Chesterfield Football Club’s remaining directors are expected to meet later today with just one item likely to be on their agenda – how do we keep this club afloat?
Last night majority shareholder Dave Allen resigned as chairman and director in a move apparently unforeseen by the rest of his board.
Allen then walked out of the AGM, which closed in abrupt fashion as the board needed time to regroup and seek legal advice.
Today as the dust settles directors will sit down again around a table and attempt to fashion a way forward, without the financial clout of a man who is owed millions by the club and has the first charge on the Proact Stadium.
In his resignation statement Allen alluded to a meeting of the directors yesterday, at which he requested they all waive the interest on their loans.
But it is clear he did not receive the answer he wanted, leading to his bombshell announcement later in the evening.
Whilst it’s thought there’s no immediate cash flow issue at the Proact, the Derbyshire Times believes Dave Allen had to put in £200,000 last month to cover wages and expenses.
And at a time of the year that traditionally sees little cash coming into the club from other revenue streams, it’s a real possibility that the money could run out by the end of this month.
The Christmas period will of course bring a boost to the conferencing and banqueting side of the business and the January transfer window might hold the promise of potential player sales, but it is the next few weeks that present the biggest and most immediate challenge.
It is no secret that Allen has been regularly stumping up large sums of money to meet the club’s considerable financial demands.
That has led supporters to question the running of the club, last week’s revelation of a predicted £1.5m shortfall for this year’s accounts only heightening fears over the club’s future.
Last year Chesterfield made a profit of around £42k but had to sell £2million worth of playing talent to do so.
Club auditor Howard Freeman told shareholders last night that he could not sign off on the accounts without the majority shareholder.
Every year Mr Allen signs a letter agreeing to bankroll the club and enable it to meet its liabilities, but without that the board are now faced with a conundrum - how do they keep the Spireites afloat without his cash?
Chesterfield have until March to file their accounts but the issue of the day to day bills is a much more pressing one.
Allen’s actions have put the ball firmly in the remaining directors’ court.