Chesterfield have made the move to appoint Martin Allen as their new manager following their relegation to the National League. Gary Caldwell and Jack Lester could not stop the club’s slide out of League Two, with the Spireites winning only 10 of their 46 matches. They will now play non-league football for the first time since 1921.
Allen ended the campaign in charge of Barnet, who also dropped out of League Two. He almost saved the Bees with a fine run of form in his eight games in charge of the club. However, Barnet were relegated on goal difference, despite defeating Chesterfield 3-0 on the final day of the term as Morecambe managed to survive by the skin of their teeth.
The Spireites suffered back-to-back relegations after previously descending from League One in the 2016/17 season. Allen steps into a losing culture at Proact Stadium, with the team in desperate need of a shake-up to secure their return to the Football League. Chesterfield will be one of the leading contenders for promotion from the National League and it will be worth monitoring the latest football betting tips to track their progress over the course of the off-season. However, with their pattern of losing in recent years, punters will be looking at something like William Hill’s £30 free bet to protect a gamble on the Spireites to come up.
Allen has a good track record of guiding teams out of the doldrums, having achieved promotion with Barnet in the Conference in the 2014/15 campaign. Barnet failed to bounce back from their relegation in the 2012/13 season after dropping out of the Football League. Allen arrived at the Hive Stadium for his fourth spell with the club and immediately had the Bees soaring back into League Two, finishing top of the table with 92 points.
He had stabilised Barnet in the fourth tier of English football before making the curious decision to join Eastleigh in the National League. However, he failed to replicate his success at his new venture and was sacked after 14 matches, winning only two games in the process. Allen spent a year out of the game before returning to Barnet where he almost pulled them out of the mire, winning five out of his eight matches in charge in his fifth spell, only to be thwarted by Morecambe.
Allen has a tough task on his hands taking the reins to revive the fortunes of the Spireites. Arguably the club’s best player last season, Louis Reed, will return to his parent club Sheffield United, while Kristian Dennis will not be short of suitors after scoring 21 goals in a struggling side. However, there’s an abundance of potential in the squad, none more so than 18-year-old midfielder Joe Rowley, who played 32 times in the last campaign, scoring four goals. Should Chesterfield be able to retain his services, he could be a key part in a resurgence back towards the Football League.
There’s experience in the ranks, with Robbie Weir also scheduled to return to the squad, and although the Spireites endured a tough campaign, players such as Jak McCourt and Bradley Barry may be able to find their feet again with the drop in competition. It could be the reset that Chesterfield need to begin another surge up the leagues.