Who Are Ya? - Chesterfield (#2)
How Long Have You Supported Chesterfield?
Since my early teen years, so well over 20 years now.
Last Season's League Finish?
Erm, quite low in the league above.
What Do You Think Of Your Manager?
I love the man like a love few others. An absolute legend as a player. He's referred to as 'Sir' Jack around these parts amongst the most committed of fans. A friend's partner was moved to ask when he was knighted so often was the reference made.
Hopes/Expectations This Season?
At this point anything more than the bottom two would be something. Obviously it'd be great to go on a run and still get in and around the top 7 but that's a long way off now and merely getting the players in a recognisable formation and doing the simple things well would be a start.
One(s) To Watch?
Very few of them for positive reasons; the league table doesn't lie. Young Joe Rowley is back from injury and those with a eye for these things talk about him having a real chance of going somewhere in the future.
Top Seven Predictions?
Luton, Exeter, Notts County, Coventry, Accrington Stanley, Lincoln (I had a bet pre-season, not just saying it) and unfortunately Mansfield in all probability.
Bottom Two Predictions?
Crawley and Morecambe.
Thoughts on Lincoln City?
Similar sized club to us. Massively under-performed in recent years and I was glad to see you back in the league. It's not a derby but it's close enough to be more interesting than most games.
Random Fact About Your Club?
We are the current holders of the Anglo-Scottish Cup. (we won it and it was never played again)
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Chesterfield Supporter?
The proudest won't be a surprise; seeing my side play in an FA Cup semi-final won't ever be repeated. Almost brings a tear to the eye just thinking back to it.
I've never been embarrassed though some of our recent antics, off the pitch especially, have got me pretty close to it.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
It's dormant effectively after saving the club from extinction in 2001 and then passing on control some years later. A lot of people did some amazing things back then to save a club on the brink after what proved to be the criminal antics at the club.
Which was your favourite match involving Chesterfield?
If it has to be one the 3-3 FA Cup semi-finals it is.
Which was your least favourite match involving Chesterfield?
There have been plenty of miserable defeats down the years and it's almost impossible to think of just one! Most of our relegations seem to have been with barely a whimper so perhaps one of the home defeats to non-league opposition claims that 'award'. The home defeat to Enfield in 1999 it is.
When Chesterfield were winning two League Two championships, was there any sense that the club was building a financial time bomb?
During the first one I don't think we were. Issues seem to have occurred later and the truth is far from out as to how with the cash from player sales, cup ties & decent crowds has failed to cover our outgoings.
The deal allegedly given to Chris O'Grady has been confirmed by Ashley Carson as the most lucrative in the club's history. Were you delighted at the time, or alarmed?
At the time and purely from a football point of view I was pleased. Claims by Ashley Carson tend to be taken with a pinch of salt but there's little doubt he will be very well paid. At this stage it isn't money well spent.
Jack Lester is an interesting appointment to say the least. Granted he is a club legend for his playing exploits, but is a rookie manager really the correct appointment with the club staring the National League in the face?
We've tried experienced. We've tried the previous year's title winner. We even tried Dean Saunders. None have worked for various reasons. My thoughts are that, status aside, his credentials are excellent and his standing will afford him huge goodwill. He will become a very good manager in time and where better to start than with us?
Some of the off-field shenanigans such as the infamous James Higgins affair, and the onfield embarrassments such as the payment of players by an apparently independent academy, and Liam Graham playing under a false name have dragged the name of the club through the mud. Not so much a case of shooting themselves in the foot, but using a machine gun to do it. How does the club move forward after that?
The short answer is new ownership although that seems some way off. Trust in the club is at an all time low and for good reason. The newly appointed CEO is a possible step in the right direction though.
What would your advice be to a Club that was thinking of moving Ground from an old established one with over 100 years of history, to a brand spanking new one, go ahead or not?
If it can be redeveloped on the site then work with what you have. If, like Saltergate and many others that isn't realistic then get on with it.
Following on from the above question, if you could build your new ground again, what would you do differently, and what would you keep?
It was short sighted not to include a supporters bar of some sort to suck up some of the takings going into the tills of local pubs. The ground itself is fine for our requirements though there have been a few occasions where a couple of thousand more seats wouldn't have hurt.
I guess some unique features would have made it more 'interesting' but there's only so much you can do with four boxes on a budget.
Who Are Ya? - Chesterfield (#1)