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Archived News from September 2007

26th September 2007 17:32

Aussies still want to buy Stags
CHAD.co.uk EXCLUSIVE, 26 Sep 2007
By Tim Morriss
A GROUP of Australian businessmen this week stepped back into the race to buy Mansfield Town Football Club.
The Aussies had an initial bid rebuffed by the Stags in June, just when they were set to fly to England to extend their takeover talks.

Since then two consortiums of local businessmen have emerged as strong candidates during discussions with club owner Keith Haslam and his representative Mike Howarth.

But last week one of the consortium appeared to fall out of the running, leaving the other fronted by Stags chairman James Derry as the front runner in the protracted discussions.

However, amid all the uncertainty of the takeover talks - and problems with ticketing and the capacity level at Field Mill - the Australians this weekend re-newed their interest.

A spokesman for the group told Chad this week: "We would like Mr Haslam or Mr Howarth to get in touch with us to discuss any possible options. We remain very interested in buying Mansfield Town Football Club.

"And once again we would stress that our interest is very real. We have plans to take the Stags forward if successful."

On Friday Mr Derry again met with Mr Haslam and afterwards told Chad: "We have ironed out one or two issues and moved forward.

"We will talk again this week. I know this seems to be dragging on, but things like this take time. I remain hopeful that a deal can be done very soon."

Last week Chad reported it is believed a price for the sale of the football club has been agreed and that the two sides are trying to finalise a deal for the lease of the Field Mill stadium.

Why I am staying away from Stags matches - Haslam
CHAD.co.uk EXCLUSIVE, 26 Sep 2007
By Tim Morriss
UNDER-FIRE Mansfield Town Football Club owner Keith Haslam has spoken exclusively to Chad about his shock decision to stay away from Field Mill on matchdays.
Yesterday it was revealed that he would not attend anymore home matches - just a few hours after four fans' groups united to launch a new protest calling on the owner to sell the Stags quickly.

Mr Haslam told Chad: "I am trying to sell the club. Talks are ongoing with three parties."

The saga over the potential sale of the Stags has been going on since May, when Chad revealed that Australian businessmen were interested in buying the club.

That bid was rejected — although this week the Aussies renewed their interest — and since then two local consortiums have held talks with the football club owner.

When asked if any decision on the sale was likely in the near future, Mr Haslam replied: "There are a few issues to be sorted out with each of the three parties — all different issues. Really it is now in their hands as to what happens next."

He also declined to name the identity of any of the interested parties, or confirm reports that one of them was from London.

Mr Haslam insisted that his decision to stay away from Field Mill matches was not a response to fans' plans to stage a major protest this weekend.

He told Chad he had made his mind up after the recent Chesterfield game — where he was subjected to abuse from some supporters at the final whistle.

"All of this has been deflecting away from the team and that is not good.

"The abuse doesn't affect me, but it is not in the interests of the club. We made the decision two weeks ago and it has nothing to do with any news from the fans."

Stags chairman James Derry said: "I don't think fans should be focusing on protests against Keith Haslam because he won't be at any more home games and he will be leaving the club. It would be far more productive if everyone got behind the team."

Mayor meets Haslam over club sale
CHAD.co.uk, 26 Sep 2007
By Tim Morriss
CHAD can reveal that Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton has met Stags boss Keith Haslam on several occasions recently in a bid to help any potential sale of Mansfield Town Football Club.
Two local consortiums, plus interests from Australia and London, have all been involved in protracted negotiations to buy the Stags from owner Keith Haslam.

Mr Egginton said: "I have been a Stags fan since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, so I know what the club means to so many people.

"It is vitally important for the town that we have a League club and one that is successful.

"It is the economy of the town as a whole that is at stake.

"I will do whatever I can to ensure that continues and I have met with Keith to try to ensure that we get a quick, clean transition.

"The football club should be a hive of community activity."

Football League 'aware of Stags situation'
CHAD.co.uk, 26 Sep 2007
By Tim Morriss
TROUBLED Mansfield Town has been told it can carry on playing . . . even though newly imposed safety restrictions mean it falls below the Football League's minimum requirements.
Last week's decision by safety officials to reduce the capacity at Field Mill means the ground now falls below the League's 5,000 minimum.

The ruling by Nottinghamshire County Council's Safety Advisory Group came after the Stags sold 600 too many tickets to Chesterfield fans - and then allowed a further 200 into an already full North Stand because its computerised monitoring of turnstiles failed to work.

Now just 4,684 fans are allowed into Field Mill - half the ground's capacity - until the club can show SAG that its computerised monitoring of turnstiles works. Then, SAG has said, it would restore the capacity figure back to its previous 70% mark.

A Football League spokesman this week confirmed that member clubs need a ground capacity of 5,000.

But he told Chad.co.uk: "We are aware of the situation and will be raising it with the club in due course.

"We hope this matter can be resolved quickly."


Latest | September 2007