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Disturbing reason behind Chesterfield suspending manager James Rowe revealed

The disturbing reason behind Chesterfield suspending their now former manager James Rowe has been revealed by the Daily Mail.

There is some anger towards the Football Association for failing to safeguard women in football with Rowe being allowed to take another job not too long after he was axed by the Spireites.

Sportsmail report that he was got rid of for sexual indecency with Chesterfield issuing a ‘letter of concern’ to the FA after he was appointed manager of AFC Fylde in March, with a warning that he ‘posed a potential danger to women’, though this allegation is denied by Rowe.

Rowe was suspended by the Derbyshire outfit on the 24th of January and subsequently left by ‘mutual consent’ two weeks later following what the club described as ‘allegations of misconduct’.

It was just a month after that he was appointed manager at Fylde on a three-year contract.

Fans were kept in the dark for a while over Chesterfield’s decision to suspend Rowe, sitting second in the National League at the time and had gone as far as the third round of the FA Cup, losing at Chelsea.

Sportsmail say they launched an investigation to find out just why and uncovered some serious details which in turn raises serious issues about the safety of women in football and the sport’s handling of complaints involving alleged sexual harassment.

There are allegations against Rowe, stating that he exposed himself to a female on Chesterfield FC premises, something he denies.

Fylde have been accused of failing to seek references from the Spireites about Rowe before naming him as their new boss him despite claiming to have conducted due diligence.

Chesterfield warned in a letter to the FA that James Rowe was a potential danger to women in football, and the governing body responding that the alleged victim’s age meant the case did not raise safeguarding issues.

Chesterfield are calling for a formal review of the FA’s safeguarding policies.

A source with knowledge of the case told Sportsmail: ‘Serious allegations have been made and there are concerns about whether it is appropriate for him to continue working in football until all investigations have been completed.

‘The FA claim that it is not a safeguarding issue as the alleged victim is over 18, but young adults can still be vulnerable, particularly women in a macho, male environment.

‘In their press release announcing his appointment, Fylde claimed they did due diligence on his departure from Chesterfield, but as far as I’m aware they didn’t contact anyone at the club.’

In a statement on Rowe being appointed by Fylde back in March, Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite said: ‘We have done our due diligence on James, and while it is clear he is no shrinking violet, we are confident that James will bring a winning mentality to the club, which we all want.

‘Over the last four days, we have had several meetings with James both face to face and, in my case, as I am away on business, over Teams (a text and video messaging app). We have all been struck by James’s openness, burning ambition and desire to win.’

While the FA have turn down an opportunity to speak, sources at Wembley told Sportsmail they are aware of the case and had conducted preliminary inquiries.

One source said the FA were waiting for other investigations to finish before formally opening their own, and questioned whether the case would raise safeguarding issues due to the age of the alleged victim.

Rowe denies all the allegations, and told Fylde there was no substance to it before linking up with them as their new manager. He declined to comment when asked by Sportsmail, though claims Chesterfield sacked him due to of a fall-out with a male member of the club’s executive team.

Sources at Fylde suggest that they tried to get in contact with Chesterfield to shed some more light on why Rowe was suspended, going on to appoint, though claimed Chesterfield refused to get back to them on the grounds that they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with their former manager before his departure.

Fylde staff began their own inquiries and in turn got the green light to appoint.

Chesterfield’s internal investigation found the club satisfied there was enough evidence against Rowe to terminate his stay at the Technique Stadium.

Rowe was axed in a previous job as assistant academy director at West Ham in 2015, being disciplined by the club following a formal complaint regarding his treatment of young players, though on this occasion there was no allegations of sexual misconduct or physical violence.

A while back, many will recall Fylde getting slammed for their attitude towards women, getting accused of discrimination for posting a job advert saying those not to bother applying ‘if they have to pick the kids up from school twice a week at 3.30’.

The advert for a general manager read: ‘We work hard at Fylde, so again don’t apply if you are looking for a ‘work-life balance’ or have to pick the kids up from school twice a week at 3.30. This is a ‘hands-on role’ and requires hands-on leadership from the front so ‘delegators’ and ‘office dwellers’ please don’t apply.’

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