STAGS FANS FOR CHANGE - LATEST STATEMENT
19 February 2007
MTFC CEO's position is untenable says fans group after survey
Stags Fans For Change (SFFC), an independent protest group of Mansfield Town Football Club (MTFC) supporters is calling on MTFC owner and CEO Keith Haslam to sell the Club following the completion of a fans survey that they believe makes his position untenable.
The survey of Stags fans' opinion on Mr Haslam's reign at Field Mill was conducted over five home and away matches since the home fixture with Walsall in January.
Fans were asked the simple question of whether or not they wanted Mr Haslam out of MTFC completely as soon as possible.
Of the 1,866 people spoken to 1,583 (88%) said they wanted to see the back of the unpopular owner. Only 2% said they wanted him to stay or did not know; the other 10% was made up of fans that actively refused to sign the survey; with many saying they were not interested in politics at the football club.
Spokesperson for SFFC, Graham Parker said: “As far as we are concerned Mr Haslam's position is no longer tenable or creditable in the face of the survey results which we have presented to the Club. Mr Haslam has consistently claimed that those opposed to him are a tiny minority but the evidence we have presented blows his theory completely out of the water. He should now do the honourable thing and actively seek a buyer for the Club and all its assets so that Mansfield Town FC can move forward rather than risk further stagnation under his ownership.”
In the five League games since the New Year, the following home fans have attended Field Mill.
2,903 - Hartlepool
2,752 - Walsall
2,441 - Torquay
2,863 - Shrewsbury
2,695 - Grimsby
That provides and average of 2,731 Stags fans attending home games. SFFC estimates that at least a quarter of these are junior fans under the age of 16, which reduces the adult figure down to 2,048 home fans. Some estimates put the number of younger Stags fans as high as a third of the total home crowd.
Graham Parker continued “Our survey did not take into account younger fans as we did not ask them for their opinion, preferring instead to focus on fans who have more experience and understanding of Mr Haslam's involvement with the Club. It is now very obvious to everyone that a clear majority of Stags fans think Mr Haslam's time is up, he has had his chance and failed to convince them that he is the man for the job.”
The survey also discovered that nearly 50% of Stags fans would support a one match boycott to show their dissatisfaction with Mr Haslam. SFFC confirmed that this is something they are looking at organising and will be making a statement on that very shortly.
SFFC stated that they have been actively seeking out potential buyers for the club and speaking with potential investors that have expressed an interest in buying a football club.
Graham Parker said; “Mr Haslam has said he is willing to sell and look at any offer on the table but what is he actually doing about living up to his word? We see clubs being bought and sold every other week but has he really gone to the market to find a buyer? Torquay United managed to find a new owner last season; is that Club really a better investment than Mansfield Town or was it simply a case that the owner was interested in selling rather than paying lip service to the fans?”
SFFC is meeting with the Club's new Chairman James Derry this week to explain its position on Mr Haslam and to reiterate its long-term and committed support for the team. Key objectives of that meeting will be to provide Mr Derry with a counter view on Mr Haslam so that he can understand the depth of feeling against the present owner but that it will in no way stop the fans group supporting the team.
“We are very pleased that Mr Derry accepted our invitation to a meeting. As the latest Chairman at Field Mill it is vitally important that he has the fullest picture of the history of the Club while Mr Haslam has been in charge. We also want to challenge him on one or two statements made in the press recently about the protests. We are happy to have open dialogue with anyone if it helps in our aim or ridding MTFC of Keith Haslam,” said Graham Parker.
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