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Kidsons tasked with saving Chesterfield

Rod Withinshaw and John Ariel of mid-tier firm HLB Kidsons have been appointed joint administrators of Chesterfield Football Club, following months of financial difficulties.

Withinshaw and Ariel were appointed on Wednesday this week, and will work closely with the football authorities and directors of the club to try and ensure the survival of Chesterfield FC.

Speaking to Accountancy Age Withinshaw said: ‘At the moment we are looking into the financial affairs of the company and considering various options. At the court hearing we will have to satisfy the judge as to the manner in which the club will be funded in the future.’

He said more developments would come to light next week, adding that the mood at the club was extremely optimistic.

Earlier at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, the decision was taken to set up a separate bank account to hold in trust new money for payments such as season tickets.

It was also made clear to the club that a viable business plan would need to be established before a review of its case is heard in a Manchester court on 16 June.

Commenting on the task facing him, joint administrator John Ariel, said: ‘I know from my previous experience how much a part of the local community a football club is and we will do everything we can to ensure that this club survives.’

Howard Borrell, a spokesperson for Chesterfield Football Supporters Society, which now owns the club, remained optimistic following the meeting.

‘It is not the end, it’s probably the start of a new beginning,’ he said. ‘It’s going to be a long, hard road but this gives us a chance to regroup.’

Chesterfield’s financial position, meanwhile, remains dire. According to Ariel, there will be no significant income available to meet ongoing costs of the club during the close season. Debts at the club stand at Pounds 650,000.

‘But’, he said, ‘we will review all the options available to provide the necessary funding and will also make contact with potential investors who may wish to invest in the club.’

Chesterfield FC won automatic promotion to the second division of the Football League after finishing third this season. They were runaway leaders for much of the year, until they had nine points deducted in May by the Football Association after financial irregularities were uncovered.

The irregularities included breaching transfer rules over the signing of star striker Luke Beckett and the under-reporting of gate receipts.

Since April the club has been taken over by the fans, who bought a 78% stake in the club. The CFSS claims to have already raised Pounds 250,000 to be used to save the club, but admits fresh investment will be needed.


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