WHAT IS HAPPENING TO TM SHARES?
What is happening to TM shares?
CHAD.co.uk, By Tim Morriss, 17 Oct 2007
STAGS fans group TEAM Mansfield is trying to find out what is happening to its shares in Mansfield Town FC, in the wake of the sale of the football club.
TEAM Mansfield was formed in 1999 as frustrated fans tried to launch a community-based takeover at Field Mill.
But when they failed to persuade Keith Haslam to sell, the group was then allowed to buy a minority shareholding in the club.
In 2001, through fans' donations, they then collected £33,000 and MTFC issued 3,300 (3.3% of the issued share capital) new Community Shares to TM.
But with the news that James Derry and his local consortium are buying the Stags, the group has been left in the dark about its shares.
And the situation became even more confused on Monday when it was revealed that the consortium may buy Mansfield Town FC - rather than form a new company to take over the trading of the football club as was first planned - with Field Mill being retained by Mr Haslam.
But it is unclear what the plans are for the minority shareholders, including TM, in MTFC.
This means that any sale of the club will now take longer than Mr Derry first thought.
Ideally, TM would want to retain its shareholding in the company running the Stags.
This week TEAM Mansfield wrote to both Mr Haslam and Mr Derry, asking them to clarify the situation.
Mr Derry told Chad: "I will be meeting TEAM Mansfield at their board meeting on Saturday to discuss the situation."
However, despite repeated calls to Mr Haslam, the owner has declined to talk to Chad.
In 2001 MTFC was valued at £1m, with TM's share 3.3%. Today it is thought that Mr Haslam has valued MTFC - Field Mill and its surrounding land - at around £5m, so in theory the TM shares should now be worth at least £150,000.
A spokesman for TM said: "Like most fans, we are deeply concerned at the separation of MTFC from its most precious asset, Field Mill, and as a supporters' trust, it is not in our remit to hold shares in what on the face of it will become a property investment vehicle for Mr Haslam.
"However, we are committed to securing the best deal possible for Stags fans from this transaction. We believe there are a number of options for all parties concerned which include:
TM retaining its shares in whatever company owns Field Mill and use the holding to try to secure the future of Field Mill and to force Mr Haslam to place the land at Skegby in trust for the benefit of the Stags
Mr Derry entering into a similar arrangement to that already in place between TM and MTFC.
"We appreciate that it's very early days in Mr Derry's apparent tenure (we look forward to hearing when the deal is actually complete), but the lack of transparency around this deal which has separated our club from its ground and £600,000 worth of property is very worrying.
"We ask Mr Derry to be as open and honest as is commercially possible and engage with fans properly, so we can secure the long-term future of the Stags, which includes having a stadium to play at.
"And Mr Derry's willingness to attend our board meeting on Saturday is an excellent step forward."
Link to TM website: http://www.teammansfield.co.uk
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