Liquidators issue claim against Spireites over now defunct private academy

Chesterfield Football Club Village feature.
Liam Sutcliffe.
Chesterfield Football Club Village feature. Liam Sutcliffe.

A liquidator has issued a claim against Chesterfield FC for money allegedly owed to a now defunct private football academy.

CFC Development Schools Ltd was owned by former Spireites CEO Chris Turner and ex non-league footballer Liam Sutcliffe.

It went into voluntary liquidation earlier this year, owing almost £250,000 to creditors.

A Chesterfield director has now confirmed that the liquidator, Booths and Co, have asked the club for what the Derbyshire Times understands to be a significant sum of money, in return for services the academy provided during its existence.

Ashley Carson said: “The club, the chairman Mike Warner and owner Dave Allen all received a claim alleging costs incurred by the football club for services provided by the Development School over a given period of time.

“I took advice from our auditors and responded with a very robust letter.

“This is yet another instance where the Development School has been trying to run on the back of the football club.”

A spokesperson for Booths and Co added: “Investigations are ongoing with regard to the football club and the Development School and we can’t make any further comment until they are concluded.”

The Development School was set up in 2012 by Sutcliffe and Turner and although it was legally separate from Chesterfield FC, it was based at the CFC Village on Sheffield Road, opposite the Proact Stadium.

Last year a series of Derbyshire Times articles unveiled debts of £77k and staff departures over the late payment of wages.

A Spireites sponsor also threatened legal action when parents struggled to get refunds from a football trip to Paris that never took place.

And the FA are currently investigating payments made to Chesterfield players by the academy.

In his director’s report, presented in a creditors meeting in February, Sutcliffe blamed problems collecting fees from parents of young footballers and press coverage for the academy’s financial struggles.

In May, Turner said: “There were definitely no rules broken, nothing was wrong with any contracts or the FA or Football League would have pulled us up.”

The Derbyshire Times made attempts to contact Turner and Sutcliffe.