Chesterfield: Cook down to bare bones with season fast approaching

Ollie Banks is one of the Spireites' absentees that has the squad down to the bare bones
Ollie Banks is one of the Spireites' absentees that has the squad down to the bare bones
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Paul Cook’s first team has just two more scheduled pre-season games before they begin life in League One.

Leeds United (July 26) and Aston Villa (July 30) are scheduled to visit the Proact this month before Spireites’ first competitive match of the new campaign on Saturday August 9.

There is a possibility that an additional match may be squeezed in a week before the trip to Brisbane Road, but with squad numbers low, Cook has said he’s adapting training and the rest of the preparation for the game at Leyton Orient to reduce the chance of injuries.

As it stands today the Chesterfield boss won’t be able to fill his 18 match day spots with professional players.

Drew Talbot, Ollie Banks and Aaron Chapman are all likely to miss the trip to the East End so with just 20 players signed up and three of them, Jack Broadhead, Charlie Raglan and Charlie Dawes all without a league appearance, the squad looks worryingly threadbare.

Cook was hoping to get the green light after last week’s board meeting to sign more players but no such thumbs up was given, so it is looking like last season’s Championship winning boss will have to make do and mend with what he’s got.

The rationale behind the board’s reluctance to release more funds is the anticipated £0.5m plus loss for last season, primarily caused by less than budgeted crowds at both the football and the two summer concerts.

Reaching the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy plus winning the title may have brought in extra revenue but they also led to sizeable bonus payments being made.

Additionally the likes of Jay O’Shea, Dan Gardner, Tendayi Darikwa and Sam Morsy have signed improved deals since the end of last season, so there’s no remaining cash to aid squad building.

It’s believed that chairman Dave Allen had to increase his loans to the club this month to cover all expenses due despite the sale of in the region of 4000 season tickets this summer.