Spireites director says ‘we’re no soft touch’ as club slashes spending on agents fees

Proact Stadium, Chesterfield
Proact Stadium, Chesterfield
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Chesterfield FC are no longer a ‘soft touch’ when it comes to transfer deals, according to a club director.

Ashley Carson, the company secretary at the Proact, says a big reduction in the fees paid to agents backs up his claim.

The man who has been running affairs at the club for owner Dave Allen, believes things have changed for the better in recent months.

“The culture within the football club has changed dramatically in the last six to eight months and we as a company are no longer a soft touch,” he said.

“I would like to think that we are firm but fair.”

Carson was speaking after the club’s head of recruitment and development Guy Branston compiled a report, seen by the Derbyshire Times, into the amounts paid to agents in the club’s transfer dealings over the past five years.

The report states that in 31 transactions between April and the close of the transfer window last week, the club paid out a total of £17,500 in fees to intermediaries.

This accounts for agents fees paid on new contracts and manager Gary Caldwell’s summer dealings in the transfer market, alongside Branston and Carson.

Branston compared that with the £163,864 paid in fees for the 45 transactions completed during Paul Cook’s reign as manager, the £87,226 covering the 19 transfer deals during Dean Saunders’ short tenure and the £143,412 spent over the course of 31 transactions during Danny Wilson’s stint as boss.

The report points out that all three of those amounts were paid while Chris Turner was CEO at the club. According to the report, overlapping and outstanding payments from past ins and outs will account for an extra £45,540 during the 2017/18 season.

The former Notts County recruitment chief believes the information will help Chesterfield as they strive to improve their financial footing.

“It needed doing so we can see where we are and how we can learn from what has happened, and hopefully it will help take the club forward, financially,” said Branston.

“Supporters can see transparency and see we’re trying to do the right things.

“We’ve got hard working people behind the scenes, working their socks off and we’re pushing in the right direction.”

Whilst Carson is keen to highlight and celebrate an apparently significant saving, he acknowledges that dealing with agents is a necessary function when it comes to recruiting and selling players.

“There has to be the right balance so as not to alienate agents with future deals,” he said.

“We have to accept that agents and player representatives are part of the game and can be very useful and helpful to both a club and players.”

Carson said the report has been verified by the club’s accountants, Shorts.