Protest organiser '˜surprised' at content of text messages from Chesterfield FC director
A lifelong Chesterfield fan who has organised a protest against the club's decline says he's '˜surprised' by the content of a series of text messages from a Spireites director.
In the messages, sent to Paul Goodwin’s partner and seen by the Derbyshire Times, Spireites director Ashley Carson said Mr Goodwin would be banned if this Saturday’s protest led to trouble and suggested club owner Dave Allen could pull his funding.
Last week Mr Goodwin, who runs Bridge Inn Blues travel club, went public with his plans for a ‘peaceful gathering’ at 2.30pm before the FA Trophy game against Basford United.
In response, Mr Carson said in a club statement that the club owner remained ‘committed to improving the club’s fortunes.’
And in messages sent to Mr Goodwin’s partner he said that as the ‘ring leader’ of the protest, Mr Goodwin could end up with a banning order from the club if there was trouble or arrests.
He also said owner Dave Allen may also pull his financial backing, which would leave staff without pay at Christmas, and Mr Goodwin would be ‘held responsible.’
Mr Carson made attempts to contact Mr Goodwin directly, in order to arrange a meeting. He also offered to appear at the Bridge Inn for a question and answer session.
When Mr Goodwin failed to respond, Mr Carson sent another message to his partner saying the owner had confirmed he would not pay December’s wages if there was any protest.
Club chairman Mike Warner also got in touch with Mr Goodwin and invited him to meet at the Proact before last weekend’s game against Salford City.
Mr Goodwin declined the invite and on Saturday evening received emails from Mr Carson, also seen by the Derbyshire Times, informing him that manager Martin Allen was ‘devastated’ by the planned protest and suggesting a loan player was considering a move elsewhere.
The player, Alex Kiwomya, has since been confirmed as remaining with the club on loan for another month.
In reply, Mr Goodwin reiterated that the protest is not about football, but the situation the club finds itself in.
He explained that the Bridge Inn would not be a suitable venue for holding a Q and A event and said he felt meeting Mr Warner would not have been ‘appropriate.’
On Monday morning Mr Goodwin told the Derbyshire Times that he was ‘surprised’ by the content of the messages sent by Mr Carson, but the protest would still be going ahead.
“Yes, it will still be happening,” he said.
“No one was more pleased than me to see Saturday’s result, but this was never about the football.
“Just this morning the club have released a statement about the accounts and we’re falling even deeper into debt, no one has any hope of that changing any time soon.
“We don’t expect the protest to change anything, but at least we can say we did something.”