'Last chance saloon' - Reinvigorated Chesterfield owner Dave Allen on delight at landing Sheridan, intention to return to games and hopes for a turnaround in fortunes

Chesterfield owner Dave Allen, flanked by assistant manager Glynn Snodin (left) and new manager John Sheridan (right)
Chesterfield owner Dave Allen, flanked by assistant manager Glynn Snodin (left) and new manager John Sheridan (right)

John Sheridan has 'reinvigorated' Dave Allen for the job of turning around a club in the last chance saloon.

The Chesterfield owner unveiled his choice of new first team manager this afternoon at the Proact, along with Sheridan's incoming assistant Glynn Snodin.

Allen believes that the duo and academy boss John Pemberton are the best team a club outside the Football League could possibly hope for.

And he's vowed to back Sheridan with whatever finance it takes to keep Town in the National League this season.

The press conference was, like most of Allen's public appearances, memorable.

He revealed an intention to return to games, expressed hopes of survival, another trip to Wembley in this season's FA Trophy and promotions in the years to come, and insisted he won't sell the club until it's back in the Football League.

There was the threat of legal action for an unnamed 'quite high profile' person who he says has posted libellous comments: "They've been passed on to my lawyers and they can get ready."

There was criticism for the 'very, very scurrilous' media, in particularly the Derbyshire Times, for a recent story about a sponsor pulling out of the club: "What the bloody hell has that got to do with Chesterfield Football Club? Absolutely nothing."

But there was an admission that he didn't know why his previous appointment, Martin Allen, had not worked out at the Proact: "It just didn't work out, did it? That happens sometimes. In all walks of life."

And above all, the message Allen pressed home was his determination to reverse the club's recent fortunes and get it back to where it belongs.

Key to that, was convincing Sheridan to return.

"John was one of the most successful managers this club has had over the last 20 years," said Allen.

"We got promotion from League One, it's the only time this club has appeared at Wembley and we won the JPT.

"In addition to that he's got a wonderful track record with other clubs. Oldham, got them out of the mire, Newport, Fleetwood, etc, etc.

"He has, in fact, reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the job and I shall look forward to working with him, to see if we can first of all get them out of the mire, then back into the Football League where we ought to be.

"It's not going to be easy, nothing ever is, but I shall back John. Whatever he needs, he'll get and we'll take it from there."

READ: Spireites writer on why a united front is now key and how John Sheridan's realism may reassure worried fans.

Allen said Sheridan had been in his thinking since before this season even began. His presumption that Sheridan couldn't be enjoying the long commute to Carlisle led to a phone call that led to an eventual appointment.

"I thought to myself how the hell can we get this sorted out.

"I was in my office one day and Ashley Carson had come to see me, I said get me John Sheridan on the telephone.

"I said it's a long way to Carlisle, I bet you're really enjoying that journey.

"Many, many years ago I had a club in Blackpool and I had to go up every bloody day to that club.

"I thought that Carlisle run is further on than that so it must be difficult.

"I thought if I can get John back on board, I think we've got a chance of turning this lot around.

"I really want to turn it around because I don't like failure.

"I've never failed at anything in business in my life, albeit I never really wanted to get involved in this lot in the first place, it's not something I would have chosen.

"If I was to pick a team of football to run a business now, I'd have John, his assistant and Pembo in the academy.

"That's what we've got and I honestly believe we can take it forward.

"If I was a professional player playing for this football club and these two walked in, I would have to think to myself 'wow' - if this doesn't lift them, Christ knows what will."

READ: Sheridan reveals why he came back to the club, even though the move is a 'risk'

He said it was 'more than a coup' for the club to bring in a manager whose Carlisle were flying in League Two.

And he called for fans to come out in numbers to welcome Sheridan back to the Proact when Bedford Town visit in the FA Trophy this weekend.

Known to be fond of exciting, attacking football, Allen anticipates that's what he'll get - in time - under Sheridan's management.

"We need to see a big turnout of fans this weekend to get behind the manager and the players, so that the players can actually feel it.

"We don't want any negative vibes around the place at all.

"It'll be the first game I've been to for two years and it's because of the new management team really.

"I'm looking forward to it.

"I know that, eventually, we'll play an attractive, attacking style of football.

"That's what everybody wants to see, edge of your seats, enjoy the game.

"Let's get the crowd back, get the stadium rocking."

The pedigree of the manager, Snodin and academy boss Pemberton, who came in for praise for the way he kept the side unbeaten during his caretaker stint, gives Allen hope.

"When you look at the talent sitting either side of me, and with Pembo, for a club not in the English Football League, you're not going to find anything better than this.

"Look at the track record of the guys we've got around us.

"There's nothing else we could do."

It wasn't all sweetness and light.

Allen's revelation of potential legal action came across as a cautionary tale for critics.

"I've cleared the decks as far as the board and everything is concerned. It is as it is and it will stay like that, but I shall be coming back to more games and I shall also have contact with John.

"And Ashley Carson is staying on as company secretary.

"It doesn't need any journalists or anyone else trying to dig any muck up. The man is one of the most respectable people there is around here. He's the Assay Master after all. And for him to be in the job he's in and for me to be in the job I'm in, we have to have impeccable characters.

"It doesn't need any snidey remarks addressed to us by anybody.

"The only thing I would say is that people should be very, very careful what they say.

"I've just seen some very libellous remarks, which have been posted by quite a high profile person. They've been passed on to my lawyers and they can get ready."

And he once again turned his focus on the press.

"I also think you lot the press could help a bit as well, some positive things about football wouldn't go amiss.

"There was an article in the Derbyshire Times a few weeks ago, talking about the shirt sponsor and the fact that they didn't get the job down at Owlerton Stadium to build the new banqueting suite. What the bloody hell has that got to do with Chesterfield Football Club? Absolutely nothing.

"Start reporting about positive things, about football, about what we want to do and what we're trying to do.

"I believe that a lot of the protest have been helped by the media.

"I think the media is very, very scurrilous.

"I hope they're going to change their ways."

READ: Sheridan on why he brought former Leeds United assistant manager to the Proact.

He went over old ground, speaking about his reason for leaving the board and talking of the sheer scale of his investment, which had never been his original plan.

And as for the future, until the club has won at least one promotion, it will remain in his ownership.

"We're not going to be selling the club, we're going to get the club back into the Football League.

"There's nobody around here who can afford it to buy the club, they couldn't even afford to run it, never mind the daft, derisory offers they make for it.

"They're just living a dream world.

"I used to say to them all, this isn't a corner shop you're running, it's not Saltergate, this is the main store on the high street.

"Just look how much it costs just to run the stadium on an annual basis.

"They couldn't afford to run it.

"They put tuppence ha'penny together to try and buy it, they couldn't afford to run it if I let them have it.

"Forget it. I'm going to run it, I'm going to get it right, together with John, Glyn, Pembo and Ashley Carson as company secretary."

READ: Relive today's Proact press conference.

He admitted, in a somewhat more relatable tone, that getting it right at the Proact has not come easy and certain things he's tried have not worked out.

And while the casino magnate holds the same belief as many fans that this change of management is the club's last great hope, he's confident good times will return.

"Funny in football clubs, when it starts to go wrong, you start to ask yourself what the hell do I have to do to get it to go right, it's not easy.

"Sometimes you can spend a fortune on players and that doesn't get it right. Sometimes you keep changing managers and that doesn't get it right.

"This is the last chance saloon, isn't it, to be honest. If this isn't right, it never will be, because we could not get a better team to get around us than we've got at this moment in time.

"The best case scenario over the next couple of years, we survive this year, we go to Wembley, a fresh start next year and the aim will be to get out of this league and get back to the Football League.

"No more than two years in League Two and back to League One.

"I'll be 80 by then, if I get there.

"My final words are this, please let's have some positive press."