BREAKING: Director of football and former CEO Chris Turner leaves Chesterfield

Chris Turner has left his post as director of football at Chesterfield Football Club.

Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 10:22 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:11 am
Picture by Gareth Williams/ Football, Sky Bet League One; Southend United v Chesterfield; 15/10/2016 KO 3.00pm; Roots Hall; copyright picture;Howard Roe/ Chesterfield Chief Executive Chris Turner

The former Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper has been with the club since December 2011 when he was appointed chief executive.

Last month the 58-year-old stepped down as CEO to become director of football, with company secretary Ashley Carson running the club.

During his tenure as CEO the Spireites were promoted to League One after winning the 2013/14 League Two title.

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They reached the play-offs the following year and in his time with the club reached two Football League Trophy finals, winning one.

But while Turner has been credited with bringing in big transfer fees for the likes of Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa, he hasn’t enjoyed universal popularity with the club’s fans.

Chesterfield sold £2m worth of playing talent in the last financial year, only to come out with a small profit of around £40k.

The 2015 appointment of Dean Saunders also drew criticism, the Welshman lasting just six months before being sacked, Danny Wilson being brought in to try and rescue the season before Town finished 18th in League One.

Wilson was sacked at the start of the year and Turner was said by Carson to have been instrumental in bringing replacement Gary Caldwell to the club.

But after seven games in charge, Caldwell is yet to see the Spireites win and they sit deep in relegation trouble.

A football academy founded by Turner and former non-league player Liam Sutcliffe ran into financial trouble last year and Chesterfield FC was dragged into a row over unpaid refunds for a football trip that never took place.

One of the club’s sponsors threatened legal action over the issue and staff at the academy walked out over unpaid wages, before Turner eventually resigned as a director of the private venture.

A series of Derbyshire Times articles on the academy led to the newspaper being banned from the Proact, despite the football school being legally separate from the club.

Turner would later tell a national newspaper that the Derbyshire Times ‘were never really banned.’

Carson revealed at the club’s AGM earlier this month that Turner was due to receive a bonus related to player sales, but he had agreed not to take the £57k payment yet due to the club’s financial issues.