Chesterfield financial chief reveals how Spireites are funding new signings
‘Where is the money coming from?’
That is a question many Chesterfield fans have been asking following an influx of new signings since manager James Rowe was appointed last November.
Those words were on the tip of tongues again earlier this month when the Spireites brought in sought-after striker Kabongo Tshimanga from Boreham Wood for an undisclosed fee.
Well now we know.
Speaking on the club’s official We Are Sailing podcast, chief financial officer, Andy Fantom, revealed they have an insurance policy which covers any loss of income due to Covid.
The policy was taken out by chief executive John Croot and the club won their case in the High Court.
They are expecting the unnamed insurer to start paying out on a monthly basis in the ‘near future’.
Fantom said: “The club is in good shape.
"I think a lot of people when they have seen the signings we have made this season are wondering where the money is coming from.
"Last year we managed to balance the books with a combination of loans and grants from government but this year is a totally fresh start.
"We have an insurance policy that covers us against Covid. This was put in place before my time actually. John Croot put it in place and we are covered against all events that are affected income-wise by Covid so, as you can imagine, that can be quite a significant sum.
"Whilst we have not gone to the nth degree to quantify this yet, it is obvious that one big chunk of it will be what attendances we have lost.
"We are argued with the National League last year that the amount of grants we got was far less than what our attendances were and bear in mind coming off the back of a successful season last year, reaching the play-offs, and with the squad which we have put together this year, we expect to have significantly higher attendances at the beginning of this season than we did at the beginning of 2019/20 and that will assist our insurance claim.
"So it is vital that people get behind us, come and see the games and let us prove to the authorities that we are a growing club, we are advancing, we are ambitious, we have an ambitious manager, an ambitious board.
"That really explains how we have been able to do what we have done at the start of this season. We have a significant backstop of finance that will come in in the next 12 months.”
Both Croot and chairman Mike Goodwin insisted supporters can be assured that the club is sustainable.
“Fans and stakeholders can be comforted that we are not going out and borrowing lots of money to fund these signings,” Croot explained.
Goodwin added: “It was difficult to start with because we had to challenge the insurance company, it went to a High Court decision, and they found in favour of the club and the insurance company have admitted liability and hopefully they will start to pay out on a monthly basis in the near future. It has been vital for us, without that it would have been tough, we would not have had the player budget that we would have had.”