SSA RESPONSE TO TAKEOVER BID
The Stags Supporters Association Committee release the following comment:
SSA are disappointed that bids appear to have been rejected, but would welcome almost any alternative owner of our club who wants to ensure our club moves forward and can offer Stags fans hope for a better future.
Fan groups respond to new takeover bid
CHAD website, 31 July 2007
By Tim Morriss
THREE supporters' groups have all given a cautious welcome to the news of another takeover bid for Mansfield Town FC.
But two of them - TEAM Mansfield and Stags Fans For Change - insist that the £500,000 owed to the football club by Keith Haslam's Stags Ltd should not be 'written off'.
A spokesman for TEAM Mansfield said: "All supporters would welcome any bid from anyone prepared to move the club forward from the stagnation it has endured over the past few years of Mr Haslam's stewardship.
"TM would also like Mr Haslam to recognise that his holding company owes Mansfield Town FC more than £500,000. So any deal should incorporate the money that is owed. It would be a great shame if this huge sum of monies is in some way just dismissed as it would not be in the best interests of the club or its supporters.
"Maybe Mr Haslam would consider allowing any new owners to remain at Field Mill rent free for one or two years to give them the best possible chance of allowing the football club to grow, both on and off the pitch."
The Stags Supporters Association Committee added: "SSA are disappointed that bids appear to have been rejected, but would welcome almost any alternative owner of our club who wants to ensure our club moves forward and can offer Stags fans hope for a better future."
SFFC said: "We have long campaigned for the removal of Keith Haslam as owner of MTFC and we would welcome any bid to buy him out if the new owners have the right credentials, ability to run the club and are ambitious for success on and off the field.
"It is very early days yet and we will need to see a lot more detail of the plans but we are pleased to see that Mr Derry has clearly set out his ambitions for involvement in the club.
"It is important that all negotiations are handled transparently and that fans are kept abreast of developments – the last thing that beleaguered Stags fans need is another false dawn.
"We all want to look forward to an optimistic future under new ownership but we have had too many broken promises in the past to accept yet another bid at face value.
"It would appear that Mr Derry has the support of some local business people who are willing to back him. We believe it is vital to have people involved in the club at all levels who share the same aspirations as the fans.
"If the £500,000 loan to Stags Ltd has to be written off, as has been suggested, it will be testimony to the reason the vast majority of Stags' fans want rid of Keith Haslam. Mr Haslam will be left with land worth far more than the original loan which he will have acquired or nothing.
"He purchased the club for a pound and has run it on a shoe-string while taking substantial funds out of the club. Mr Derry may be right that the club is currently in the black, but thanks to Mr Haslam's management it has lost over £1/2 million in the last two years; on top of that Mr Haslam has awarded himself a 21% pay increase while players' wages have been cut and gate prices have risen.
"At a time when we are financially struggling, that £500,000 should be put to use buying experienced, good quality players so the customers of MTFC can enjoy the success they deserve. We hope Mr Derry and the consortium can provide us with proof that they are the right people to deliver that success."
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