TEAM MANSFIELD STATEMENT
TEAM Mansfield Statement
26 February 2007
Following the announcement on Saturday of a new commercial deal involving 103.2, TEAM Mansfield and the SSA, TM have released a statement. To read the statement visit http://www.teammansfield.co.uk
Stags fans group backs radio deal
CHAD website, 26 February 2007
STAGS fans group TEAM Mansfield has added its backing to the commercial link-up between Mansfield Town Football Club and radio station 103.2
The deal will see the radio station take full control of the football club's sales and marketing operations - in a deal that will see any money raised ring-fenced from unpopular Stags owner Keith Haslam.
The TM statement said:
TM and Mr James Derry, the new chairman of Mansfield Town, have had a number of meetings in recent weeks in order to find a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the current crisis at Field Mill. From the outset of our discussions, it was clear Mr Derry understood the serious concerns we had about the running of the club, the position and attitude of Stags chief executive and majority shareholder Keith Haslam, the club's finances and the very strained supporter/ club relations.
Whilst the issues surrounding Keith Haslam are well documented and continue to a matter for concern for nearly all Stags fans, Mr Derry felt the most pressing issue was to halt the decline in MTFC's income and to explore ways of improving the situation by involving the supporters and sponsors of the club. Research carried out by Mr Derry suggested that commercial income at Mansfield Town is almost 65% lower that that of similar sized clubs in League 2, which is both alarming and a sad indictment on the current regime at Field Mill.
Mr Derry acknowledged that he had to take Mr Haslam out of any decisions about how any new funding that came into the club was spent. This was to ensure both supporters and sponsors had confidence that the funds were being used for the benefit of the club, rather that for the benefit of the majority shareholder or companies or organisations controlled by him.
We understand Mr Derry had spoken on numerous occasions to Tony Delahunty at 103.2 and both had come up with imaginative ideas about how this vital income was to be increased. Clearly 103.2 had their own concerns about Mr Haslam's running of the football club, but also wanted to become involved. As a consequence of the discussions, 103.2 has now agreed with Mr Derry and Mr Haslam to be the new commercial arm of the club.
To this end we have been invited to be part of this new development committee along with the SSA. Our role is as active members and not observers and will be working with the rest of the committee to ensure the funds are properly spent. Andrew Saunders will be the TM representative.
It has always been TM's view that the club and its future have to be paramount. We have had to make a number of 'leaps of faith' over the years by entering into agreements with Keith Haslam and we see this as another step towards full community involvement and ownership of MTFC. TM has had to fight at considerable expense to TM and its members for its very existence in the past 18 months after it challenged the behaviour of the Stags chief executive - we believe this experience has simply served to make us stronger and more determined.
Our discussions with various authorities and leading journalists have helped to expose the plight of the club and indeed indirectly led to the appointment of James Derry.
We remain committed to ensuring Mr Haslam adheres to the good governance laid down by the FA and we will continue to work with the football authorities to ensure we achieve the best practices are maintained at the club and we will continue to seek a successful sale of the club and will use our existing agreement with MTFC to seek additional 'community shares' for the supporters of MTFC.
Mr Derry has agreed to reinstate the monthly CCT meeting so that all supporters can have their concerns aired by Team Mansfield and the SSA. It is also hoped that we will be announcing a fans forum in the next few weeks for TM and SSA members.
We believe that the new agreement between 103.2 and the club currently represents the best chance possible at present for Team Mansfield to fully represent the supporters and other stakeholders in our club. We also believe that James Derry is someone who can move the club forward from our present precarious position and we would be neglecting our duty as responsible fans of MTFC if we did not support him on the basis that the proposal is ring-fenced from any involvement by Mr Haslam and totally transparent.
In respect of ongoing legal action between TM and Keith Haslam, this is a completely separate issue which we believe should not hinder our interest and support of our club, although we would challenge Mr Haslam to swallow his pride and to use his over used phrase, 'move on'. Our concern in becoming a member of the development committee is purely to move the club forward in the best interests of supporters.
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