Spireites CEO confident club’s immediate future will be secured in days

Chesterfield CEO Chris Turner. Pic By James Williamson
Chesterfield CEO Chris Turner. Pic By James Williamson

Chris Turner is confident Chesterfield’s immediate financial future will be secured in the coming days.

The Spireites chief executive confirmed a £500,000 shortfall in the club’s finances needed to be plugged to cover running costs up to Christmas.

Chris Turner, Dave Allen and Ashley Carson

Chris Turner, Dave Allen and Ashley Carson

And he, along with other members of staff at the Proact Stadium, have been given assurances that will happen to cover existing wages and bills.

Turner said it was “more than likely” that money would come from Dave Allen who remains the majority shareholder despite stepping down as chairman last week.

Following days of negotiations with Allen, David Jones, Philip Taylor, Chris Breeze and Alan Goodall all resigned from the board on Friday.

Talks between Allen and the remaining board members Ashley Carson, John Croot and new chairman Mike Warner remain ongoing.

Turner told the Derbyshire Times: “It was always the case we needed £500k between now and Christmas. It was the case at the start of the season.

“There was always a shortfall in December. The club will need it. This has not happened over one week. The situation has happened over one week but the cash flow has always been this way.

“I came in September 2011, it’s not changed since then until now. There are periods in the financial year when Dave Allen has had to put money in.

“I’d been here for two weeks and Alan Walters, financial director, said to me ‘I’ve got to go and ask Dave for £600,000, we need the money’. It was at this same period.

“Three months later the ex-chairman Barrie Hubbard asked Dave for another £600k otherwise we’re finished. It hasn’t changed since those days.”

Allen had intimated to Turner he was going to resign as chairman two minutes before the AGM on November 14 that “shook” the club.

And Turner has warned the club wouldn’t be able to continue in a state of uncertainty for much longer.

“We need certain decisions taken, that I can’t influence, that ensure the club can move forward. It can’t survive in a stalemate situation,” said Turner.

“I’m hoping there will be something resolved by this Saturday that will take the pressure off this club. Then we can start to build again. At the moment the brakes are on.”

And added: “It needs to be sorted out as quickly as possible. Dave Allen will not own this club forever. In the future, there will be a person or persons that buy the football club, when that is I don’t know,

“This resolution this week needs to get sorted out so we’re not in limbo.”

On his own position at the club, Turner revealed he had thought about walking away but remains committed to Chesterfield.

He said: “People criticise me but I would love for them to face the same problems and it’s cash flow. The wages of footballers in general over the last ten years have gone up 100 per cent.

“Not my figures, Football League figures. Wages were meant to be going down, playing squad numbers were meant to be going down - they’re actually going up.

“The average wage bill in League One has gone up £400,000 on average this year. We’re less this year than last year.”

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