A club director has revealed that a pair of Chesterfield FC players’ wages were paid by a football academy formerly associated with the club.
Ashley Carson says he’s discovered that goalkeeper Myles Wright and forward Jake Orrell were paid by CFC Development Schools Ltd, a now liquidated company set up by former Spireites CEO Chris Turner and Liam Sutcliffe.
Wright made only one appearance as a Town first team player, while Orrell played four times for the club.
Both left Chesterfield last summer when Orrell turned down a new contract to sign for Hartlepool United and Wright was released.
Carson says he’s baffled by the situation.
“It has happened, I can confirm that,” he said.
“It’s £100 a week, it’s not big money but I don’t understand why.
“It wasn’t to get under the financial fair play.
“We as a club saved the money on it.
“I don’t understand and Sally (Swain, football secretary) doesn’t know why the development school is paying for the wages.”
Chesterfield’s company secretary doesn’t believe the club will get into any trouble with the sport’s authorities.
“Not as far as I’m aware, they weren’t significant players within the club,” he said.
“It’s a mystery.”
FA Rules relating to players state that: “All payments made to players must be made by the club and fully recorded in the accounting records of the club.”
EFL clubs are also bound by the Salary Cost Management Protocol which limits spending on player wages to a percentage of club turnover.
Turner, who in January was moved into a director of football role after five years as CEO before his new post was made redundant in March, insists the arrangement broke no rules.
“They were development school players, speak to Liam Sutcliffe,” he said.
“When Myles played for the first team he was non contract so it was fine, there were no problems.
“There were definitely no rules broken, nothing was wrong with any contracts or the FA or Football League would have pulled us up.”
Wight, now in non-league football, says it was after he signed a professional deal with the club that he was paid by the academy and he still isn’t sure why.
His one appearance came in the 2014/15 season when he wasn’t a contracted player at the Proact.
“I was a non contract player before I signed a pro contract,” he said.
“I was paid by the Development Centre when I signed my pro contract – I did find it strange, still to this day.
“I was still trying to find out from Liam Sutcliffe, why I wasn’t paid some months and why I wasn’t paid by the club.”
CFC Development Schools Ltd, an academy that was based at the CFC Village on Sheffield Road, opposite the Proact Stadium but legally separate from Chesterfield FC, went into voluntary liquidation on 1st March.
A creditors statement revealed that the company owed around £250,000.
Attempts were made to contact Sutcliffe and Orrell’s agent.