STAGS REJECT WHITE BID
Stags reject White bid
CHAD, 12 June
Mansfield Town have rejected a bid from a Conference club to sign Andy White.
And the big striker is now mulling over an improved offer from the Stags to stay at Field Mill.
White had rejected the club's initial offer and, although the new offer in an increase on that figure, it is still well short of White's asking price under manager Keith Curle's new incentive-based wages structure.
"There was a bid for Andy this week which we turned down out of hand," said chairman Keith Haslam.
"I am sure Andy wants to stay here and we want him to stay. We feel, if he fulfils his potential, he can become a lead striker for us.
"But he has to develop now. He is old enough now and that's why we want him to stay.
"We spoke to his agent at length and I can tell you that Andy will not get the money he is looking for. But he will if he is a first team regular.
"That is our philosophy at the moment.
"We have to look at incentives for players and not guarantees.
"And even the basic wages we are offering are in excess of the regional average wage. For young men of 20 and 21 that can't be bad."
Stags' wages clampdown is part of a new Nationwide Division Three policy to cap wages at 60 per cent of club turnover. Clubs not having imposed that structure by the end of next year will face League sanctions.
"We have got to be realistic with wages now," said Haslam. "I have just returned from the Chairmens' Conference and the strong message there was that all clubs have to cut back if we are to survive.
"We have got to adhere to this new 60 per cent salary capping which will be tough for a lot of clubs and we still have a lot of players here on Division Two wages.
"The transfer market is very quiet at the moment with people on holiday and players, who were earning five or six grand a week last season still thinking they can earn that sort of money.
"They won't take the first offer of £650-700 a week but will soon wake up when they realise there are no other clubs ringing them."
It looks unlikely the proposed extension of play-off places in the Nationwide League will happen this season after a decision on the idea was deferred at the annual meeting, though it looks likely to be a divisional decision.
"It doesn't look likely to happen this season now as we need to put together a steering group and an EGM isn't being called until September," he said.
"We are far more concerned with more pressing issues like the current financial difficulties at clubs like Barnsley, Luton, Wimbledon and Oldham.
"All of a sudden they have severe financial problems and it has to be monitored. Oldham are losing £50,000 a week and Wimbledon's backers have pulled out leaving them very vulnerable.
"These are going to be very troubled times for clubs this year and next until players accept how things are and accept less wages. I am not knocking players.
"Managers and chairman have offered them the big wages and the players have naturally accepted them.
"This is all still a knock-on from the ITV Digital debacle and, with no big TV money around for the foreseeable future, the only money clubs can make is by bigger gates, commercial activities, local sponsorship and working with the local community."
He added: "Player-wise I can tell you no more first team players will be leaving the club, contrarary to supporters' rumours. There is to be no supposed big clear out. Players are contracted and staying put.
"These are largely the players who got us promoted and then got us relegated and now have a great chance to put that right. They are more experienced now and I think we look very strong.
"They did not embarrass themselves in Division Two and, if certain players can grow up, both in themselves and physically, then we could be in for a good season.
Latest | June 2003