New legal threat against Chris Turner's football school
A football school owned by Chesterfield chief executive Chris Turner has been hit by a fresh threat of legal action.
Chesterfield FC Player Progression Pathway (PPP), a business set up by Mr Turner and former non-league footballer Liam Sutcliffe, is being taken to court over an unpaid refund for a cancelled football trip.
The trip to Paris was first due to go ahead in October but was postponed until Easter 2016, and then cancelled entirely over fears of international terrorism.
Mr Turner released a statement on 23rd May claiming that payments had been made to ‘all 25 parents.’
But the Derbyshire Times has been contacted by three families who say they haven’t received the money they believe they’re owed and one mother has said she’s now taking legal action.
Charlotte Barker’s two sons were booked on the trip and she says she is owed a refund of £1,300.
She claims she had twice been assured by Mr Sutcliffe that the money would be repaid, but it didn’t arrive in her account.
“I’m still waiting on a refund,” she said.
“It’s a huge amount of money for me.
“I’m a nurse in the NHS, I don’t earn a huge amount and we have three kids.
“I’m going to take legal action, I think that’s the only way I can get my money back, I don’t really know what else to do.”
Mrs Barker’s boys were part of the Leeds branch of the PPP, which closed last week after Mr Sutcliffe told parents there was a lack of players in certain age brackets and a lack of ‘quality coaches.
He also cited financial losses.
Chris Corbett’s 13-year-old son was also in the Leeds centre.
He says he is also still awaiting a refund for the Paris trip.
“They keep promising it and promising it,” he said.
“We were promised it yesterday but it never arrived in my account.
“I’ve been told they said they had paid all the parents but they haven’t.
“I’ve got a friend who hasn’t been paid either.
“It’s a lot of money.”
Nicky Sykes, from Brampton, says she has been promised repayment from the PPP on six occasions.
Her son has been a member of the Chesterfield PPP centre for the past two years.
She said: “I’ve been in contact with the PPP at least six times now, and it’s always the same. They say the money will be paid into your account within three days, then that time passes and you have to go back to them again.
“It’s not really even about the money anymore - I’m just fed up of being lied to.”
Last year’s PPP accounts showed losses of £77,000 and the school has recently been hit with a spate of staff departures over unpaid wages.
The Derbyshire Times understands that a South Yorkshire based electrician and a former employee have initiated legal action against the PPP to recover debts.
Last month Chesterfield FC told the Derbyshire Times they would no longer co-operate with requests for interviews.
The club has been contacted for a comment.