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Archived News from December 2005

27th December 2005 20:28

TEAM Mansfield Press Release
27 December 2005

Responses to comments made by Keith Haslam regarding the proposed restructuring of the football club.

· TEAM Mansfield is pleased that Keith Haslam has at last revealed details of how he intends to repay the illegal loans he has taken from MTFC over the past 9 years. Whilst TEAM Mansfield welcomes any statement from the Chairman about his intentions for our club, they are shocked and dismayed that Keith Haslam will use MTFC's own money to repay his personal loans. In short MTFC will pay a dividend to Stags Ltd and Mr Haslam will use this money to repay the loans. MTFC will be no better off, indeed it is likely more money will be lost if the dividend payment to Stags Ltd exceeds the loans. It is also unclear from the statement how Mr Haslam intends to repay his personal loans – we would ask Mr Haslam to clarify this.

· Keith Haslam says that recent adverse publicity surrounding MTFC instigated by TEAM Mansfield has damaged the club. We would just like to remind Mr Haslam of the following:
- It is Mr Haslam and Mr Haslam alone who has taken nearly £1.2m in personal loans from MTFC. The fact that TEAM Mansfield has challenged this behaviour and brought it to public attention is to the credit of all honest Stags fans and TEAM Mansfield. The fact that Mr Haslam has been exposed and the consequent knock on effects of alleged lost sponsorship are the sole responsibility of Mr Haslam.
- Mr Haslam has chosen to run MTFC as its sole director, Chairman, Chief Executive and majority shareholder over the past years. The inevitable personality driven organisation which has alienated a large number of Stags fans, a series of Managers and administrative staff at the club, Mansfield business people and the Mansfield community at large is a consequence of Mr Haslam's stewardship of our club, no one else.

· Mr Haslam is disappointed TEAM Mansfield would not wait for him to announce the details restructuring before we took legal action. He will forgive our cynicism but he may remember the following announcements that were never fulfilled:
- 1996 AGM– The Accounts and AGM were three years late. Mr Haslam promised it would not happen again. Accounts and AGM's have been late every year since.
- 1999 AGM – Mr Haslam promises to repay his loan from MTFC, then at £108,000. This never happened and went on to top £1.1m in subsequent years.
- 2002 – TEAM Mansfield Agreement signed. Mr Haslam promises to take no more loans and produce accounts on time. In 2004 the loan increases and accounts continue to be published late.

· This list is far from exhaustive but we believe it illustrates the behaviour of a man who is either unable or unwilling to keep promises made either informally or formally at AGM's or in legally binding agreements. TEAM Mansfield WILL NOT stop legal proceedings until the loans are repaid.

· TEAM Mansfield has never suggested that Keith Haslam benefited personally from the £33,000 it invested in MTFC in return for Community shares and refutes Mr Haslam's statement regarding this. TEAM Mansfield went to enormous lengths to ensure this did not happen. Indeed, the class of shares TEAM Mansfield created in MTFC (this work was not completed by MTFC as suggested in the Chairman's statement) was largely driven by the desire NOT to purchase shares from Mr Haslam or his businesses.

· TEAM Mansfield has not contributed further funds to MTFC as highlighted by Mr Haslam in his statement because the Agreement signed in 2002 allowed for MTFC to appoint a Supporter Director, an option that was never taken up or indeed seriously considered by Mr Haslam. TEAM Mansfield strongly believes that in order to ensure proper corporate governance at MTFC , the expertise and independence of a Supporter Director and a formal Board at MTFC is essential before any further funds could be invested. We are pleased Mr Haslam finally recognises the need for a proper Board and will work to ensure at least one Board member is a Supporter Director. Unfortunately, Mr Haslam has shown his contempt for Stags fans in the past by ignoring their reasonable needs and we challenge him to make a Supporter Director the new Chairman of MTFC to oversee the restructuring.

· Given Mr Haslam's appalling track record of corporate governance at MTFC we would be surprised if there is anyone who is willing to invest substantial funds in MTFC to enable the proposed restructuring to occur whilst Keith Haslam retains majority control. TEAM Mansfield would be happy to discuss investment in the club with Mr Haslam if he is prepared to relinquish his majority shareholding and resign as Chief Executive.

· The Board of TEAM Mansfield fully understands all the commercial and legal issues surrounding potential acquisition or investment in MTFC. We understand that shares would be acquired from Stags Ltd, we understand that this would benefit Keith Haslam and not MTFC, we also believe, that for a reasonable market price this would be worth it to remove Mr Haslam from our club.

· TEAM Mansfield are disappointed that Mr Haslam has chosen to try a 'divide and conquer' strategy concerning TEAM Mansfield shares and gifting them to the SSA. The SSA and TEAM Mansfield have worked closely together over the past 5 years with the SSA having 3 representatives on the TEAM Mansfield Board. Much of the progress made by SSA over recent years has been a consequence of the fan Community Consultation Team (CCT) meetings instigated by TEAM Mansfield and the willingness of both organisations to work together to achieve their objectives. We know that the SSA fully support TEAM Mansfield and will reject this pathetic and divisive offer by Mr Haslam. TEAM Mansfield will also not make it easy for Mr. Haslam by selling its shares back to him - we will continue to use our minority shareholding to influence things for the better at MTFC.

· TEAM Mansfield urges all Stags fans to continue to work to remove the current regime from our club. Mr Haslam does not own MTFC he is merely the present custodian and we will be here long after he is gone. We are appalled that Mr Haslam seems proud of his achievements at MTFC over 13 long years and ask him to recognise that his doubtful usefulness to our club is long past. He has got what he wants from MTFC and we urge him not to try and prolong his tenure by instigating half baked restructuring plans. Mr Haslam is not returning the money he took illegally back into our club nor has he any intention of investing in MTFC's future. We implore Mr Haslam to use the restructuring as a vehicle to satisfy his personal exit plans and then GO! We do not want him maximising his personal gain from this transaction and then hanging on as Chief Executive continuing to make poor decisions whilst our beloved club continues to under-perform. Further investment from the local community will not be forthcoming and the club will not be run in the interests of MTFC whilst he remains in charge.


Any questions about TEAM Mansfield should be directed to the Joint Chairmen, who are:-
Colin Dobell, Jeff Barnes. Contact us

Meanwhile, if you have not read "The Haslam Years", then go to the recently revamped TEAM Mansfield website at http://www.teammansfield.co.uk


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