CHAD: STAGS CHIEF HASLAM COMES OUT FIGHTING
Stags chief Haslam comes out fighting
CHAD website, 06 October 2006
DEFIANT Stags chief executive Keith Haslam has come out fighting this week after accountants rejected suggestions the club misused charity funds.
It comes after an article in the Guardian newspaper suggested that Mansfield Town Football Club coaches Paul Holland and Kevin Philliskirk were improperly paid using money from youth charity the Stags Community Trust in October 2004.
But chartered accountants Hollis and Co have now released the accounts for both the football club and the Trust in that financial year –– and have also issued a statement dismissing the Guardian allegations.
The statement says: "Contrary to reports, we have seen no evidence of the Trust paying the wages of Paul Holland or Kevin Philliskirk –– both of these were employees of Mansfield Town Football Club.
"The football club is very supportive of Stags Community Trust by allowing it extended terms on amounts owing to the club and have indicated their willingness to continue to support the trust for the foreseeable future."
The Trust's accounts do show that £13,560 was paid on coaching costs for the year ending June 2005, but the Trust's development manager Bernard Wale confirmed to Chad that this was for charitable activities and unrelated to either Mr Holland or Mr Philliskirk.
And accountants Hollis and Co has confirmed that the 2006 accounts for both Mansfield Town and the Community Trust should be completed and available by the end of the year –– giving a more up to date picture of the financial state of both organisations.
Mr Haslam told Chad he hoped the club could now move forward and 'focus on the positive rather than the negative'.
"It's just frustrating when people spread rumours about certain things, because it takes the focus away from the important things such as the good work the Trust does for the community," he said.
"We were confident in our belief that these allegations were untrue –– the transparency is there and everything is above board."
His comments were backed by Community Trust chairman and Mansfield MP Alan Meale, who said the original allegations had now been 'blown out of the water'.
"It's very clear that all those accusations were wrong, neither Philliskirk or Holland were paid from the trust," he said.
"That's been confirmed by independent accountants who are liable by law."
And the Trust's development manager Bernard Wale told Chad that since the charity was launched, Mansfield Town Football Club had been paying many of its overheads, including heating, lighting, rent, phone bills and maintenance costs.
He also said he was hopeful the football club might decide to write off the Trust's £81,313 to the club, which was incurred in capital costs when the charity was originally set up.
Trust bosses are currently waiting to hear about three grant applications to fund a new wave of activities at the charity –– including a sizeable application to the Big Lottery Fund.
It is not known whether the recent controversy surrounding the Trust will have damaged the applications –– although it is understood that previous funders the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Charity Commission are both considering 'further enquiries' in light of the Guardian article.
- Stags Community Trust is seeking around four new directors to help with the running of the Trust.
Development manager Bernard Wale told Chad the unpaid roles would ideally go to people with strong ties to local education or community work and anyone interested should contact Mr Wale on 482482.