A share acquisition relating to the CFC International Football Academy Ltd has been made by FBT Sportswear.
Sir Rodney Walker, who has a wealth of experience in sports administration, is FBT Sportswear’s chairman and majority shareholder. Following the announcement, Spireites chief executive Chris Turner issued the following statement:
"Firstly, I am delighted that the future of the International Academy has been secured. It has been a long time getting to this stage and there have been ups and downs along the way, but I have always had confidence in the project.
"The potential of the organisation is immense, especially now it has the involvement of investors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in sport and business.
"It goes without saying that Sir Rodney Walker is a world-renowned figure in sport, particularly in football. For him to recognise the potential and quality of the International Academy fully endorses the views we have always held about the viability of the project.
"Over the last few months, I have refrained from making comments about the organisation as I felt that was the right thing to do while negotiations took place with the companies involved.
"I hope that certain people who tried to undermine the organisation will now recognise why we were so keen to ensure that it continued.
"As outlined previously, it has always been a footballing partnership between Chesterfield Football Club and the International Academy and that is how it will remain, with no financial ties.
"The Chesterfield FC annual accounts in November will show that no monies have been transferred to the International Academy, as has been claimed.
"The club's board of directors have been kept informed of developments and have fully endorsed the project from the start. We now look forward to an exciting future for the International Academy.”
Sir Rodney, whose chairmanships have included the Rugby League, World Snooker, Sport England and UK Sport, said: “I am delighted to be associated with the new FBT International Academy and for it to have its home in Chesterfield.
“I’m very impressed with the progress already made. I hope we can take this forward, not only in Chesterfield, as our ambition is to take this model globally.”
The new organisation will incorporate a programme for Under 9-16s, offering opportunities within football, combining quality coaching with education.
Following the 50% share acquisition, the organisation will now be known as the FBT International Football Academy. Liam Sutcliffe, who founded the CFC International Academy, will take on the role of chief executive officer in the new company.