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Chesterfield bag £1 million Sport England loan but Chester denied

CHESTER have confirmed that the club’s application to the Sports Winter Survival Package for a loan has been turned down – while Chesterfield were granted a cool £1 million!

The National League North Blues were one of a number of clubs to request for financial help from the Government with revenue streams blocked by Covid restrictions.

It was initially understood that assistance to clubs at Steps 1 and 2 would come by the way of grants but that was later denied by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with clubs urged to apply for a low-interest loan instead.

Despite their season at Step 2 being declared null and void last month, Chester filed an application through the £300 million Sports Winter Survival Package but announced this week they have been turned down as the club were deemed to be no longer at risk.

A club statement read: “Sport England has provided a detailed explanation of its reasoning, and while disappointed, we accept the decision of the assessment board and thank them for their consideration.

“We are pleased the assessment board acknowledged we have experienced a significant fall in revenues due to the impact of COVID and noted our prudent financial management.

“Chester FC operates as a financially-sustainable football club without debt and maintains a special reserve, so therefore, we were not considered to be at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year.”

In contrast, however, Chesterfield – who are still playing behind closed doors in the National League at Step 1 – say they have been approved for a loan of just under £1 million.

Chairman Mike Goodwin told the club’s website: “We are one of the first clubs to receive the loan, which will be used to underpin our operational costs.

“It will make a significant difference to us during these challenging times and we would like to thank the National League and Sport England for their valued support.”

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