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Archived News from January 2004

20th January 2004 13:03

www.mansfieldtown.net reports that the speculation that Liam Lawrence will be signing for Rotherham United this week has been denied officially by Mansfield Town football club this morning (Tuesday).

Further details are available at http://www.mansfieldtown.net

Rumours have been fuelled by various articles in the media
(mostly emanating from the Rotherham end) which suggest that a deal has been struck
and it is only a matter of time before it is finalised. Both Stags Manager
Keith Curle and chairman Keith Haslam called an early morning press call to
put pay to these rumours which were spiralling out of control.

“Liam is still at this football club, Ronnie Moore did speak to me on Friday
and made a verbal offer which was less than the previous negotiations and
this was declined. As far as this football club is concerned Liam is still a
Mansfield Town player and that is as far as it goes. I believe that some
press and websites are saying that an offer has been made and is been
considered but I can unequivocally say that this not the case” Said Curle.

The other Keith, Chairman Keith Haslam outlined the facts in chronological
order saying:

“Rotherham, towards the end of November made us a verbal offer of £150,000
for Liam which they followed up in writing sparking rumours that Liam was
about to leave Mansfield Town, the offer was declined so they came back
with a slightly improved £175k which was turned down as well.
Both Keith and myself called Liam into the office and Liam explained
that he would like to ply his trade at the highest possible level and that
he is eager to do so. We explained to him that we appreciate this but any
move would have to be in the best interest of the club and Liam himself and
at this stage losing Liam was not in the best interest of the football club.
Our goal this season is to achieve promotion to Division 2 and we see Liam
as an integral part of our promotion push”
“It seems that Liam's absence from the team on Saturday against Leyton
Orient added fuel to the speculation. The official line of the club on the
day was that he wasn't fit and that was the case. Liam will be the first
to admit that since all this came to a head, his focus has suffered and as
such he wasn't mentally fit for the journey to London at the weekend.” Haslam added.
This drop in focus was apparent to a lot of the fans when talk about losing
our right midfield man first aired but did settle down and Liam got back to
the top of his game but getting a new agent, Colin Gibson brought it all
To the more cynical, a football agent's job is to move players around this
is how they earn their money and realising that he had a gem in Liam
contacted Rotherham again which stirred the situation up again prompting
Ronnie Moore's refreshed offer which came in at less than the last.
“The offer made by Rotherham was less than last time so the answer was no.
The top an bottom of it is that Liam is under contract to Mansfield Town
until 30 June, then he will have the option to accept the renewed contract
that we will offer or move on and take his trade to another club, that is
his right and he go anywhere he wants but until then we decide where he goes
and under what terms. Should he decide to move on at the end of his contract
the club he goes to would have to pay Mansfield Town Compensation under the
Bosman rule as he is still under 24 years old.” Added Haslam.

On a final thought he said...
“I believe that Liam is Mansfield Town through and through and as a product
of the Mansfield Town Centre of excellence I would like to some day see him
and the others form the same playing the higher reaches of the first
division but he will have to get the focus back and start playing the way
that generated all the interest in him in the first place and as I have
already said I would like to think that Liam will be a part of our Promotion


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