are more sensible at the club. It is important to remember is just not us in trouble. Talk to Atherstone and Worcester and both managers there have been landed with wage bills that the club does not want.

Non-league football is divided into the elitist few who have the money and the rest that don't. We are all chasing rainbows. I think we should take comfort from the fact that we are not alone and it's not just a case of Gloucester city being in the so-called crisis. Most non-league clubs have the same problems that we do.
Ex-Tiger returns to the Football League
Former Gloucester City striker Tony Hemmings has made it back into the Nationwide Football League with Chester City. Hemmings, who left the Tigers in the summer, was signed by the Third Division strugglers from Ilkeston Town for £30,000 and made his debut in Chester's 1-3 defeat at Northampton on Saturday.
February 1st 2000 - Keeper King set for a busy week
Teenage goalkeeper Tom King is set to play two games in two days this week. King will line up in Shortwood United's Complete Music Hellenic league game at Almondsbury tonight and twenty-four hours later will be in Gloucester City's goal at Newport County in the Dr Martens league Premier division.

King made his first-team debut for City in Saturday's 2-1 away win at Dorchester, their first away success of the season. He was deputising for Ryan Gannaway, who is serving a three match ban after his red card at Cambridge City. City manager Brian Hughes was hoping to get former number one Steve Mokler as stand in, but the move has now hit a stumbling block.

"There is a bit of a problem with Mokler," said Hughes.

"The situation with Atherstone is not as clear as it first appeared."

"I don't know the whole story, Atherstone's manager Ron Bradbury was happy about the deal, but their chairman was not and has thrown a spanner in the works."

"Tom King did well on Saturday and has done well in reserve games for us."

"I have got no money and I can't go and get anyone, and if Tom is happy and John Evans (Shortwood manager) is happy, I would like to keep him."

Meanwhile, Hughes has strongly denied rumours that Tommy Callinan has left the Meadow Park club. Callinan was not in the fourteen at Dorchester on Saturday, and Hughes said: "He has been playing with an injury for a while now and needs a rest. He is an integral part of what I'm doing and losing him would be like losing my right arm."
February 3rd 2000
Newport County 2-1 City - Citizen report
February 5th 2000
City 1-1 Atherstone United - Citizen report
February 11th 2000 - Gannaway quits in Tigers' bombshell
Gloucester City goalkeeper Ryan Gannaway has delivered a bombshell on the eve of the Dr Martens league Premier division clash at King's Lynn by quitting football.

The former Cheltenham Town keeper, who has been City's first choice this season, was due to return to the squad tomorrow after three match suspension. Gannaway, who has no immediate plans to find another club, revealed that he had agonised over the decision for some time, even considering his future at the beginning of the current campaign.

"Basically, I became a father five months ago and I want to spend more time with my son, Thomas, who hasn't been very well recently," he said. "There is a lot of travelling involved in this division, as well as training two or three nights a week, and the decision is purely a family one."

"I could've left the club earlier in the season but I decided to stick it out and thought I was coming into a bit of form."

"Unfortunately things have become increasingly difficult for myself and my partner. I now feel that I need to put my family first."

Manager Brian Hughes was philosophical about the situation, saying: "I understand and stick by his decision. After all, our players are part-time and they have plenty of other considerations outside of football."

The departure of Gannaway leaves the way clear the youngster Tom King to cement his place as the city number one. The 19-year-old has impressed during his three games to date, and will play against King's Lynn and for the immediate future.

"Tom has done very well for us in the first team and reserves. He deserves his chance and I'm confident that he can do the job for us," said Hughes.
February 12th 2000
Kings Lynn 2-0 City - Citizen report
February 19th 2000
City 1-1 Bath City - Citizen report
February 23rd 2000 - Tigers' players told : "You can go"
Gloucester City chairman Tracy Newport has taken drastic measures in a last-ditch attempt to save the club. Players were told last night that all contracts were to be terminated with immediate effect and the players wage bill slashed from £2500 per week to £500 with immediate effect.

This means all City players are effectively free agents and can join another club.

In a statement faxed to the Citizen this morning, Newport explained that the club is still labouring under the burden of debt which dates back as far as 1991.

The latest demands, from the Inland Revenue, VAT and from the City Council for unpaid rates on the Meadow Park social club, along with various other creditors, total in the region of £100,000. Newport revealed that unless immediate action was taken the club could be in liquidation by 5PM this afternoon.

"The support, advertising and sponsorship at the moment can support the everyday running of the club. Unfortunately we have been unable to make any headway with these old debts, all of which date back to before the present board of directors took control," said Newport. "It is a situation we have been left with but I, along with my fellow directors are determined to stay and fight to keep the club afloat."

Newport explained other avenues to clear the debts had already been explored. "Whilst the current board has wiped £250,000 off the debts, we are left with no other options at this time," he said. "The ground is already mortgaged up to the hilt and with this club's past history of financial problems it has been very difficult to secure loans or credit to refinance the club."

Team manager Brian Hughes was phlegmatic about this latest setback in a season of crisis.

"Tracy Newport and football director Richard Bull explained the situation to me last night and it's really too early to say what will happen," said Hughes. "All the players and coaching staff are to have a meeting on Thursday night to decide what to do."

It is believed that the playing budget, currently running at around £2500 per week, is to be cut to just £500 per week, the remaining money is being used to pay back the major creditors. At the time of going to press the players were unsure of their position.

One player, who did not want to be named, said: "I don't think they can just cancel contracts like that."

"If you are made redundant in a job then you should at least receive a payoff. Many of the players have families and it is unrealistic to expect 15 players to share £500 a week. We all rely on our income from football."

"It's all up in the air and I won't know any more until I have spoken to Brian Hughes on Thursday."

"Personally, I feel that we have already taken two wage cuts the season so how much more can they expect?"

The footballer's trade union, the PFA, is represented at the club by defender Nigel Niblett, but he too was in the dark. "This is the first I've heard about it and I will need to contact the PFA to clarify the position," he said.

Newport, however, revealed that the club had been in contact with both the Football Association and the Dr Martens league before taking the decision to cancel the contracts.

"We have taken advice and it will be possible for the players to apply to the PFA for contributions towards the remainder of their contracts," he said. "Unfortunately we have no other option. We have tried to do this in the best way we can. We have not, for example, taken the step of re-registering another company to run the club, which has been done elsewhere."

Football authorities have been trying to tighten up on such practices in recent seasons, although Newport did explain that the club plans to form another football team to play at Meadow Park next season in a local league.

"We want to increase revenue with a home game each week next season - it will be a form of ground sharing that will give younger players and local players the chance to progress into the first team," he said.

Newport denied that the move was designed to cover the club's options in case the first team was forced to withdraw from the Dr Martens league.

"It is time we started to put the past behind us and look to the future. This move will help us to do that as we aim to develop our own playing talent at the club," he said.
February 24th 2000 - Players ponder their next move
Gloucester City's players and coaching staff meet tonight to decide what course of action to take in the wake of the Tiger's latest financial crisis. Chairman Tracy Newport announced yesterday that all nine contract players would have their engagements terminated immediately, and that the weekly wage bill would be slashed from £2500 down to £500 in order to deal with the latest financial problems afflicting the club.

The decision means that the nine - Paul Chenoweth, Jimmy Cox, Nigel Niblett, Jimmy Smith, Gary Thorne, Wayne Thorne, Andy Tucker, Nathan Wigg and Mike Wyatt - are effectively free agents.

"It is a hugely regrettable situation but we have no choice," said Newport. "I respect Brian Hughes and admire what he and the players have done for us. We have asked them to stay on but if they decide not to then we will understand."

Hughes heads for the meeting aware that he has already suffered two budget cuts this season.

The attitude of the nine affected players would appear to have hardened over the past 24 hours. One, who didn't wish to be named, said: "We've done our part by accepting pay cuts this season and now they want us to play for virtually nothing." Stating that the players were united over the situation, he continued: "We've taken legal advice and been told that the club cannot simply sack us."

"We will play on Saturday, if selected, and if the contract wages are not paid in full then the Football Association will be called on to act on our behalf."

A spokesman for the FA yesterday refused to comment.

Another player explained: "The FA has the power to prevent clubs from signing new players until the existing contract players had been paid."

Hughes said: "I have not spoken to all the players but you have to see it from their point of view."

"They shouldn't be seen as being greedy because they have all been incredibly loyal."

"They've taken pay cuts and some have not been paid at all."

"If a player wanted to be released to join another club then the board would refuse and demand a transfer fee. Why should it be different the other way round?"

"I can see both sides of the story and at the moment I'm stuck in the middle."
Board : "We are paying for past mistakes"
Gloucester city chairman Tracey Newport last night appealed for the club's fans to rally behind the board of directors in a bid to save the club from its latest crisis. On Tuesday evening manager Brian Hughes was informed that the contracts of all nine of his senior players would be cancelled with immediate effect, and that the wage bill would be slashed from £2500 to £500 per week.

"I have taken a lot of stick from supporters since I became chairman and I know that these latest problems will be very unpopular," admitted Newport. "However, the debts that we face date back long before present board came to office in August last year."

"The Inland Revenue are demanding £18,856 in PAYE for the 1998-99 season, before I was even here."

"We have to pay back £1000 per week, otherwise we'll face a winding up order."

"There is a £14,302 VAT bill dating back to 1991 that we received notice a winding up order on January 18th this year for. Again, we have agreed to pay back £1000 per week."

"Rent arrears on the Meadow Park social club total around £8000 dating back to 1996, and we received notice of action from the creditors for sums totalling £60,000," he added. "At the moment we are running the club on an even keel as far as the present season is concerned, what we cannot control is the owed debts. There is now no choice but to act in the best interests of the club."

"Unfortunately, poor results and falling gates have reduced the income and there are no individuals and sponsors willing to come up with funds to save the club."

"We have taken the decision to reduce the playing budget in order to stabilise the situation so that we can move forward."

"Sadly it's an all too common problem in non-league football, Merthyr Tydfil, Crawley Town and Bromsgrove Rovers have all had similar trouble this season."

The latest revelations regarding the Gloucester City finances follow years of strife at the club. The team has remained in the Dr Martens Premier division since gaining promotion from the Midland division in 1989, although within two years they faced a similar situation to the current problems when the principal contract players were released after chairman and benefactor Les Alderman quit the club.

Fortunes on the pitch took an upturn during the chairmanship of Keith Gardner, but it was clear even then the cracks were merely being papered over.

Gardner's successor, Rob Thomas, was handed a tax bill for £82,000 in February 1998. Directors managed to find £50,000 but the Citizen launched a "Save the Tigers" campaign to persuade local businesses to help with the rest.

Gloucester MP Tess Kingham threw her support behind the campaign and the club was eventually saved with a £20,000 loan from the City council.

Hopes were high for a successful season this time around, although trouble surfaced again in September 1999 when manager Brian Hughes was told to cut the wage bill in order to find money for a debt repayment.

Around the same time a bitter boardroom battle ended with a new consortium led by Newport taking control from Thomas.

Further cutbacks and a run of disappointing results have left the club not only staring at relegation but also fighting for its very existence.
What are City's survival options?
As Gloucester City face up to their latest cash crisis, what options are available to chairman Tracy Newport and his board as they attempt to solve the problems?

The Tigers have to find £100,000 to clear long-standing debts before the club can move forward. Unfortunately, the ground is already mortgaged, the banks are unlikely to loan money to an institution with a woeful record of money management, there is no wealthy benefactor with an open cheque-book, and previous public appeals have left the people of Gloucester and its businesses community wondering how many more times then have to place hand in pocket.

It would appear that only three options remain, none of which would be palatable to the club's long-suffering supporters.

The first is currently being explored with drastic cuts to the playing budget aimed at freeing up extra revenue to pay creditors. In taking this course the board is relying on the goodwill of manager Brian Hughes and his players. The players and coaching staff will meet tonight to consider their options. If they decide to dig their heels in and fight for the wages owed to them under contract, then this will leave Newport and his beleaguered board with an even bigger headache. If they decided to walk away and Brian Hughes, assuming he stays, is going to have to piece together a team to see out the season.

And what happens when the end of the season comes around? The club has only five home matches in the current campaign in which to raise funds.

The second option is to withdraw from the Dr Martens league and play at a lower, less financially demanding level. Cynics may suggest that by forming another team to play at Meadow Park next season, possibly in the Hellenic league, then the board are already clearing a path for this to happen.

The third option, if all else failed, and which was considered by the previous board in April 1999, would be to sell the club's one remaining asset, Meadow Park.

Newport said in his programme notes for last week's match against Bath City that the board were doing everything they could to keep football at the ground.

Planning permission is being sought for the re-opening of the social club and the chairman talks enthusiastically about developing the club's youth policy and providing opportunities for local players.

After years of lurching from one crisis to another, it appears that the time has finally come for the city's football club to the swim, unaided at last, or sink without trace.
February 25th 2000 - Players staying for now
Gloucester City's players have decided to turn out for tomorrow's crucial Dr Martens Premier division clash at Salisbury City.

The players, operating under threat from the board of directors to cancel their contracts and slash the wage bill, had an emergency meeting with manager Brian Hughes last night. "The lads have decided to turn up and play on Saturday, that way they will keep to their contractual obligations," said Hughes. "We are 100% certain that the contract players will not be paid after the match."

"If and when that happens, the club will be in breach of contract and players will either be free to walk away or fight for their rights through the FA."
February 26th 2000
Salisbury City 2-0 City - Citizen report
Fans aim to protest
The Gloucester City Supporters Club has reacted to the latest turn of events at Meadow Park with a promise to man the barricades once again. Earlier this season the fans staged a protest at the home FA cup tie against Weymouth, calling for the board of directors to resign after the first round of budget cuts.

At the time, local businessman and former City Director Colin Gardner was offering to inject £260,000 into the club in order to become an mortgagee of Meadow Park. The offer was rejected by the board, who stated that the interest payments required would be greater than the interest rate enjoyed by the club with its existing bankers.

The supporters club withdrew its support for the board and conducted a fan survey, which resulted in 98% backing for the Gardener offer.

Three weeks later, after a boardroom wrangle between the consortium led by then acting chairman Tracy Newport and former chairman Rob Thomas, Gardner withdrew his offer and urged fans to back the new board of directors in the interests of the club.

But the Supporters Club are still unhappy.

"The board have never spoken to the fans to put us in the picture," said secretary, Lisa Armstrong. "We feel that we have been misled because a few months ago we were told that the debt was close to zero and now this happens."

"The supporters have a real mistrust of the board and feel that the true picture is not coming out," she said. "We wish to make a plea to the directors to pass Gloucester City Football Club into the hands of an administrator, which would give the opportunity for someone with supporters backing to ensure a future for our football club."

"The supporters club are holding a public meeting to discuss the situation on Wednesday evening, 8PM at the Civil Service Club in Estcourt Road," she added.

Next Saturday in the first team are at home to King's Lynn and it seems certain that further protest against the board will be in evidence.
Newport :"we are under serious threat"
News of the impending crisis at Gloucester City broke on Wednesday of this week, when club chairman Tracy Newport released a statement outlining the desperate position the club is currently in. The statement is reproduced here.

We write to advise you that the board of directors at Gloucester City Football Club intend to take certain steps in a bid to save the club from extinction.

Earlier in the season, the board regrettably felt it was appropriate to impose a player's budget of £2000, due to financial restraints. This was a difficult but necessary decision to make. A further four months into the season it is clear that the club is able to meet its obligations on a day-to-day basis, but is unable to make progress with regard to the massive debts brought forward from previous seasons.

There has been little or no regard for matters such as PAYE, National Insurance contributions, VAT or loan repayments. These have only been met by methods such as public appeals, cash injections by directors and the sale of the club's assets. Revenue from the recent Millennium Sponsorship has not lived up to expectations and, while we have overcome the majority of the financial problems in writing of directors loans and attracting sponsorship, we are still under serious threat of closure from the aforementioned bodies.

Considerable steps have been made in the past four months to stabilise the club's finances, but further savings need to be made in order to ensure that the club moves forward into next season and beyond.

In order to sustain football at the club, we have recently promoted youth team players and introduced local talent, without having to increase the budget. We believe this to be the best way forward for the club, the supporters and the community alike. Next season, we intend to run two first teams from the stadium, one being the existing Gloucester City First XI and the second, a newly formed Gloucester City team which has already made an application to join the highest level available to them.

In achieving this, it will ensure that football is played most Saturdays during the season at Meadow Park. This will be by way of ground sharing, thus increasing the income for the club. In addition to the two teams being run, will have the youth section, which is in itself a vital commodity.

After much deliberation and various meetings with governing bodies including the Football Association, Southern League and various financial advisers, and in a bid to save football at Meadow Park, it is necessary to take the following action:

1. All contract players will be notified that the club, due to other pressing financial difficulties, is no longer able to honour its obligations in terms of wages or signing on fees.

2. The Football Manager has been asked to assist the board with the present an ongoing task of team affairs, with no long-term commitment afforded by either party.

The players have been offered a reduced wage on a non-contract basis until the end of the current season. All nine of the contract players are due to have a meeting, during the course of Thursday this week, to decide whether they wish to stay and assist the club in its current dilemma.

On a more positive note, after some nine months of consultation with the planning committee, we have made further steps towards obtaining planning permission for the sports and social club. Subject to the plan's consent, we are optimistic that it will reopen in September of this year. We already have financial backing for this, we anticipate that this will increase activity in and around the club and, as a result, attract more interest.

By achieving this, developing the youth policy and promoting local talent, we feel that funds can be released in order to repay the existing debts and subsequently ensure the long-term future of Gloucester City Football Club. We hope that you and your readers will appreciate the importance of securing the club for the long term, and that these decisions have been taken to ensure that the football club stays within the City of Gloucester at the standard that it currently enjoys.

Tracy Newport, Chairman.
Manager Hughes gives his side of the story
Tigers manager Brian Hughes has broken his silence over the deepening crisis at Meadow Park. The City boss has so far stayed within club ranks in the hope that the situation would improve, but speaking after Wednesday's announcement of further budget cuts he gave an insight into how the problems have affected the dressing room.

Trouble first came to the surface on September 7th 1999 when Hughes was told that the playing budget had to be cut down to £2000 in order to save the club. Five players - Mark Hervin, Matthew Coupe, Darren Keeling, Brendan Hackett and Tigers legend Gary Kemp - all left the club straight away or obtained transfers, whilst the majority of the remaining players took wage cuts.

Hughes takes up the story: "A while later the board came to me again and said that the budget had to be cut back to £1800 and this time I was to be included as well."

"In addition, when the league position began to cause some concern I approached the board for the money to sign a new player. The reply came back that no money was available and that, in addition, two more members of staff will be taken off the wage bill."

"It was hard to get the squad to agree to the first reduction, so the second one was even more difficult. Still, we managed to do it and a few weeks ago we read in the paper that the debts were cleared and the club was on the road to recovery," he said. "At that point a couple of players came to me to see if their wages could be restored."

"Then, last week I had an indication that something was up before being told on Tuesday night that the budget had to go down to £500."

"I can see there are two sides to the story and at the moment I'm stuck in the middle."

"The board say that they must free up money to pay debts but what about the players?"

"They have been loyal and stood by the club, some have not even being paid for weeks and if the boot was on the other thought it would be a different story," he said. "Earlier in the season Newport County offered £8000 for Gary Thorne but he decided to stay. If he had asked to be released from his contract to join them for nothing then the answer would have been no. What the board are now trying today is very similar but in reverse."

Hughes is in a thoroughly unenviable position and admitted that he had given little thought for his own situation. "I want to help the players to sort this out," he said. "Some will find new clubs over the next few days but others will have to stay and try to fight for what they are owed under contract."

"I feel responsible for them and I will do whatever I can," he added.

Club chairman Tracy Newport has stressed that there is no other option but to cancel contracts and impose budget cuts, although a quick press of a few calculator buttons would tend to suggest that this will not solve the problem.

If £100,000 must be found, even if the club can save £2000 per week for the remaining 10 weeks of the season from the player's budget, then where is the rest going to come from? There are only five home league games left this season and the average home league attendance is down to 506.

If no one is about to come forward with money to save the club, with a succession of winding up notices from creditors landing on the Mat, then the options would appear to be running out.
February 28th 2000 - Two to leave - but one arrives
Gloucester City slipped into the bottom four in the Dr Martens League Premier division following their 0-2 defeat at Salisbury City on Saturday.

First-half goals from Martin Shepherd and Ian Chalk consigned to the Tigers to defeat, but it was events off the field that continued to provide all the talking points.

City fans, besides calling for the resignations of chairman Tracy Newport and his board of directors, found novel ways to protest in. One fan arrived dressed as a clergyman in order to administer the last rites to the club, while Supporters Club secretary Lisa Armstrong wore a replica shirt with the words "Tuffley Rovers?" Emblazoned across the front.

Manager Brian Hughes confirmed that none of the nine contract players were paid following the match, and that two had already indicated to him that they had spoken to other clubs. Having not being paid the players are now all free from their contract and can leave. "I will know more on Tuesday, but at the moment two lads have told me that they will be going," said Hughes. "I have been on the phone all weekend and expect a couple more might go, although some will definitely stay because February is a difficult month to be trying to find another club.

In yet another incredible development, Hughes, who has been unable to sign any new players for several weeks, also confirmed that a player had been signed without his knowledge. Midfielder Roy Jordan was signed from Newport County last week but Hughes said: "I don't know anything about the lad, although apparently we have signed him."

"To be fair to him, it's a difficult situation and he's going to come along to training this week and we'll take it from there." Hughes explained that the mood amongst the players was sombre after the game.

"The players went into the game with the right attitude. They wanted to have a good go for themselves and for the supporters, and with better finishing we could have taken something from the game."

"The only time I have ever experienced a dressing room like that after the game was at Swindon when we got relegated, but the players are okay and will pick themselves up."
February 29th 2000 - Hughes is axed as boss of Tigers
Gloucester City manager Brian Hughes has been sacked.

Hughes was called to a meeting with club chairman Tracy Newport last night and told that his employment within the club was being terminated. Football director Richard Bull has been placed in temporary charge of team affairs and will pick the team for Saturday's Dr Martens Premier Division home game with Kings Lynn - unless Hughes's successor is named before then.

In a prepared statement, Newport explained that the cuts to the playing budget had been made in order to to repay long-standing debts, and that this had caused a rift between the board and management. "The directors feel that the manager has failed to comprehend the enormity of the problem, or indeed come to terms with the club's current financial dilemma," the statement read. "It is for this reason, coupled with inconsistent performances on the pitch and an unwillingness for Brian to work with the board to alleviate these problems, that we have taken this decision for the benefit of the club."

Hughes, who has a contract which is due to run until the end of next season, countered that the poor results had been a direct result of the budget cuts. "I've worked with what I had left. How do they expect to get results when players of the quality of Gary Kemp and Mark Hervin are forced out?" He said. "As for being unwilling to work with them, how can you work with people that play their cards close to their chest?"

"The only time I talked to them was when they wanted to cut their budgets and then it was all left me to sort out," he said.

The sacking came as little surprise to the fans. Supporters club secretary Lisa Armstrong said: "It's an absolute farce, in my opinion the board can't run the club and now they've taken away the only person that can."

"The last bit of credibility they had left is gone."

In a separate development, Newport has quashed rumours that last Saturday's match at Salisbury City was the club's final game. "Contrary to what certain supporters have been saying, we will fulfil the fixture against Kings Lynn on Saturday and will continue to fulfil our fixtures," he said. "As a result of cutting the wage bill down to £500 we have been able to make our first payment to the Inland Revenue and the directors have made payments with regard to the VAT demand."

"I am aware that several players have taken advice from the PFA with regard to their contracts, but my first responsibility is to make some headway with the remainder of the debts," he added.

Meanwhile, further changes have been made to the club's board of directors. Three directors have resigned - Jacky Wallace, Brian Cook and Mark Blanchfield – while three new names have been added to the list of non-executive directors.

They are supporter and shareholder Chris Hill, former police inspector Mike Smith and Vivienne Price who works for a Gloucester-based firm of solicitors.

"Non-executive directors are members of the board, the only difference is that they are not entitled to vote," said Newport. "Jackie Wallace is no longer on the board but has agreed to help us in whatever way she can, and both Brian Cook and Mark Blanchfield have resigned due to work commitments."
March 1st 2000 - Now Fergusson quits the Tigers
Departing manager Brian Hughes has been joined on the road out of Meadow Park by his assistant Steve Fergusson.

Fergusson, who has been operating without a contract at the club, confirmed yesterday that he would not be returning to Meadow Park and then delivered a broadside against the board of directors. "What has happened at the club this season is a disgrace," he said. "The board have been trying to undermine Brian all season in the hope that he would resign, but he has stuck by the players and fans to try and help the team stay in this division."

"You've got to ask whether the board want the team to stay in this league or whether they want a club at all."

The veteran player, who came out of retirement this season to make eighteen first-team appearances, revealed that he had not been receiving any wages from the club, and that his expenses had been found by supporters with the help of Hughes himself. "I have been at the club as long as Brian but nobody has had the decency to even speak to me," he added. "I don't know what will happen now because they're still saying there is no money available."

"There are some good young players at the club, Neil Griffiths for example, that somebody else will get the benefit of them now." Ferguson revealed that the management team had got together with supporters to hold a whipround for some of the younger players."

"A couple of weeks ago we played Bath City, the best team in the league for me, and played them off the pitch with ten men, five of whom were not being paid."

"That in itself is a testament to Brian Hughes, who is the hardest working manager I've ever seen in twenty years in the game."

"If the team is relegated now they will blame Brian, but how can you improve the team, cover for injuries or create competition for places when you can't sign players?"

"The spirit of the players and the attitude of the fans have been brilliant. It's a good club and they just don't deserve what is being done to them," he added.

City first-team coach Tommy Callinan is staying at the club and will assist football director Richard Bull in running team affairs.
: Callinan steps into the Tigers breach
Following the departure of manager Brian Hughes from Gloucester City, Chairman Tracy Newport has appointed coach Tommy Callinan to help football director Richard Bull handle first team affairs.

Callinan has been given the title of "team co-ordinator" for the rest of the season. "His duties will include football coaching, player liason and match day team selection," said Newport this morning. "The appointment has the backing of all the remaining players at the club," he added. "Tommy will work alongside Richard Bull, who is currently managing the administrative duties off the pitch. We are grateful to Tommy and the remaining players for their loyalty and support in these difficult times."

Newport said he expects to sign new players in the next fortnight. "I have received indications that some players will leave and we expect to have some new faces before the next game," said Newport. "The important thing for us now is to be in a position to bring in new people, whether they are players, coaching staff or directors. Richard Bull will sit down with the players and discuss the future."

Newport conceded that it would be difficult to attract new players during the financial crisis at the club - the player's wage bill is believed to be down to £500 per week - but he added: "The prime concern is to bring some fresh blood in to help us avoid relegation."

"I know the supporters are unhappy but I feel that I am being made the scapegoat for past mistakes."

"I didn't expect that the decisions we have taken would be popular. The supporters are free to protest but I would appeal to them to throw their support behind the team against King's Lynn on Saturday."

The question now remains that, given the history of financial troubles, low wage levels and off the field problems at the club, who would actually want to manage Gloucester City?

The club is in danger of getting a bad name within football from not being able to pay its way.

One former player said: "The club has been badly run for many years and they need to change. It seems that every time they get going something comes along to plunge them down again."

Former manager John Murphy, now in charge of Cinderford town, says that long-term stability is the key to success. "If you look at what Cheltenham Town have achieved, they kept hold of their best players and kept a continuity throughout their rise up the leagues," said Murphy. "Gloucester has always been a big club on the verge of achieving things."

"They have had a reputation for being able to compete with the best in terms of players wages, but things have always seemed to change their overnight."

Meanwhile, Tuffley Rovers chairman Tony Newport has spoken to distance his club from the crisis at City. Some supporters were seized on the fact that he is the brother of Tigers chairman Tracy Newport to draw a link between the two clubs.

Supporters have suggested that players could be on their way from the Hellenic League Premier division club to City in the wake of rumoured player departures at Meadow Park, while others believe that uncertainty over the club's Glevum Park ground could lead to a possible ground share.

"I categorically deny that there is anything going on between Gloucester City and Tuffley Rovers," said Tony Newport. "As far as players are concerned, none of ours are under contract so if another club wanted to sign them there would be nothing we could do," he said. "Our ground is part of a larger piece of land owned by British Gas, and we have just signed a three-year extension to the lease."

"British Gas have indicated to us that they want to sell the whole site, but we have been led to believe that our ground is unsuitable for anything other than football anyway," he added.
Supporter Mark East dressed as a vicar to adminster City's last rites at Salisbury
Supporter Mark East dressed as a vicar to adminster City's last rites at Salisbury
March 2nd 2000 - City supporters demand a meeting with Board
Supporters of Gloucester city are demanding that the club board of directors meet them to answer questions about the club's future. Around a hundred people attended a public meeting last night, the result of which was a resolution which reads: "The board of directors are invited to a meeting to account for their actions and to outline their proposals for the future of the club."

The supporters also aim to raise a petition at this weekend's Dr Martens Premier Division home match with King's Lynn. The petition will express their anger at the sacking of manager Brian Hughes and endorse their calls for the board to meet them.

Hughes, who attended last night's meeting and was welcomed with a standing ovation from supporters, was axed on Monday evening on grounds of refusing to co-operate with the board after cuts were made to the playing budget.

Members of Gloucester City Supporters Club committee took it in turns to address the meeting. Adrian Hayward, quoting from the November edition of the Citizen in which chairman Tracy Newport explained that £250,000 had been wiped off the club's debts, asked why the club was still in trouble to the tune of £100,000.

Gwenda Halford claimed that the planning applications have been lodged with regard to both Meadow Park and the land around it. Development would be dependent upon gaining access from Spinnaker Road and the supporters club intend to have representatives at the public enquiry into the access issue in May.

The board had maintained that the application for a change of land use for Meadow Park is to increase the value of the land, rather than build on it.

Supporters club vice-chairman Charlie Jenkins urged all shareholders to attend the club's next AGM. "The board won't talk to us but they have to answer questions from shareholders," he said.

Meanwhile, a former Meadow Park favourite is on his way back to the club. Karl Bayliss has been signed from Newport County on a three-month loan. The striker was top scorer for Gloucester city in the 1993-94 season and his goals helped to keep Forest Green in the Dr Martens league two seasons later.

City's football director Richard Bull said: "I'd like to say a huge thank you to Newport manager Tim Harris, who told me that he wants to help in any way he can." Bull confirmed that the wages of Bayliss and another proposed loan signing would be paid by their clubs and not City, who are still struggling to maintain a squad on a budget of £500 per week.

While Bayliss arrives from Newport, Gary Thorne has made the journey in the opposite direction. The defender had his contract cancelled on Tuesday night and has moved to join ex-City players Gary Kemp and Pat Mountain at Spytty Park.

City stalwart Tommy Callinan will be picking the team for Saturday's game against Kings Lynn. Quite who will be left to pick from is still unsure. Paul Chenoweth is heading for Merthyr Tydfil, striker Jimmy Smith is set to join Salisbury City, while Matt Rose, Jimmy Cox and Mike Wyatt could all be on their way before the weekend. Rose may joined Thorne at Newport, while Cox trained with Forest Green Rovers this week.
Adrian Hayward addresses last nights meeting armed with a copy of last Thursday's Citizen
Adrian Hayward addresses last nights meeting armed with a copy of last Thursday's Citizen
March 3rd 2000 - Gardner offers Tigers take over
Businessman Colin Gardner has made an offer to take control of Gloucester City Football Club.

The former chief of Gardner Security was to form a new board of directors and reinstate Brian Hughes as manager. Gardner has enquired about all the shares belonging to the club's major shareholder, Eamonn McGurk, and the shares previously owned by former chairman, Rob Thomas. If he were to be successful Gardner would obtain a significant majority shareholding, effectively giving him control of the club.

"The offer is on the table," said Gardener this morning. "I see that the only way forward for the club is to move in a different direction with different leadership."

"There is nothing I can do until I get a controlling interest. I had the chance to maintain a shareholding before and didn't take it. I now think that was a mistake."

Gardner was previously on the board between 1997 and 1998 under the chairmanship of Thomas. He resigned due to a disagreement over monetary policy.

"At the time I felt that the board was spending £2000 a week more than they could afford, so I left," he said.

Gardner returned to the headlines last summer when his offer to inject £260,000 into the club and become the mortgagee at Meadow Park was turned down by the present board.

"They told me that my offer would cost them too much in terms of interest payments, but they were having to contend with loan repayments and interest charges on existing debts anyway," said Gardner. "My offer would have cleared all the old debts and left them with a single, smaller repayment."

"I withdrew the offer and invested the money elsewhere, but if they now want to sell me the shares I will get involved again," he said.

There has been growing concern among supporters with regards to the club's finances, with chairman Tracy Newport announcing debts of £100,000 last week. In addition to being a major shareholder, McGurk also owns land adjacent to the stadium through his company, EMG.

Gardner, whose personal wealth is believed to be in the region of £2M, stated that if he were to take control, then a new board could be formed. "I would like the opportunity to bring in more people with business interests in the City. People who would be fully supportive of the football club," he said. "The most important thing would be to have a working board, people who were honest about what they were doing and were prepared to do jobs around the ground on match days."

"I think what the present board have done in terms of tackling the money problems is right."

"It is the way that they have gone about it that has left many people unhappy."

Gardner's plan would also include the prospective return of former managerHughes. "If I were to gain control then the board would work with the fans and sponsors to reduce debts and raise funds for Brian Hughes, who was the obvious choice to be manager," he said.
Bayliss : ": I want to fire City to safety"
Former Gloucester City favourite Karl Bayliss will play for the Tigers in their home match with Kings Lynn tomorrow.

Bayliss has been signed on loan for the rest of the season from Newport County with one mission - scoring the goals to keep City up.

During his previous spell with the club, Bayliss started 110 games and scored 56 goals, finishing top scorer in both the 1992-3 and 1993-4 seasons. He joined Forest Green Rovers towards the end of the 1995-6 season and galvanised their bid for Dr Martens League survival, and City fans will be hoping he can do the same for them.

"It's a good move for everyone concerned," said Bayliss, who this season to date has been hampered by knee and hamstring injuries. "I'm looking to regain match fitness, City need a target man and Newport want me to get fit for next season."

"Hopefully, I can score a few goals and help Gloucester stay in the Premier Division where they should be," he added.

Gloucester City football director Richard Bull also hopes to have completed the signing of a player released from a Football League club this week. All but one of the clubs non-contract players will be staying for the immediate future. The only doubt concerns Matthew Rose, who has been linked with Newport County.

Of the remaining contract players, Jimmy Smith completed his transfer to Salisbury City yesterday, while Jimmy Cox, who has been training with Forest Green will be in the City squad tomorrow.

"There is no doubt that we have lost some very good players," said Bull. "I have shaken hands with those that have left and wish them all the best, I've got a lot of time for all of them."

"I am very appreciative of the players who have decided to stay and help us fight to stay in the Premier division," he added.

Nigel Niblett returns from a broken nose injury tomorrow, and two additions to the squad are Adam Paul and James Smith. Paul is a tall central defender who has been playing for Whitminister in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League division one, while James Smith is back at the club he first played for two years ago.

Smith has been out of football for a while but Bull said of them: "HHe has managed to keep himself very fit and we've been impressed with him in training."

New signing Roy Jordan has been training with the club but is currently unavailable due to work commitments. Two players definitely missing will be Wayne Thorne (suspended) and Andy Tucker (knee injury).

Team affairs for tomorrow's game will be handled by Tommy Callinan. "Tommy is our most senior player and all the others are 100% behind him, said Bull. "There are twelve local players in the squad which has got to be good for any club," he added.
March 4th 2000 - Chairman quizzed after supporters meeting
Gloucester City chairman Tracy Newport has replied to some of the questions asked of him at the supporters meeting on Wednesday evening. The fans want the board to attend an open forum in order to outline their future plans for the club.

A meeting has been arranged for this Thursday (7.30pm at Meadow Park) but Newport was initially cool towards the idea. "I have invited the supporters club to board meetings and spoken to several of them. I have since come under criticism and the supporters club stated publicly that they have no faith in the board and had no intention of assisting us."

"Charlie Jenkins and Gwenda Halford from the supporters club attended a board meeting and both were given the opportunity to ask questions but declined," he said. "I also offered the supporters club committee the chance to meet with the board on more than one occasion but they did not come back to me."

"It has not been my policy to stand in front of hundreds of people, as the previous chairman did, to tell them what they want to hear. I only tell the truth and people don't always like the truth. We as a board are acting in the best interests of the club and some fans are sceptical and unwilling to accept that," he added.

On the subject of planning, he said: "The current position is that we put in an application to redevelop the social club. This is now being deferred because the local councillor concerned has not had a chance to look at the plans. We put the application in nine months ago and it seems that everything at the council end moves very slowly. The quicker we can proceed with planning, the more options for the club there will be."

Supporters also question the fact that Newport was quoted in the Citizen in November 1999, saying that the club's debts were close to zero. "I must say that I was misquoted there," he said. "What I actually said was that we had wiped £250,000 off the debts. Those debts are now a lot closer to zero than they were in August of last year when we took over."

"The problem we have is that the accounts have been kept in a complete mess for a number of years. We inherited the situation but were not fully aware of the financial position at the time. Debts are still coming out of the woodwork."

One of the debts in question is a VAT bill dating back to the period 1991 to 1994. Why would it take Her Majesty's Customs and Excise so long to get round to chasing it up?

"I really don't know, you would have to ask them about that," said Newport. "There is no pure and clear set of accounts for the period leading up to this season. What I can say is that we have every single receipt and invoice from the current season and we have kept the books in order since taking over."

Since the last financial crisis dawned, the supporters club has requested that the club were placed into administration in order to get things back on an even keel. "Believe me, we looked into all the options," said Newport. "The current position is that our current debts outweigh our assets. When you take into account the debts and add them to the charges on the ground from Clifton Homes, the bank and others, you have an amount of virtuall five times the valuation of the stadium."

"we have recently had an independent valuation done on Meadow Park, which produced a figure of £100,000 without further planning developments."

"Given this, there is no chance of convincing a judge at County Court to put an administration order in place. No insolvency practitioner would be in his right mind if he chose to administer the club rather than wind up."

"I cannot stress enough the awful financial position at this club over a number of years."

"What we are doing now may not be popular but it is necessary," he added.
Cox trying to clinch a move
The fallout from Gloucester City's crisis has brought one potential candidate from Meadow Park to Forest Green Rovers this week.

Striker Jimmy Cox, who joined the Tigers in the summer after three years at Luton Town, has trained twice with Rovers this week. Forest Green manager Frank Gregan has not confirmed any definite plans to sign the youngster, but is keen to watch his progress. "We're taking Jimmy on the recommendation of somebody whose opinion I trust so we'll have a look at him for ourselves and will take it from there."

Cox was available to play for City in today's Dr Martens Premier Division home match against Kings Lynn and could be back at the Lawn to continue his bid for a contract next week. "I've agreed with Gloucester's Football Director, Richard Bull, that he'll play for Gloucester on Saturday and then we'll look at the situation next week," Gregan added.

City have already lost several players - including Jimmy Smith, Gary Thorne, Matt Rose and Paul Chenoweth - following the decision to cancel playing contracts and cut the wage budget.

With all the players now free agents any of them could make their way out of the beleaguered club. But the Rovers boss has no intention to offer trials to any of City's remaining players. "He's the only one we've got any interest in at all," confirmed Gregan.
March 6th 2000 - City fans protest at Hughes axing
Calls of "Sack the board" rang out across at Meadow Park during and after Saturday's 0-1 defeat against Kings Lynn as supporters voiced their frustrations at the sacking of manager Brian Hughes.

The Tigers boss was axed last Monday and around seventy fans stayed on the T-End to chant his name long after the final whistle. The protest was a peaceful one, with police and stewards waiting in the background for the crowd to disperse.

The match was attended by a van load of police, who arrived after consultations with the club. "We have been in discussions with the police throughout the season," said club chairman Tracy Newport. "We informed them that there might be a demonstration and they decided to have ten officers at the game."

"There was a demonstration but no police intervention was needed. We were grateful to the police who attended at no charge to the club," he added.

No clear plan for a demonstration emerged from last weeks public meeting of supporters, although the cancelling of players contracts, departure of the manager and five players, coupled with the team's alarming slide into the relegation zone have clearly proved too much for the fans. The club's under fire board of directors have agreed to meet the supporters on Thursday evening (Meadow Park, 7.30pm) to discuss the club's problems.

Newport last week announced debts in the region of £100,000 and Hughes departed after failing to see eye to eye with the board over budget cuts. Some fans also supported the offer of local businessman Colin Gardner to take over the club. The former boss of Gardner Security had enquired about the shares currently held by major shareholder Eamonn McGurk and those previously owned by former chairman, Rob Thomas.

The defeat leaves City anchored inside the Dr Martens league Premier Division relegation zone and needing at least a point from tomorrow's trip to Tamworth (7:45 PM). Numerous changes were made for the visit of King's Lynn following a traumatic week that saw the departure of Hughes and five players.

The result was a very young City side, but one that competed on equal terms with their far more experienced visitors. "I'm proud of each and every one of them," said team co-ordinator Tommy Callinan. "The lads have nothing to be ashamed of and can hold their heads up. I thought we dominated the second half but just didn't get the rub of the green," he said.

Callinan revealed the team was selected from virtually the only players available. "We did a head count at training on Thursday and the team picked itself, really," he said.

City can also take plenty of hope from their youngsters who continue to show promise. Neil Griffiths must be the youngest player ever to captain the club at 19, while the introduction of substitute Kwesi Cairns almost brought about the equaliser."

"There is no reason why Neil shouldn't captain the side if he's up to it," said Callinan. "They may be young but they're big strong boys and they're only going to get better."
Gloucester City supporters make their feelings clear after the game against Kings Lynn
Gloucester City supporters make their feelings clear after the game against Kings Lynn
City 0-1 Kings Lynn - Citizen report
March 7th 2000 - Police tag soccer ace
Gloucester City striker James Smith will be chauffeur driven from the club's away match with Ilkeston on Saturday - because he has to be back home early.

The 18 year old is subject to a curfew after being sentenced to 12 months youth custody last October for his part in a "sickening and ugly" assault when three men were beaten unconscious. The curfew is monitored by an electronic tag - and last Saturday he appeared from the subs bench in Gloucester City's game with Kings Lynn at Meadow Park to play with a tell-tale bulge in his sock.

He is thought to be the first player in the Dr Martens Premier Division to take part in a match whilst wearing a tag. The equipment tells the prison authorities wherever he is, that he is complying with the conditions of his release on licence from a young offenders institution.

The tagging conditions mean that Smith, a promising striker who has had a trial with Aston Villa, will not be able to play against Tamworth tonight because he must obey a curfew and be at home in Arreton Avenue, Coney Hill, by 7.15 pm each day.

He could not be contacted today but club chairman Tracy Newport said: "James is a promising player and he has never been violent on the field of play. He is paying for what he did and he must comply with conditions, which puts us at a bit of a disadvantage."

"He won't be able to play in the evening fixtures, but for the Ilkeston match on Saturday we are arranging for him to be driven there and back to meet the curfew deadline."

"I had a word with him after the Kings Lynn match, and he told me that the tag didn't cause any problems during the game. Tommy Callinan, our team coordinator, values him highly and he played very well. We understand the tagging will continue for another three months."

Smith broke into the first team after playing with the youth side and the reserves, but did not train while awaiting trial after his arrest last March.
City make front as well as back page headlines in the Citizen
City make front as well as back page headlines in the Citizen
Board to discuss Gardner's offer
Colin Gardner's offer to buy a controlling interest in Gloucester City is to be considered by the club's directors.

The former chief of Gardner Security last week offered to purchase the shares currently held by the club's majority shareholder, Eamonn McGurk. "I will make my decision in the boardroom and I will look the rest of the board for guidance," said McGurk. "I am willing to meet with Colin Gardner to see if there is some common ground we can explore."

"It's not a simple matter and there are a number of different factors to consider," he added.

Chairman Tracy Newport said: "It is not necessary to buy shares in order to help the club."

"If Mr Gardner has a desire to help the club will meet with him to discuss what can be achieved."

Gardner has gone on record to say that he would like to have overall control of the club, although Newport didn't rule out the possibility of him joining the board to work alongside existing directors. "I would have no problem with that," Newport said. "We have a fantastic board of directors already, all of whom work very hard for the club, but we are interested in speaking to anybody who wants to help."

Besides offering to buy McGurk's shares, Gardner also enquired about those previously owned by former chairman Rob Thomas, believed to be around 32,000 in total.

"Those shares have already been sold," said Newport. "I bought some myself, the first shares I bought in Gloucester City, others were bought by Richard Bull, some by Darrel Cox and the rest by Sarah Christie."

Richard Bull and Darrel Cox are both non-executive directors of the club, while Sarah Christie, the wife of Eamonn McGurk, is also a director.

"There is a board meeting planned for the last week of March and the matter will be given full consideration then," said Newport.

Supporters will have the chance to put questions to the board of directors on Thursday evening, at an open meeting at Meadow Park (8 PM).
Another new face for City
City head for tonight's match with Tamworth with another new recruit in the squad. Jamie Cartwright is a central midfield player signed at the weekend after being released by Stoke City.

The 20-year-old from Lichfield was in his second year as a professional at the club after initially signing as a trainee in 1996. He is expected to be on the bench tonight and will play a full game for the reserves on Wednesday.
March 8th 2000
Tamworth 1-1 City - Citizen report
March 11th 2000 - Reserve win is lift for Tigers
With the purse strings now drawn tight at Meadow Park the importance of the Tigers' reserve team is brought into focus. Team co-ordinator Tommy Callinan will be looking towards youth in order to find players for the first team, and he can only be encouraged by Wednesday's 3-1 win at Kidderminster Harriers.

The match was the reserve team's first for a month, and provided only their third win of the season. It was especially satisfying for the City management because Harriers fielded a side packed with experience; Stuart Brock, Les Hines, Stephen Pope, Shaun Cunnington, Steve Taylor and Mark Druce have all made numerous appearances in the Football League or Conference.

Druce put Kidderminster in front after fifteen minutes but Jeremy Newton equalised twenty minutes from time. Newton made it 2-1 in the 82nd minute, following up a shot from substitute Simon Futcher that came back off a post, and it was Futcher who scored the third goal with an injury time shot from the edge of the box.

Former Tigers goalkeeper Ryan Gannaway played on Wednesday night, although he ruled out a more permanent return to Meadow Park.
Gordon's the man for City
Former Bristol City youngster Dominic Gordon has been signed on Dr Martens League forms by the Tigers. Described as a quick forward with an eye for goal, the teenager has most recently been playing for Almondsbury in Hellenic League.

He is joined by former Tigers midfielder Steve Jenkins, who has been re-signed from Cirencester Town.
Ilkeston Town 1-0 City - Citizen report
March 14th 2000 - Striker Cox is off to Bath
Gloucester City striker Jimmy Cox has joined Dr Martens Premier Division rivals Bath City.

Cox has been training with Nationwide Conference side Forest Green Rovers, but has opted for a move to Paul Bodin’s title chasers, who face a crucial game at bottom club Rothwell Town tonight.
March 16th 2000 - Reserves triumph
Gloucester City's reserves defeated Hereford United 4-1 at Meadow Park last night.

Gloucester dominated the game after falling behind to a 12th minute goal from Matthew Pitt. However, Jeremy Newton brought the scores level with a header from six yards.

City took the lead in the 37th minute when Kwesi Cairns made a run from midfield and shot under the goalkeeper. Steve Jenkins increased the lead three minutes before half time, converting a Dominic Gordon cross inside the area, and Newton added a fourth with a diving header on the hour mark.
March 22nd 2000 - Tigers return for Steadman
Central defender Will Steadman has returned to Gloucester City.

The 20-year-old, who previously made 44 starting appearances, plus a further 15 as a substitute after graduating from the Meadow Park youth team, has returned from Cinderford Town and made his first appearance back in a City shirt in Monday evenings 0-2 reserve team defeat at Telford United.

"I am delighted that Will has re-signed for us," said City team coordinator Tommy Callinan. "He's a big, strong lad with plenty of ability and he's local as well."

Steadman, a talented sportsman who also plays cricket for Gloucester City CC, left the Tigers in January 1999 to play regular first-team football with Cinderford. "We're sorry to see him go because he had been doing so well for us," said the Cinderford assistant manager John Freegard. "He recently forced his way back into the team but the draw of playing for his hometown club and moving back up to the Premier Division was too strong."

Although predominantly a centre back, Freegard explained that his ability to fill other positions have proved invaluable. "To be honest, his best games for us were either at left back or in midfield," he said. "We'll miss him because we've only got a small squad, but there are a couple of lads due back from injury and hopefully one of them will take his place."

Besides adding Steadman to his squad, Callinan also hopes that the transfer of striker Jimmy Cox to Bath City last week will prove to be the last departure this season. "I'd like to think that Cox was the last one to go," he said. "I want to bring in a couple of players to help us climb the table rather than worry about any more leaving us."

Callinan is very keen to sign players with Dr Martens League experience to bolster his youthful squad before the March 31st transfer deadline. "We are limited by the money that is available but I am still trying hard to get some more in and I hope to know more later this week," he said.
March 23rd 2000 - Cook and Smart join Tigers
Gloucester City have boosted their chances of avoiding relegation by signing two more players - with a possible three more on the way.

The Tigers, who re-signed defender Will Steadman from Cinderford Town on Monday, have now secured Garry Smart from Newport County and Rob Cook on loan from Forest Green Rovers.

Former Forest Green midfielder Smart, who also number as Bristol Rovers, Bath City and Cheltenham Town among his former clubs, was released from his contract at Newport County on Tuesday. Cook, who is also the groundsman at the Lawn, has been loaned out by the Nationwide Conference club until the end of the season. "They are couple of very good signings," said Gloucester team coordinator Tommy Callinan. "There are not many better midfielders in this league than Garry Smart, and Rob Cook is a very good player as well."

"It's good to get a couple of players with a bit more experience and they will be massive help to my younger lads."

Callinan is also hoping to complete the signing of former Bristol City youngster Dominic Barclay tonight. The pacey front runner trained with City in pre-season and has most recently been turning out for Chippenham Town in the Screwfix Direct League.

Two more as yet unnamed players could be on their way to Meadow Park as Callinan scrambles to add to his squad before next Friday's Dr Martens League transfer deadline. "Every game is a massive game for us now and we need to do everything we can to stay up," said Callinan. "I've always been confident and never doubted the ability of the players, but we need to increase the size of the squad," he added.
March 24th 2000 - City add Hunt to signings
Gloucester city last night made their fourth signing of the week when defender Danny Hunt arrived from Newport County. The 21-year-old former Swindon town trainee is expected to go into the squad for tomorrow's home game against Havant and Waterlooville.

One player who has not yet signed the Tigers is former Bristol City youngster Dominic Barclay. "We are still hoping to sign him but he was unavailable for training last night," said Gloucester City secretary Jason Mills. "Hopefully, we can sort things out within the next couple of days and then maybe one more signing for next week's deadline as well," he added.

Hunt joins Garry Smart, Rob Cook and Will Steadman, who all arrived at Meadow Park this week. Despite the number of new signings, Mills confirms City were still operating within their self-imposed £500 per week wage budget. "The loan players are still being paid by their own clubs and we've obtained sponsorship from some of the others, so were still within the budget," he said.
March 25th 2000 - New faces in to boost City (Pink 'Un)
Gloucester City have six weeks and, following this weekend's action, seven matches left in which to avoid relegation. The facts are stark but this week the club's search for new players finally came to fruition, and the quartet of new faces at Meadow Park represents a bold bid to reverse the downward spiral of results.

City's team coordinator Tommy Callinan has called upon to his former teammates at Forest Green to help the club in its battle against the drop. Both Rob Cook, who will be 30 next week, and Garry Smart, 36, played alongside Callinan and current loan signing Karl Bayliss in the Rovers team that won successive promotions from the Dr Martens League Southern division to the Nationwide Conference.

Smart and Cook went on to play in the Rovers team that contested last season's FA Trophy Final, with Smart having scored the winning goal in the semi-final second leg against St Albans City.

Cook arrived at Meadow Park on loan last week and will also be looking forward to linking up with another one of his former Rovers teammates, Nathan Wigg.

Cook, who is from Nailsworth and played for Whiteshill in the Stroud League before moving to Shortwood and then Forest Green, has started 18 games for Rovers this season, with a further seven appearance made a substitute. First team opportunities have been limited for him in recent weeks and the move to City will provide him with some regular first-team football.

Smart, meanwhile, joined Newport County at the start of the season but has been unable to cement a regular place at the Welsh club. His place in Rovers folklore is assured and Smart, an attacking midfielder with a good goalscoring record, now faces a different type of challenge. His career began with Mangotsfield United before making 30 league appearances for Bristol Rovers. Subsequent spells with Cheltenham Town and Wokingham Town followed, before a successful move to Bath City where he played over 300 games in the Nationwide Conference.

Newport County manager Tim Harris has stated his desire to help City in any way he can, and the transfer of Smart was closely followed by that of Danny Hunt, a 21-year-old defender or midfielder who joined Newport in the summer of 1997. Originally from Swindon, Hunt was a trainee with Swindon Town before joining County.

Meanwhile, Callinan continues to keep tabs on quick front runner Dominic Barclay, 24, who was on trial with the Tigers at the start of the season. The former Bristol city trainee, who has also played for Macclesfield Town and Kettering Town, began the season with Salisbury City but has more recently been playing for Paulton Rovers and Chippenham Town in the Western League.
Gloucester city Reserves were beaten 0-2 at Telford United on Monday evening, with missed chances the main reason for the defeat.
City 1-1 Havant & Waterlooville - Citizen report
March 31st 2000 - Former favourite Talboys rejoins the Tigers
Gloucester City took their total of signings in the past two weeks to five with the recapture of former Meadow Park favourite Steve Talboys.

The goalscoring midfielder, who left City for Wimbledon for an £11,000 fee in January 1992, signed Dr Martens League forms yesterday. The 33-year-old, who lives in London and runs his own corporate hospitality business, spent 4 1/2 seasons with Wimbledon and another season and a half with Watford before moving back to non-league football.

"It's a great signing for us because his experience will be invaluable and he's a great character around the dressing room as well," said City team co-ordinator Tommy Callinan. "Brian Godfrey is the man to thank for bringing him back because he was instrumental in his transfer to Wimbledon in the first place."

Talboys, who will not be available until after tomorrow's match at Crawley Town due to business commitments, made 202 appearances and scored 65 goals during his previous spell with the Tigers. "I'm hoping that I will be able to play a few games before the end of the season and maybe play next season," said Talboys. "I haven't really spoken to Gloucester yet but they needed to get the signing in before the transfer deadline."

"I could do with a few training sessions to get myself back into it because I haven't played that much for the last few weeks, but I'm looking forward to it."

Talboys has most recently been playing for Hampton and Richmond Borough in the Ryman League Premier division, but says that he has continued to look out for City's results over the past eight years. He was originally signed by Godfrey from Trowbridge Town in 1988 and says that his former manager will be a key figure in the relegation battle. "He's the right man to be there helping Tommy Callinan," said Talboys. "He knows the club inside out and hopefully between them they can turn it around."

"I played in the team that won promotion from the Midland Division so it would be a real shame to see them go down," he added.
April 1st 2000
Crawley Town 2-1 City - Citizen report
April 8th 2000
Boston United 6-1 City - Citizen report
April 15th 2000
City 3-3 Salisbury City - Citizen report
Karl Bayliss gets to grips with Salisbury's Scott Bartlett, who is a former Cirencester Town player
Karl Bayliss gets to grips with Salisbury's Scott Bartlett, who is a former Cirencester Town player
April 22nd 2000
Halesowen Town 4-2 City - Citizen report
April 24th 2000
City 2-1 Worcester City - Citizen report
Karl Bayliss beats Worcester goalkeeper Danny Watson to put the Tigers 2-1 up at Meadow Park yesterday
Karl Bayliss beats Worcester goalkeeper Danny Watson to put the Tigers 2-1 up at Meadow Park yesterday
April 29th 2000
City 0-4 Margate - Citizen report
May XXst 2000

May 6th 2000
Rothwell Town 2-0 City - Citizen report
July 19th 2000
Brockworth 0-3 City - Citizen report
July 24th 2000
City 4-1 Manchester United U-18's - Citizen report
July 26th 2000
City 2-1 Tuffley Rovers - Citizen report
July 31st 2000 - Clevedon Town 1-0 City
A Gloucester City squad featuring the newly re-signed Karl Bayliss travelled to Clevedon Town and were defeated 0-1. Former City striker Paul Milsom scored the games only goal, although Tigers' manager Tommy Callinan was pleased with his teams performance against the Premier Division side.
August 3rd 2000
Broadwell Amatuers 2-3 City - The Citizen report from this game is unavailable
August 7th 2000
Minehead 1-5 City - Citizen report
August 14th 2000
City 1-1 Hereford United - Citizen report
August 16th 2000
City 6-0 Gloucester United - Citizen report
August 21st 2000
City 2-2 Gresley Rovers - Citizen report
August 23rd 2000
Racing Club Warwick 1-5 City - Citizen report
August 28th 2000
Blakenall 3-3 City - Citizen report
August 29th 2000
City 2-2 Solihull Borough - Citizen report
September 4th 2000
Odd Down 0-2 City - Citizen report
September 11th 2000
Bedworth United 1-2 City - Citizen report
September 18th 2000
City 2-1 Evesham United - Citizen report
September 25th 2000
City 3-3 Sutton Coldfield Town - Citizen report
September 27th 2000
Mangotsfield United 2-1 City - Citizen report
October 1st 2000
City 1-1 Chippenham Town - Citizen report
October 5th 2000
Chippenham Town 3-5 City - Citizen report
October 9th 2000
Hinckley United 1-1 City - Citizen report
October 11th 2000
City 0-1 Racing Club Warwick - Citizen report
October 14th 2000
Tiverton Town 1-3 City - Citizen report
October 21st 2000
Sutton Coldfield Town 1-2 City - Citizen report
October 25th 2000
Solihull Borough 2-2 City - Citizen report
November 1st 2000
Havant & Waterlooville 1-1 City - Citizen report
November 6th 2000
Cambridge City 1-0 City - Citizen report
November 7th 2000
City 2-3 Havant & Waterlooville - The Citizen report from this game is unavailable
November 13th 2000
Gresley Rovers 1-3 City - Citizen report
November 15th 2000
City 2-1 Clevedon Town - Citizen report
November 20th 2000
City 2-2 Bedworth United - Citizen report
November 22nd 2000
City 0-4 Mangotsfield United - Citizen report
November 27th 2000
Evesham United 3-2 City - Citizen report
December 4th 2000
City 2-1 Rugby United - Citizen report
December 11th 2000
Paget Rangers 3-0 City - Citizen report
December 27th 2000
Weston-super-Mare 2-2 City - Citizen report
Gloucester City AFC Scarf

Page last updated : 26th February 2010

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