How will Chesterfield be affected financially now National League season has been suspended? Key questions answered by Ashley Carson

The suspension of the National League season because of the coronavirus outbreak throws up a number of different scenarios and questions.

By Liam Norcliffe
Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 3:34 pm

We asked Chesterfield FC company secretary, Ashley Carson, for his thoughts on a number of subjects and this is what he said:

How will the postponement of the season affect Chesterfield financially? How much will revenue be down with no home matches?

AC: “The postponement of the season will drastically impact the club. There are four more home games and one of which is a Bank Holiday v Stockport County is a massive fixture.

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Could the National League season be suspended due to the coronavirus?

“I would estimate £25,000-£30,000 a match. For the Stockport game £60,000 of income deriving from ticket sales and concourse refreshments, but also in addition we have a lot booked into the hospitality lounges.”

Does this mean Dave Allen will have to put more money into the club and will he do so?

AC: “Almost certainly yes. And yes, he has made a commitment and so will do until the club changes ownership.”

Nothing like this has happened before. Are you worried by the current situation?

AC: “This is extremely worrying for everyone and this will affect everyone for a long time to come. Obviously protecting the players and staff is of paramount concern at the moment, the players and coaching staff have all been told to stay at home until Thursday. We have taken the decision to cancel all player school visits, and so far we have received no reported cases from within the club.

“Further cancellations have been made to the club-run events, and we are working closely with external bookings, should people wish to cancel or postpone functions.”

When do the players' contracts expire? What could happen if the season goes beyond the length of their contracts?

AC: “This would be a nightmare situation as the loan players’ contracts expire the end of April and some the end of May. We currently only have nine players in contract to the end of 2020/21 season, those out of contract, unless renewed, all finish at the end of June.

“There is obviously going to be players before that point who will know whether or not their contracts are going to be discussed or the players let go. I can’t see the season going beyond the end of June.”

What about John Pemberton's contract until the end of the season? Is that secure?

AC: “John’s contract does not end at the end of the season (rolling contract), so he will remain as manager, I have no worries there.”

Could the postponement of the season impact on the proposed takeover of the club?

AC: “Having spoken to Mike Goodwin (Chesterfield FC Community Trust chairman) this morning, he does not believe so at this stage. But everything everywhere is changing daily, and this does cause me a lot of worries. I just hope that their funders will still see the bigger picture and the long-term potential.”

How do you see the rest of the season panning out? Do you think it will resume in a few weeks or is there any chance it could be cancelled?

AC: “For me I am relaxed about it, we are not currently in a relegation position and that has got to be good news, whatever the decision taken.”

How do you think the National League has handled the situation?

AC: “I did comment on Friday evening, I thought our media department (Nick Johnson) did an excellent job and managed to voice our opinion on Sky Sports. “Slammed the decision” was quoted, this is how I felt. It was total madness to expect our team and loyal fans to travel five hours there and five hours back under the current circumstances.”