SPIREITES: Chairman Dave Allen calls Portsmouth approach for Paul Cook “insensitive” and maintains Championship aim for Chesterfield under Dean Saunders

Chesterfield FC reveal new team manager Dean Saunders at the Proact Stadium. Pictured is Chairman Dave Allen. and Dean Saunders.
Chesterfield FC reveal new team manager Dean Saunders at the Proact Stadium. Pictured is Chairman Dave Allen. and Dean Saunders.

Chesterfield chairman Dave Allen has reiterated his ambition to see the club reach the Championship, following the appointment of new manager Dean Saunders.

Saunders was unveiled as the Spireites’ third manager in six years on Wednesday (May 13) at the Proact Stadium after Paul Cook left for Portsmouth earlier this week.

Allen stated Pompey’s initial approach for Cook was ill-timed, with the Spireites in the midst of a play-off campaign, and blasted their interests as “insensitive”.

And, having fallen short of claiming promotion to the Championship this season, Allen is keen to get their next under Saunders in what he called “the proper way”.

Allen said: “We can’t afford to go out and spend fortunes on players - this is a business. Bums on seats generates the money that is required for the playing squad.

“It’s also a business that has got a new football ground to pay for, so there’s a debt to be paid down as well. We have to manage things properly.

“To that end we have got a great youth team set up and academy, we’re going to have a reserve team next year and Dean is interested in developing kids.

“That, for us, is very important. We can’t have a manager in here and do as some managers not too far away from here do; bring players in every week and then discard them.

“We can’t afford that. We’ve got to be right in what we do and we’ve got to do things in a proper manner. We will get to the Championship and we’ll get there in the proper way.”

Chesterfield boasted an average home attendance of 6.925, in a campaign which saw the Spireites finish sixth in League One, under Cook and assistant Leam Richardson.

Richardson also left the club on Tuesday and is in talks to follow Cook to Fratton Park. And Allen revealed Portsmouth’s interest in Cook unsettled the dressing room.

“We had an approach some time ago from Portsmouth, which I believe was a very untimely approach and very insensitive because we were getting in the play-offs, there was not much we could do about it,” said Allen.

“When these things happen, we had to manage the situation as best we could but during that period we identified a next manager.

“As with Paul Cook, when we realised change was needed and Paul was looking to go to Portsmouth, we’d already identified our next manager. We haven’t had a load of manager to interview, we haven’t interviewed a lot of people.

“We spent an hour with Dean Saunders because we felt he could do the job for us, and when I said job I mean get the club in to the Championship and manage there.”

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