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Chesterfield receive 7-figure investment; Grimsby boss speaks National League finances

Chesterfield receive a surprise 7-figure investment while Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst speaks on finances in the National League.

There was a fair bit of money talk this week in the top tier of non league football, one that is great news for the Spireites and another maybe not good for the Mariners.

Chesterfield chief executive John Croot said it was a ‘day to remember’ when he was told two brothers from the area wanted to invest £1m in the club.

Businessmen Phil and Ashley Kirk, who are part of a family who support Chesterfield, confirmed their investment at Wednesday night’s AGM.

Phil plays a part in the oil industry while Ashley is recruitment, and both are to join the board ready for what should be an exciting future.

This partnership came about thanks to Spireites chief financial officer, Andy Fantom, who has knowledge of the duo for a while now.

Questioned by the Derbyshire Times what his reaction was when he was told of the investment, chief executive, John Croot said: “It was a day to remember.

“It (my reaction) was ‘wow’ and ‘incredible’.

“To me it just shows the unique place really of the football club.

“As someone who started the community trust, to think that it has led to taking over the club and encouraging someone to come in and invest, is incredible.”

He adds: “I have not known anything like it in my 35 years here.

“They are a family of Spireites and there is no angle to it other than they want to help the club.

“They want to give something back to the town and the community trust.

“We met them and straight away I could tell they were genuine.

“I have been in football a long time and over the last five years I have spoken to a lot of people who said they had come to invest in this club and generally within two to three minutes of meeting them I can tell they are not right.

“But when they start talking about players in the 80s, who they liked, who they didn’t like, who missed a penalty against who, you tend to know if they are supporters or not.”

“They were members of CFSS 20 years ago when the club was on its knees,” Croot said.

“They said they would invest at the appropriate time and that is what they have done.

“There is no hidden agenda, it is people that we know, we know they are a family of Spireites.

“I know that this will surprise a few people and seemingly it will have been plucked from nowhere but the truth is the family are passionate about the club, they want to help and they are in a position to do it.

“The community trust leading the club has brought this money into the club today and I think that says a lot about the governance model at this club.

“We have said to Phil that we want to try to make the club sustainable as we possibly can and Phil has given us some capital investment to make that happen.

“It puts us in a good place and it helps us kick-start capital projects that will help make us sustainable and that is what it is about.”

Meanwhile, staying on the theme of finances, Paul Hurst claims that a Solihull Moors player rejected a move to Grimsby Town when making a wider point about the finances of the National League.

His side, who sit 8th, suffered a 2-1 defeat against their play-off rivals on Tuesday night, a result that has Solihull in fifth place.

They are one of several perceived smaller clubs that have excelled in the National League this season.

Hurst spoke after the game of how one player opted to join Solihull over a move to Blundell Park due to wages.

“The results are always influencing how we leave the stadiums,” Hurst told Grimsby Live. “The majority of fans were clapping players, they saw effort and a decent performance.

“I put in my programme notes about not having it all our own way. We have to understand where Solihull are.

“They’re 11 games unbeaten. Sometimes, we don’t give the opponents enough credit. I spoke about this when we got relegated and came back to the club.

“I think we are better at understanding what this league is about. I tried to say in the press about what Solihull are as well.

“Just because they haven’t got the history this club have, they are a good team and want to progress. We saw that in the first half and then the second half we were the better team.

“I think they were a bit fortunate to get the result but they did because we didn’t punish them. They were clinical on the night.

“I don’t think some people understand, I genuinely don’t. As an example, one of their players decided to sign at Solihull over us.

“I won’t say who as that is unfair on the player but they did. You find out what they’re on, they earn more than what any of my players earn.

“It’s not as straightforward as what some people think, I can assure them of that. At the same time, we have to find a way.

“The first time I was here, we found a way and that’s what we need to do again. I think we have a decent-ish side, I don’t think many teams like playing us.

“We clearly are coming up a little bit short on certain occasions. I’m not giving up on it and I hope the players won’t either.”

Twitter reaction as Chesterfield receive 7-figure investment and Grimsby boss Paul Hurst speaks National League finances…

@Tom_Atkins107: I think that even if we don’t go up, the news that local business people want to invest in Chesterfield FC is the best we’ve had all season. The community trust truly have turned this club around, haven’t they? #spireites

@ConnSwales: Absolutely insane. The £££ these, wrexham and stockport have thrown about this season is mental

@FreddieNeedham8: ‘Here’s £1 million, do with it what you want’, just 1 normal day in this league is all I want

@dpearsoncfc: Start a Cal Roberts rumour again Liam.

@Tom_CFC_: we could get half a kabongo with that million!

@WallySpire: Thank You Kirk brothers👏🏻💙 #Spireites

@DextersDesciple: I’ve heard Vardy is looking for an easier league.

@ion_xd: Top teams don’t like playing us. They love it! #utm

@HertsGTFC: The “way” was having 2 decent goal scorers in Amond & Bogle who chipped in with great returns, we still haven’t got that despite Taylor & McAtee making a difference overall

@ion_xd: Fluff and nonesense. It’s quite clear that this bunch are half decent if allowed to play. Hurstball chess leaves them on the wrong side of ‘fine margins’. Let’s worry about who will come and let them play to their potential. #utm #gtfc

@7Sec4: I see people saying this from time to time but when I watch us play, I don’t see chess, I don’t know wtf “Hurstball” because we play some decent football at times and I see zero evidence that he constraints players, it’s just nonsense

@chalkey1973: The players just arnt good enough. Efforts alone wins you nothing

@Scorpion0107: Slightly concerned if Solihull are a more attractive proposition,possibly our club is out of touch with respect to what is required to be competitive at this level.For all the match day experience, the smile comes from winning and being successful,something we’re falling short on

@fishboygtfc: Far too many players, too many loans and too many cheap strikers in particular.

@nathjhill318: Don’t bring idiots like Joel Grant in on over 1k a week then who’d played about twice in 6 years beforehand 👍🏼

@GTFCMichael: Won’t happen when the salary cap comes in next season or will it !!

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