Martin Allen reveals relief as takeover talks are ended and looks to sign trialist
Martin Allen was refereeing an Under 10s game when he got the call to say a takeover of Chesterfield FC was looking unlikely.
Confirmation arrived soon after that the club had ended talks with a potential buyer and the manager has told the Derbyshire Times of his relief.
He insists he would not have been able to work under a director of football, having enjoyed a good working relationship with his bosses since his arrival in May.
“I met two men, the owner and the company secretary, and they were the ones that backed me to come in and manage this club, they were the ones who said it needed rebuilding, it needed me to take control of everything and do what I wanted to do,” he said.
“They said they would support me and back me in everything I was going to do.
“They have said no a couple of times, but that’s never bothered me, everything else they’ve let me get on with.
“They’ve asked questions, who I’m signing and I’ve explained in detail how I know them, where I know them from.
“To then change and have a director of football overseeing everything I do?
“To come in and be told who I can and can’t sign, that idea is not for me.”
Allen says he was concerned for his own morale, at the prospect of working in such a different way.
“It wouldn’t have worked for me.
“It would have been very frustrating.
“It would probably have ended up with me being unwell and unhappy.
“I don’t want to be an unhappy person and an unhappy manager, I want to enjoy my spell.”
He revealed how he got the news about the aborted negotiations.
In typical Allen style, there was a story to go with it.
“I had a phone call last night from my boss, letting me know that he had reports of what a great night it was, with a great atmosphere and a great performance. He was really pleased for me.
“He then told me the deadline had been set for tea time today.
“I’ve been down in Kent helping a friend who runs a coaching school, I go down one day a year as a favour.
“All day I’ve been in the boiling hot sun with these 10-year-old kids at a private school in Kent, waiting for my phone to ring.
“About three I got a phone call, just when the World Cup finals were starting and I was reffing, to say it hasn’t happened, they had another couple of hours but he didn’t think it was going to happen.
“I left just after to get back for our open night and just after 5 I got another call to say the deal was off.”
His reaction was one of relief, because he felt his time as Spireites boss would have been over before ever taking charge of a competitive game.
“I rang my wife Lisa - our last lorry is coming up from our house next Tuesday, and we didn’t know if it was coming to take us back down or bring the last of our furniture up.
“We didn’t know which way we were going.
“We said to each other despite all the signings and all the changes, I didn’t want to work for anyone else.
“I wasn’t interested in all the hassle of a power struggle, I don’t need that.
“We said to each other it would be over.”
Transfer business had been temporarily halted this week as talks with the consortium reached a critical point.
Now, Allen can get on with finishing his 2018/19 Chesterfield squad.
The first item on his agenda is to get trialist Sam Muggleton and his long throw signed up as a permanent addition.
“My boss has given us permission to sign Sam Muggleton, we will get him done tonight or tomorrow morning.
“It must be made perfectly clear he has been a champion in this division.
“He made 26 appearances in that season, not all of them starting, but he often came off the bench because his throw can be very, very important.
“Is it great to watch? No, it’s not, but is it effective? Yes it is.
“It helps us win games and protect leads.
“He might not play every game but it’s a good part of someone to have in your 16.
“He understands and respects that.
“He had a massive role to play in that championship season at Barnet.”