DERRY CALLS FOR FANS SUPPORT
Crucial week for Stags' takeover hopeful
CHAD.co.uk, 17 Sep 2007
By Tim Morriss
WANNA-BE football club owner James Derry has called for fans' support as his consortium's bid to buy Mansfield Town FC enters a crucial week.
Mr Derry's group of local businessmen appear to be the new frontrunners in the race to take over the Stags.
And he told Chad.co.uk:"I need the fans' support. I am not in this for the good of myself. I want Mansfield Town Football Club to be successful, that is the most important thing."
However, Mr Derry revealed that he would walk away from any takeover if the capacity at Field Mill is cut in the wake of ticketing problems at the local derby at the weekend.
Nottinghamshire County Council's Safety Advisory Group, which has imposed capacity restrictions on the ground, is due to meet with club officials on Wednesday.
And he said that he would also question his role at the club if he was subjected to the abuse directed at owner Keith Haslam after Saturday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Chesterfield.
Mr Haslam, who has had three firm offers for the Stags over recent months, was involved in verbal confrontations with fans at the final whistle and Mr Derry said: "That was upsetting to me, people go to games with their wives and children and don't want to hear that sort of thing.
"I hope that the fans will respect me and can see that I am not Keith Haslam."
Mr Derry's consortium - boosted by investors after a public appeal on Mansfield 103.2 and in Chad - is close to agreeing a deal with Mr Haslam for the club.
The matter is now in the hands of lawyers, according to the Newark businessman who was appointed chairman in January.
Since then an Australian bid for the Stags has been rejected and a second local consortium has been involved in negotiations to buy the football club. It has also been reported that a London group is interested.
However, this weekend it emerged that and further meetings will be held this week. It is believed that a price for the sale of the football club has been agreed and that the two sides are close to finalising a deal for the lease of the Field Mill stadium.
Mr Derry added: "But if there are serious repercussions from the mistake over ticket sales for the Chesterfield game, then I will walk away. I need the capacity at Field Mill to be raised if I take over, not cut.
"Anyone taking over the club will need higher attendances to make a go of it. I am not in this for the good of myself, I am not investing in this to make money, I want Mansfield Town FC to be successful."
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