'We're not rabble rousers' '“ Chesterfield fans planning '˜peaceful gathering' to protest '˜sad decline' of their club

A lifelong Chesterfield supporter says his planned Proact protest is not about manager Martin Allen, but the club's '˜sad decline.'

Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 8:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th December 2018, 10:00 am
Fans Gallery from the match between Chesterfield FC v Havant & Waterlooville FC at The Proact Stadium Chesterfield - 17-11-18 Image by Jez Tighe

Paul Goodwin, who runs the Bridge Inn Blues travel club, has arranged a ‘peaceful gathering’ for 2.30pm on 15th December, when Basford United visit in the FA Trophy.

He insists the aim of the protest is not to stop anyone going to the game, but recently decided something had to be done to express supporter discontent.

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Having first gone to a game with his grandfather in 1966, Mr Goodwin says he’s saddened and alarmed by where the Spireites currently find themselves.

“I had my first season ticket in 1970, next July it will be 10 years that I’ve been running the travel club,” he said.

“The football club has been the biggest part of my life, apart from my family, I can’t describe what it means really.

“I care a lot about the club and I don’t like to see it where it is now.”

Bridge Inn Blues have enjoyed a good relationship with the club, helping to finance equipment and sponsoring shirts.

So the decision to hold a protest was not taken lightly, Mr Goodwin says.

“We’re not rabble-rousers but I can’t quite see how the club survives if it continues like this,”he said.

“It became apparent that there was a need for something to happen, even just an expression of opinion.

“People are giving up on the club and if there’s no club next year, or not in the sense we know it, and you’ve not tried anything, you haven’t got a chance then”.

“It’s only more work and potential grief, so I didn’t do it lightly.

“I don’t expect it to change anything particularly.

“There’s been quite a positive response but what I want to be very clear about is that I’m not trying to stop anyone from going.

“This is not about Martin Allen or previous managers, it’s about the sad decline of a club that means a lot to the town, to the borough.

“If there’s no club in a year’s time and you didn’t try something, then you’ve got no chance.”