Club owner Allen tells MP he did not accept offer for Spireites, despite directors’ statements

Dave Allen, chairman of the A&S Leisure Group and current Chesterfield owner
Dave Allen, chairman of the A&S Leisure Group and current Chesterfield owner
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Chesterfield owner Dave Allen says he did not accept an offer to buy the club before Christmas.

Despite club directors Ashley Carson and John Croot, and agent Lucas Cominelli, who represented the interested party, all saying a deal had been agreed, Allen told MP Toby Perkins the offer had never been accepted.

Mr Perkins, posting on a supporters message board, said: “(Dave Allen) described the potential buyers as ‘tyre kickers’ and ‘time wasters’.

“When I discussed the specific offer that had been accepted, he denied that an offer had been accepted.

“When I told him that I had seen paperwork which suggested that the offer had been accepted, he said that it hadn’t been accepted by him. It didn’t have his name on it, and so it had never been accepted.”

Mr Carson told the Derbyshire Times on 29th December that a deal had been agreed and on 7th February Mr Croot expressed his disappointment that the deal had stalled after, in his words, ‘a figure for the sale of the club was agreed.”

Three weeks later Mr Cominelli added: “I approach both sides, they make an agreement and after that, I’m out, I don’t know what happened.”

The owner also informed Mr Perkins that a takeover, involving a different bidder, was close to completion.

“He said that he was now close to a new deal to buy the club being agreed that they had shaken hands on the deal and that he expected it to go through in relatively short time,” said the MP.

“He described this deal ‘as much better for the club’ and said ‘fans should be careful what they wish for’.

“I also asked him about the sustainability of the club long term, and he said that in the event of relegation he would continue to keep the club going, but that it would need to run with a much lower budget than ‘the third highest budget in League Two’.”

The pair also discussed Mr Allen’s November 2016 resignation as chairman and his belief that Chesterfield supporters had not attended games in the numbers he anticipated.

Mr Perkins said: “What came across most strongly was his continued and deep seated resentment about ‘the fans bawling out Dean Saunders’ he referred to it on a couple of occasions, and said that DS would have been a good manager and that fans hadn’t given him a chance and that other directors had never been behind the appointment.

“He claimed that Danny Wilson was ‘the fans choice and look how that ended’ and clearly felt very bitter about the entire affair.

“He also spoke about having been libelled and said that one person was in very big trouble for saying things that weren’t true. He said ‘if he lives in a house, he’ll soon be living in a tent.’

“He also felt that Chesterfield fans hadn’t turned out in the numbers he expected, he said Rotherham would have got 8,000 when we were only getting 5,000 I said that I thought the support was similar to Rotherham in similar circumstances.

“He said to ‘look it up’. In actual fact in the first season in the new stadium, average crowd was almost 7,000 and in Rotherham’s first season in their new stadium, their average was almost 8,000 so 1,000 apart but not 3,000.

“I clarified with him that he was happy for me to go public with everything that had been discussed, and he said that he was.”

Mr Allen’s statements are expected to be a topic of discussion at tonight’s Chesterfield FC AGM at the Proact Stadium.