Ex-Spireites chief offers to help Hartlepool fans fighting financial crisis

Former Hartlepool boss Chris Turner
Former Hartlepool boss Chris Turner

Former Chesterfield director of football and chief executive Chris Turner is calling for openness from another of his former clubs over its finances.

Turner, made redundant by the Spireites last year, is backing Hartlepool United fans’ efforts to save the National League club from going bust and has offered to help in way he can.

Pools supporters are trying to raise £200,000 to prevent the club from going into administration by January 25.

“I think the supporters have been magnificent. I will do anything possible to try to help in any shape or form,” said Turner, who was twice manager of the club.

He said the long-term picture for the Pools was much less clear as it looked for a buyer.

He said: “I feel very saddened by it all. Having worked for [former owners] IOR for about nine or ten years you knew exactly how it was run and knew it was run down to the penny.”

But he said the fans needed to know the full picture of how much the club needs to survive beyond January 25. It is understood the £200,000 was primarily needed to pay player and staff wages and other bills that were due.

The former Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper joined Chesterfield in December 2011, when he was appointed chief executive.

During his tenure as CEO the Spireites were promoted to League One after winning the 2013/14 League Two title. They reached the play-offs the following year and in his time with the club reached two Football League Trophy finals, winning one.

However, he failed to gain universal popularity with the club’s fans and was heavily criticised over the managerial appointments of Dean Saunders, Danny Wilson and Gary Caldwell.

He was also criticised when a football academy founded by Turner and former non-league player Liam Sutcliffe ran into financial trouble last year and Chesterfield FC was dragged into a row over unpaid refunds for a football trip that never took place.

A series of Derbyshire Times articles on the academy led to the newspaper being banned from the Proact, despite the football school being legally separate from the club. Turner would later tell a national newspaper that the Derbyshire Times ‘were never really banned.’