Chris Turner leaves CEO role to become Spireites director of football

Hartlepool United vs Chesterfield - Chris Turner - Pic By James Williamson
Hartlepool United vs Chesterfield - Chris Turner - Pic By James Williamson
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Chris Turner has become director of football at the Proact, leaving his role as Chief Executive Officer.

The 58-year-old former player and manager joined Chesterfield FC in December 2011.

During his time as CEO the club have enjoyed a promotion to League One, finishing as champions in the 2013/14 League Two season.

They also reached the play-offs the following year and have made it to two Football League Trophy finals, winning one.

While Turner has been lauded for his negotiating skills and attracting big transfer fees to the club for the likes of Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa, a section of the club’s supporters have been critical of the former Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United goalkeeper.

The Spireites needed to sell £2m worth of playing talent to come out with a small profit of around £40k in the past financial year.

In recent months it was known that company secretary Ashley Carson had taken control of the purse strings and has been running the club.

The 2015 appointment of Dean Saunders also drew criticism, the Welshman lasting just six months before being sacked, Danny Wilson being brought in to try and rescue the season before Town finished 18th in League One.

But Wilson too lost his job, his departure announced yesterday, with Town sitting in the relegation zone after 26 games of the current season.

Last year a Derbyshire Times investigation unveiled a series of issues at a football academy co-owned by Turner, including late payment of staff wages and money owed to parents for a football tour that never took place.

Although the academy was only associated with the club and legally separate, Chesterfield FC were dragged into the row when a club sponsor threatened to take legal action over the unpaid tour refunds.

The CEO has since resigned as a director of the academy.

Turner’s move to director of football has been expected for a number of weeks, the club evidently still valuing his wealth of contacts in the footballing world and his experience of negotiating transfer deals.

Carson has told the Derbyshire Times that the Turner will be heavily involved in the recruitment of Wilson’s replacement.

He said: “We’ve talked about the job going forward with the player recruitment for next season and it’s been decided that Chris Turner will move his role to director of football.

“That’s an important role for the club and I think at this moment in time Chris is the perfect person to move to that role, work with the new management team coming in and go out and identify players. He will go and watch them and feed back to the management team.”

The club currently have no plans to bring in a new CEO.

Carson said: “At the moment we’ve still got a lot of plates spinning in the air so there’s going to some fine tuning there. I need to speak to the management team internally.”