Liam Norcliffe's Chesterfield column: Another embarrassing and shameful week for Chesterfield - when will it end?

Well it has been another embarrassing week for Chesterfield.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 3:06 pm
It has been another embarrassing week for Chesterfield FC.

Just hours after a first win of the season against Torquay United, the club had been dragged into the national headlines following a pointless row on social media involving Town defender Anthony Gerrard and a Spireites season ticket holder.

The good feeling of achieving the first three points of the season soon went up in flames and brought more unnecessary shame on Town.

The exchange of unsavoury messages on Twitter left me shaking my head in disbelief. But at the same time, I can believe it because this is Chesterfield after all. A club which for the last four years has been constantly shooting itself in the foot.

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There are no positives to take whatsoever from the sorry saga.

'What's happened to my club?' - Chesterfield fans react to heavy defeat to Sutton UnitedI’m not going to repeat what was said but to summarise, Gerrard was stripped of the captain’s armband, received a hefty fine and issued an apology. While the fan has had his season ticket cancelled and has been banned from attending home matches for the next three years.

The row made national headlines and once again made the club a laughing stock.

All for what? Absolutely nothing. There are no winners. Nothing good was ever going to come from it.

The full-time whistle against Torquay United was met with huge relief and happiness. But by late evening it had turned to despair and embarrassment. Even when Chesterfield win they can’t enjoy it.

As I said in my previous column, everyone at the club needs to get a grip and start pulling together.

It has even got to the point now where fans are suggesting it might be best if the club went bust and started again. Really? Is that what this great club with a proud 150-year history has come to? For me that is not the answer.

At the same time, I totally understand why Spireites fans have so little love for their club at the moment. They are absolutely desperate for some hope, some success but they keep getting punched in the stomach. It feels like the club has been at a four-year long funeral.

John Sheridan laments 'shocking' Chesterfield display - and admits decisions need to be madeI thought the win against Torquay was a turning point, but I fear it was actually a blip and Town resumed normal service with a 4-0 thrashing at Sutton United, who had not won at home all season prior to the game.

John Sheridan made three changes to the starting line-up which was a little surprising as people always say you should never change a winning team.

However, his hand was slightly forced given that both left-backs in Laurence Maguire and David Buchanan were not available so he probably felt he had no other option than to go three at the back.

It was no real surprise to me either that Tom Denton was on the bench given that Sutton use an artificial pitch and the striker has only just returned from a knee injury.

Sheridan was extremely downbeat in his post-match interview and possibly hinted that he was considering his future as Chesterfield boss.

He said: “I have got to seriously look at things and see whether it is...what is the best thing to do. I am going to go home and think about things. I will speak to the chairman probably over the weekend. He will ring me. I will just see what is happening and the best way forward. We have nowhere near performed good enough so we will see what happens.”

Perhaps it was because he was feeling so low after such a heavy defeat but time will tell whether there was more meaning to those comments.

He also said he was under pressure, despite only saying there was no pressure on him ‘whatsoever’ before the Torquay game.

The fans seem split on whether Sheridan should remain in the job, although after the defeat to Sutton it does appear some have lost faith now. However, there are plenty who still back him and believe a change in manager again is not the answer.

As I write this column before Tuesday’s match at Hartlepool United, you would have to think that Chesterfield need to record at least one win from either their trip to the north east or on Saturday at home to Aldershot Town or Sheridan’s position as manager will have to be seriously questioned.

Everyone is desperate for him to do well, me included, but the longer it goes on there might be no other choice than to depart ways.

I see fans of other clubs moaning after a home draw or narrow loss away at top of the league, but they should try being a Chesterfield fan.

The Spireites fanbase has suffered more heartache than most in the country in the last four years and you would hope at some point the tide is going turn and this club is going to rise once again but I fear it may get even worse but things get better.