COLUMN: Why there has been little grief from Spireites at news of Ched Evans exit
It looks like it's farewell then Ched Evans and yet we hardly knew ye.
A strange, underwhelming chapter of Evans career looks set to end thanks to a club that can pull at his heart strings and open their purse strings.
A move back to Sheffield United is a dream come true for a striker who has struggled with injury and form.
Evans, who arrived amid predictable fanfare last summer, has played just 29 times as a Spireite and scored a meagre seven goals.
Should he, as looks certain, depart to join Chris Wilder’s red and white revolution, it’s his destination that will rank as the big surprise.
Back in February at the club’s AGM director Ashley Carson made clear that if a bid came in, the player would go.
A largely miserable season, for Evans and Town, didn’t close the door on a move – someone was always going to take a punt.
But a Championship suitor seemed unlikely, given Evans’ struggles with regular League One football.
His body apparently hasn’t coped with a return to the rigours of competitive sport, after a four-year absence.
The injury that emerged in September, before his October trial at Cardiff Crown Court, was one that Danny Wilson had never heard of.
That problem, described by various sources as a foot, ankle or heel complaint, resurfaced again in February and although Evans returned a fortnight later, 4th March was his last appearance.
Simply put, Evans hasn’t been fit enough to score the goals that Chesterfield pinned too much of their hopes on, the goals they needed to stay in League One.
So a £500k move to United is remarkable – that’s more money than any reasonable Spireite could have hoped for.
His arrival split the fanbase but news of a potential exit hasn’t provoked much grief.
Some supporters question the strength of his desire to play for Town and at least one team-mate has wondered aloud whether Evans would have featured more often had the club been at the right end of the table.
The lack of action and goals has made it tough for the striker to become a real fan favourite, and neglecting to do a single pre or post match interview might have contributed to the distance between the 28-year-old and true popularity.
In footballing terms, Evans will go down as a Chesterfield gamble that failed.
Financially it paid off and whilst a cash injection is welcome, it changes little in the big picture at the Proact.