'˜Fans support will help Spireites to bounce back' - say leading figures in Chesterfield
Despite the club's fall into non-league football, there is optimism the Spireites can bounce back quickly from the heartbreak of relegation.
Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic growth Councillor Terry Gilby told the Derbyshire Times he is hopeful they will recover with the support of ‘the town and fans’.
And he said he believed the impact of relegation from the Football League on the town’s economy ‘may not be as bad as people might fear’.
He said: “It is really disappointing that Chesterfield is not going to have a Football League club next season but I am sure that if the town and fans remain supportive it will only be a temporary blip and they will soon be promoted again.
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“It is difficult to assess the economic impact that losing Football League status will have. Clearly the number of visiting fans coming from non-league clubs will be smaller than those in League Two, which is likely to have an impact on the shops and pubs immediately around the ground.
“However, the difference between the two leagues is not as marked as it was in the past. For example, this year average attendances in the National League range from 796 at Boreham Wood to 5,039 at Tranmere games, compared to League Two where the lowest average is 1,488 at Morecambe going up to 8,755 at Coventry games.
“There are a number of former league clubs in the National League and several teams in that league are professional outfits so the economic impact may not be as bad as people might fear.
“Lincoln City was in a similar situation a few seasons ago to the one Chesterfield faces now and they have shown that you can come back in to League Two and then do well so there is no reason to think that Chesterfield FC can’t do the same.”
His comments were echoed by Dom Stevens, who is manager of Destination Chesterfield - which markets the town as a place to do business.
“The news about Chesterfield’s relegation is deeply disappointing, however with the club’s legion of loyal fans supporting it, I am confident they will bounce back,” he said.
“What is important during this period is that as a community we support Chesterfield FC and use the first rate facilities available at The Proact. Lionel Richie’s concert in June and the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament will give the club a much-needed boost, but also showcase the fantastic conferencing and event facilities available there to people from outside the area.”