Mitch sets record straight on Chesterfield departure and next move

Chesterfield Football Club Press Day Paul Mitchell
Chesterfield Football Club Press Day Paul Mitchell
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Contrary to the conclusions of suspicious minds, there was no fall out that led to Paul Mitchell’s departure from Chesterfield.

And the only place he’s definitely going is Dubai – for a holiday.

The Spireites’ recently departed director of player development spoke to the Derbyshire Times to set the record straight on why he felt the time was right to leave the Proact.

Mitchell walked away from a five-year contract after just one year, sparking rumours of a fall out with the current managerial set-up.

He’s keen to dispel those rumours as myths, and while he’s mulling over offers from six clubs – including a Scottish Premier outfit – nothing is close to being finalised.

“It wasn’t just one day I decided, it was over a period of time,” he said.

“Sometimes you can stay in one place or do one thing for too long.

“What I really want to get across is that when anyone leaves a club everyone thinks there’s something insincere, something going on, and in a lot of cases there is – but I can categorically say 100 per cent that there were no fall outs with anyone.

“I haven’t fallen out with anyone in six years there, from top to bottom, chairman to the office girls.

“I’m proud that every manager I’ve worked with wanted to take me with them, so that says I did my job right.

“I just needed to change things, and do something else, maybe not even in full-time football.”

Mitchell knows that anyone reading his words through the filter of displeasure at the current regime at the Proact will doubt his sincerity.

“You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t,” he said.

“The chairman was fantastic to work for, a down to earth guy who lets you get on with your work.

“I know a lot about Dave Allen and a lot of people have worked for him for a lot of years, he might be old fashioned but if you work hard at your job there’s no problem. It’s an fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.

“It was fantastic to work for them all, and no matter how I put it, people will say I’m being told to say that, but anyone who knows me can tell you, no one tells me what to say, it’s how it is.

“It might be a bit boring but when you’re in two minds about something, it’s best to go – I could have stayed for four seasons but it’s not my way.”

In his time with the club, starting as a part-time scout and moving into more significant roles, Mitchell was involved in some special days.

He said: “The two promotions were the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“But the Wembley experiences were easily the highlights – you watch the FA Cup finals growing up and wish you could be involved at Wembley.

“Many top professionals don’t get to Wembley, so to be involved with a club like Chesterfield, stood there listening to the national anthem, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

“It was unbelievable, and although we lost one, I thought we acquitted ourselves well.”

In terms of deals he was involved in that brought him real satisfaction, Mitchell isn’t naming any names.

“It would be unfair to say one particular player, they all had a part to play, whether they were a good player for Chesterfield, a decent squad player or went on to better things.

“I think they’ve all played a part and there’s a few that with the right guidance can be the next ones who can bring the club a few quid.”

After six years at Chesterfield, where he was credited with a big part in the recruitment of the likes of Liam Cooper, Sam Clucas and Jimmy Ryan, Mitchell hasn’t been short of offers.

“I would have been upset if the phone hadn’t rang,” he admitted.

“I’ve brought a lot of money in and people in the game know the ins and outs.

“Six clubs I’ve spoken to, in all divisions except for the Premier which is a shame, I was hoping Manchester United would pick up the phone.

“A good club in the Scottish Premier has spoken to me, I’ve had an offer to manager a National League North club.

“I’m thinking all the offers over but I might not stay in football.

“I’ve got a daughter in Dubai and she’s a school teacher, so that has restricted the time I get to see her, so I’m off there to stay until I decide to come home.

“The clubs won’t hang about, they need to know, but I’ve got some breathing space and that’s just how it is.”

Mitchell is delighted Chesterfield secured their League One status with Saturday’s win against Bury, and says he can see better things next season, citing John Sheridan and Paul Cook’s settling in periods before they won promotion.

“They’re a fantastic bunch of lads and I know people watch football on TV and read newspapers and think they’re all highly paid superstars, and a few of them might be quite well paid compared to the average man but they’re not massively paid.

“I’m not privy to who will be staying or going but with the amount of players with ability in the team, with fresh impetus it could be a good year next year with stability - some of them had four managers in six months.

“Supporters sometimes have to go through a bit of pain to get that stability.

“I’m excited to see what can happen there.”