Chesterfield’s inexorable slide continued with yet another 1-1 draw on Saturday, this time away at Eastleigh. It was a good result on the day, but one where our lack of firepower left us in the bottom four of the National League.
Compare and contrast our fortunes with those of Wigan Athletic, if you will, a team from a similar-sized town to Chesterfield, yet one which has to compete for support with Rugby League.
Wigan did not even get into the Football League until the 1980s and, after that, rattled around in the lower tier until local businessman Dave Whelan came along in 1995.
He bought the club, built a new stadium, and won three promotions in 10 years to take them into the Premier League and an FA Cup final victory.
Whelan has just sold the Latics to a Hong Kong-based firm, International Entertainment Corporation, for £22m.
Wigan currently sit 17th in the Championship, just above Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday. Their manager is a bloke called Paul Cook and their main midfielder, is one Sam Morsy.
In an almost mirror image of Wigan is Chesterfield, also owned by a local businessman called Dave, who appears to send packing potential suitors, from China, Sweden and closer to home.
Roberto Martinez, who managed Wigan to their greatest ever triumph at Wembley, was recently quoted as saying “Dave Whelan is the reason that Wigan achieved what they achieved. He had an incredible vision, he was a winner and everything he did was done properly — and that was contagious.”
I think our great leader avowed that his vision was to get the club into the Championship and flog it.
Perhaps he could take a tip from Dave Whelan on how this can now be achieved; although to be fair we do have a contagious culture at the club, but one which involves a rather more downward trajectory than we’d hoped for.
At the time of writing, time must be running out for manager Martin Allen, upbeat in press conferences and very proud of our unbeaten run, which is also a non-winning league run of 18 games.
Allen was actually previously sacked at Saturday’s opponents, Eastleigh, after not winning for seven matches and guiding them to 15th place in the National League a spot which would now be regarded as success by most Spireites.
I recently had the misfortune to drive past The Darlington Arena, which used to be home to the local football team who now don’t play there anymore but ground share with Bishop Aukland.
Darlo, once Football League regulars, now sit 16th in the National League North, two places below Alfreton. Frankly we have more chance of ending up like them than Wigan.