COLUMN: Chesterfield's Allen and Allen show set to be pure box office

Dave Allen, the Chesterfield board, the supporters and the local media all have one thing in common.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 11:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 12:01 pm
Chesterfield FC owner, Dave Allen, right, addresses the press conference at the unveiling of Martin Allen, left, as new manager.

All of the above mentioned parties want Chesterfield to win football matches and bring success to the Proact.

The motives behind that desire are all different.

Dave Allen hates failure, desires success and wants to recoup his investment. He needs the club back in the Football League to stand any chance of doing so.

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Fans want something to cheer about, they want their beloved club to thrive and take its rightful place in, at least, League One.

The board, the men betowed with the honour of being the custodians for this part of the club’s long history, want to be able to say they’re directors of a successful club.

And the press want to report on something positive.

The more Chesterfield win, the more people will attend games, read stories, listen to commentaries and interact with the various media platforms.

Wishing to see a winning football team on the Proact pitch is the only common ground that unites all concerned with Chesterfield FC.

There was, this week, an opportunity for a bridge to be built between the powers that be and the punters.

But instead of bricks and mortar, Allen came to the managerial unveiling armed with sticks of dynamite as he doubled down on his criticism of everyone else.

The board, the fans, the press and ex managers all felt the blast.

Many supporters have reacted with anger, some have accused myself and other journalists of giving the casino supremo an easy ride and a few have even expressed begrudging admiration for the man’s stubborn adherence to his views.

I’ve only interviewed Dave Allen once and already I can vouch for a belief held by others more versed in his ways – he simply will not back down.

No line of questioning from a journalist or outcry from fans will alter his mind one iota.

Does it matter, what he thinks and who he blames?

Supporters did not sack Dean Saunders, nor did they appoint any of the managers who have come through the door since.

The board did not recruit the players who have delivered successive relegations.

The press did not invent the various issues that have befallen the club in the past three years.

The Proact Stadium would not be standing and the club would not have survived without Allen’s countless millions.

Those are all facts.

We know what the fans think, we know what was been reported and now we’re all very aware of what the owner believes.

None of those things will change, Allen will remain owner until such a time as a buyer comes along with a suitable offer and life at the club must now go on.

His explosive interviews at the unveiling of his chance of manager, Martin Allen, won’t win any awards for services to PR.

But the majority shareholder’s bullish nature might be the catalyst for a quick return to the Football League.

Had some of last season’s squad shown a similar disliking for backing down, the National League might not be opening its arms to the Spireites.

Here’s what Town fans can take, as positives, from his utterings – he hates failure, he intends to put it right and he has, now, the manager he believes is the right man to deliver.

Let’s not forget that Allen has already financed one charge from League Two to the League One play-offs.

Would you bet against him doing it again, now that he’s taking a more active role in Proact proceedings?

One line of his interview leapt out at me in particular: “You don’t have to like people to have them working for you, if they’re successful at their job.”

Allen was discussing his namesake at the time, but perhaps it’s a mantra by which Town fans can reconcile themselves, for now, with the situation at their club.

He says he never intended to be here at this stage and certainly never planned to continually hold the club’s head above the water with huge cash injections.

His time as owner will one day come to an end but right now, like him or loathe him, he’s in control.

Do you have to like Dave Allen to enjoy football matches, if the team is winning?

Martin Allen, the new gaffer, might well be cut from a similar cloth to the owner.

He doesn’t come across as a man who will compromise on his beliefs and has already vowed to lay down his law for the players to follow.

Oh to be a fly on the wall if ever the manager and owner disagree.

If they’re singing from the same hymn sheet, however, it could be melodious and Town could make their stay in non-league a short one.

Whatever your feelings on either man, the multi-millionaire who made his fortune from the leisure industry has ensured the months to come will be pure box office.

Martin Allen knows how to light a fire under a club, Dave Allen’s riches could be the bellows.

It could all go down in flames or they could set the National League ablaze.

It’s not going to be boring, is it?