BREAKING NEWS: Cash row at Spireites-linked football school - as staff leave and legal action launched

Coaching staff at a troubled development centre linked to Chesterfield FC have departed following claims employees have not been paid for at least three months.

Friday, 13th May 2016, 1:29 pm
Updated Friday, 13th May 2016, 2:35 pm

In a separate development, a club sponsor has now also launched legal action against Chesterfield FC Player Progression Pathway (PPP) over a cancelled tour to Paris.

The PPP is a separate legal entity from the club - but is owned by Chesterfield FC CEO Chris Turner (pictured top left) and head of youth recruitment Liam Sutcliffe.

Sources at the development centre contacted the Derbyshire Times to reveal that head coach Steve Hancock was no longer in his role at the PPP, along with coaches Elliott Flowers and Sean O’Neill, following the dispute.

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Chesterfield Football Club Village.

Fans are now calling for action after the departures were revealed on social media.

One former employee at the PPP told the Derbyshire Times that a total of seven former employees had departed in recent months, all over unpaid wages.

To add to the PPP’s woes, club sponsor Paul Boler has launched legal proceedings against Mr Sutcliffe and Mr Turner over a cancelled trip to Paris Saint-Germain, which has left more than 30 families out of pocket.

Chesterfield Football Club Village.

Mr Boler is also threatening to withdraw more than £15,000 in Spireites sponsorship if he isn’t reimbursed for the cancelled trip.

His teenage son who is enrolled with the PPP was due to go on two football trips, to Wales and Paris, both of which were cancelled.

But Mr Boler was left fuming after he received a letter from Mr Sutcliffe (top right) asking him to sign a confidentiality agreement before the cash is refunded.

The Paris trip had attracted 35 youngsters, all keen to train at Paris Saint-Germain.

But it was first postponed in October last year, and then cancelled in March over fears of terrorism in Europe.

Parents have forked out £690 per place, and are now demanding refunds.

Mr Boler said: “They were to go on a Wales trip, but it never happened and I never got the money back from that.

“Another trip came up, my lad really wanted to go, but it was postponed and then cancelled.

“We’re owed about £1,200, but I think there are parents who have just written it off.”

Mr Boler has three tickets for Spires Restaurant at the Proact, and estimates his total expenditure with Chesterfield FC at around £15k this season.

He wants all 35 families to be refunded for the cancelled Paris tour, and has outlined to the club that he will be no longer willing to spend that sort of money if it doesn’t happen.

“Chris Turner emailed me saying it would be sorted that same day, a week ago, and I haven’t heard from him since,” he said.

Last week, the Derbyshire Times reported that some PPP staff had not been attending work because they were owed wages. A spokesman for centre said all current staff have either been paid or will be paid on their contracted pay day - May 10.

Last month it also emerged that the PPP had recorded losses of £77,000 in its 2015 tax return.

Liam Sutcliffe said: “All creditors will be paid by the end of July. The business is growing, with investment and sponsorship deals in place.

“We are looking forward to the future, with some exciting plans which will be announced in due course.”

PICTURED: Chris Turner and Liam Sutcliffe (top), and the CFC Village, where the PPP is based.