Chesterfield manager Martin Allen has his say on Salford City spending power

Chesterfield manager Martin Allen
Chesterfield manager Martin Allen

Martin Allen has lost out to big spending Salford City for transfer targets, but he’s not shedding any tears.

The level of Salford’s spending has caused much debate, with Accrington owner Andy Holt taking aim at what he perceives as an attempt to ‘steal’ a place in the Football League.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson said his club were ‘blown away’ by the financial might of the National League outfit, owned by billionaire Peter Lim and former Manchester United players, when they recently tried to sign Adam Rooney.

The striker moved from Aberdeen to Salford for an undisclosed fee and has been reported to be earning an eye watering £4,000 a week.

Allen offered no criticism for Salford’s outlay this summer, insisting it was water off a duck’s back for him, despite it costing him players he wanted to sign.

“It doesn’t come into my thinking one iota,” he said.

“Good for them, lucky them, well done them, good luck to ‘em.

“I’m certainly not going to whinge or cry about it, it doesn’t really bother me one little bit.

“There were a couple of players they’ve signed that I was interested in, but we couldn’t get anywhere near them.”

The Chesterfield manager, who has won this division previously with Barnet and picked up the League Two title while in charge at Gillingham, says money wasn’t a factor in either of those success stories.

“As we all know this is about having a good team,” he said.

“That team I had at Gillingham that won the championship were top of the league for the whole season, we never spent any big money, we never bought anyone, they were all free transfers.

“They were all hard to beat, good men.

“The same with Barnet, we never bought anybody.

“Saturday was my first time back at Alfreton since I found John Akinde, playing for Alfreton part-time on £350 a week.

“I saw him for half an hour and knew that would be a good player.

“We put a team together at Barnet with virtually no money at all.

“With this group we’ve got now it’s the same.”

The former West Ham United midfielder believes the group he’s assembled this summer to compete with the likes of Salford, have gelled well.

The biggest expense for the club was paying off a large number of last season’s squad who still had a year left on their contracts.

In their places, Allen has brought in men he knows well, like Curtis Weston and Michael Nelson and National League veterans like Will Evans, Shwan Jalal and Sam Wedgbury, all of whom were free transfers.

The only new signing who required a fee was Woking’s young goalscoring midfielder Charlie Carter and the Derbyshire Times understands it took just a small five-figure sum to bring him to the Proact.

Allen is excited to finally see his Chesterfield squad in competitive action in what will be a tough opening pair of National League games.

“As we’ve seen last Wednesday night against Wigan, there’s a real good team spirit, there’s a unity, a good bond between the group and the supporters are right behind everyone in the club.

“I cannot wait to get down to London and do our best.

“We’ve got two play-off teams, Ebbsfleet Saturday and on Tuesday we’ve got Aldershot.

“Both those clubs have been in the play-offs so it’s going to be a real good marker for us.”