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Archived News from August 2007

1st August 2007 12:41

'Very interested' parties want to buy Stags
CHAD website, 01 Aug 2007
By Tim Morriss
THE man handling bids for Mansfield Town FC, Mike Howarth, spoke publically for the first time this week, confirming that there are other groups considering making a move.
Mr Howarth, appointed by chief executive Keith Haslam, said: "There are two other very interested parties, apart from Mr Derry's consortium.

"That does not include the Australian bid. I have had no direct contact with them, but obviously we would listen to any serious offer.

"It would appear to make sense that a new owner should take control at the beginning of the season, if this is possible. Mr Haslam is quite prepared to sell the football club."

Mr Howarth declined to name a price that Mr Haslam is looking for, but added: "Mansfield Town FC is solvent, which would need to be reflected in any offer."

Mr Haslam is currently out of the country on holiday.

We still want to buy Stags - Aussie businessmen
CHAD website, 01 Aug 2007
By Tim Morriss
AUSTRALIAN businessmen rebuffed in their bid to buy the Stags exclusively told Chad today that they have still not given up hope of clinching a deal for Mansfield Town FC.
The partners, named for the first time today, have received no reply from Field Mill to their 'what does it take to get a deal done' message.

Surprised that their bid was handled by James Derry before he declared his own interest in taking control of the Stags, the businessmen told Chad yesterday: "If the club is genuinely for sale, we would still like to be part of the plans.

"Mr Derry's offer looks very similar in structure to our's and it is our belief that his conduct has been morally and ethically wrong."

Now, after the total silence from Field Mill to their questions in recent weeks, the businessmen think any deal with Keith Haslam 'is dead' - but they want the fans to know that their interest in the club was, and remains, 'very serious'.

Sydney-based businessmen Steve Dolheguy and Gary Wall, who have a background ranging from logistics to engineering, initially made contact with the Stags towards the end of last season.

They put together a structured bid, to run over three years, which was first revealed in Chad in June and would have given Mr Haslam a minimum of £275,000. It included creating a strong football academy, re-invigorating the marketing side of the business and, aside from wages, taking no money out of the club for three years.

Mr Dolheguy told Chad yesterday: "It is important that the fans know that at no time were we offered the opportunity to buy any land - be it at Field Mill or Skegby. The bid price was just for the football club."

Their initial bid was welcomed by Stags' chairman James Derry - nominated by Mr Haslam along with Mr Mike Howarth to deal with the interest from Australia. He said at the time: 'It was a complicated, well thought out offer, but miles below our valuation. We have suggested they come to see us or send a representative'.

Mr Derry then agreed to meet the duo in England and they arranged to travel to Mansfield at the end of June. But a few days before their flight, the Stags' chairman told them not to travel because he had received a better offer and the Australians were now the 'underbidder'.

Since then Mr Derry has declined to talk further to the interest from overseas. Mr Dolheguy added: "We asked the club several weeks ago what it would take to get a deal done, but received no reply.

"Now we can only assume that our bid, unfortunately, is dead. It is a disappointing outcome, but we are not convinced that the club is genuinely for sale.

"Expectations from the owners to receive a large sum are high, but the commercial reality is that from what we have been able to see up to this date, the club is not a financial success. To ask for substantially higher sums than our bid without giving up the land is a pipe dream.

"We felt that we would add value in many areas, not just financial, but it appears our plans do not match the current agenda at Field Mill - which we believe is not in line with the actual commercial value of the team.

"However, we would like to wish all at Field Mill the best for the upcoming season and we would also like to be part of the plans if the club is ever genuinely for sale."

Mr Dolheguy, who insisted that the businessmen have no previous connection with Mansfield, also revealed his frustration at the negotiations and why they wanted to buy the club.

He said: "As a group we have been involved in many acquisitions, but have found this one to be unstructured in general.

"We saw Mansfield as an opportunity, with a current infrastructure that could be valued added. We saw potential in developing the club from the ground upwards, investing heavily in a junior academy based on some of the finest in the world.

"We have no connection to Mansfield. MTFC represented an opportunity to develop a club into something more than it may currently be.

"We would like it to be clear that we were very serious and still are, but do not believe in hindsight that this club was ever for sale."


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