Carson: ‘£500k needed and no official interest to buy Chesterfield Football Club’

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Chesterfield FC director Ashley Carson has given supporters an overview of events on what he described as a “bad week” for the club.

Following defeat at home to Sheffield United, Dave Allen announced he was stepping down from the position of chairman at Monday’s AGM and four further board members left the club on Friday afternoon.

David Jones, Philip Taylor, Chris Breeze and Alan Goodall all resigned which has left Carson, John Croot and Mike Warner to act as a board of three, with Warner taking on the role as chairman.

Carson revealed how he remains in contact with Allen, that there has been no interest from anyone in buying the club and there is a need for £500,000 to cover running costs between now and Christmas.

Here is the full transcript from Carson’s interview made ahead of the Spireites’ 2-1 defeat at Fleetwood Town on Saturday (November 19).

He said: “It’s been a really bad week, starting off with the AGM and Dave Allen standing down as chairman, which was a total shock to everyone. It was a point of principle because he asked all the directors to take a cut on their loan interests, so no-one take any more interest, and round the boardroom table this was not a unanimous decision. The decision didn’t take place.

“After that, Dave (Allen) resigned. Subsequently we had a board meeting the next day, and it’s fair to say the directors who opposed the decision had then reconsidered and asked me to go and see Dave to ask him ‘we have reconsidered on this, we can see the position of the club, we don’t want to harm the club and we’ll go back on our decision’.

“So I went to see Dave and at that point he was adamant he wouldn’t accept that position and he was finished with the club. I then became a mediator between the board and Dave Allen. I spent many hours talking to Dave and it was a difficult decision for him. But then subsequently he said the only way he would come back in is if all the directors removed all of their debentures and subsequently resign from the board.

“I went back to the directors and told them that that was his ultimatum. That he wanted all of the directors to remove all the debentures and resign from the board. I gave them all the documents and everyone went away to discuss it and think about it. Subsequently three directors accepted the proposal and four didn’t. And at that point I have to say that each director is in a difficult position.

“They’ve all got different financial circumstances and every director took their decision based on their own personal circumstances. So at that point we had an impasse, I went back to Dave and said that this was the situation, we were unable to agree. Could we do a deal with some directors or was there a deal to be done? He was adamant there was no deal that was the deal on the table, end of story.

“I then went back to David Jones, at this point my point of contact, spoke to him further, he then came back with a counter-offer on behalf of the directors who had refused. This offer was rejected by Dave Allen. At that point, that was it. All discussions broke down. Following on from that we had to seriously think about everything.

“Let’s be quite clear, all week we have been looking for someone to invest in the club and no-one has come forward. No-one at all has found anyone out there who wants to buy Chesterfield Football Club. Even though we are making it well-known that the club is up for sale, there’s no official interest.

“We are now in a situation where we have got to find funding and quickly. I spoke to David Jones about this about midday, one o’clock in the afternoon, and two hours later I received notification via a solicitor acting on behalf of the four directors that they had subsequently resigned, which was, from my point of view, very disappointing.

“Seven heads round the table, some good brains round there, some good ideas and all of a sudden we’ve had four of those taken away and we’re left with Mike Warner, John Croot and myself. I would like to say the four people who are no longer directors they did a good job for the football club. They were committed to the club and I would like to thank them for that, I’m sure the rest of the board members echo that sentiment.

“It’s a disappointing time but we have got to kick on.”

He added: “There are now three directors - myself, John Croot and Mike Warner. I have asked Mike Warner this morning (Saturday) if he would take over the position of chairman of the club and I’m pleased to say that he has accepted that. Mike Warner is now chairman of Chesterfield Football Club.

“The next step is we’ve got to continue looking for investment and I’ve made it quite well known already that between now and Christmas we’ve got to find a shortfall of around half-a-million pounds. We’ve got to carry on doing this to find the money. We are, next week, taking more professional advice and consultation from people because we do need help.

“We’ll be doing that and keep looking for money. I think I’ll still be talking to Dave Allen as well about this. The last thing he wants is to see the club go into administration and that’s the last thing we want as well. We can’t ignore that but we are obviously in the position where we don’t want to take a 12-point hit.

“I’m also in consultation with the Football League. Lee Harvey is the contact with me, offering help and support where he can, but obviously he’s not got a purse with £500,000 in it to help me out.

“We’ve not got a lot of time in fairness. There are bills to be paid and wages to be paid so we’ve got to get a move on. I can’t put a time frame on it. All I can do is promise that we will work extremely hard on this, I’m barely sleeping, and finally I would just like to say to the fans ‘stick with the club, get behind the team, that’s what we need at the moment - everyone buy a ticket to the game as well’.

“There is a good fanbase out there, it has been difficult times this year, a lot of issues, but I really want people to come to the club and support the team.”