CUP TICKETS ALLOCATION HALVED
CHAD EXCLUSIVE: Cup tickets allocation halved!
CHAD.co.uk, 21 Nov 2007, By Tim Morriss
MANSFIELD'S ticket allocation for the FA Cup tie at Harrogate Railway has been slashed after a row over a planned temporary stand.
Now the Stags will receive just 300 tickets, rather than the expected 650, for the clash - to be screened live on BBC's Match Of The Day - at the non league side on Sunday 2nd December.
The temporary stand, which would have housed around 500 Stags fans, will not be erected.
Tonight angry Railway chairman Rob Northfield laid the blame for the reduced ticket allocation firmly at the feet of Stags' owner Keith Haslam.
But Mr Haslam said it would have cost the Stags too much money.
Mr Northfield told Chad: "It is crazy, but Mansfield don't want the stand to go up. It is as simple as that.
"We wanted to get as many fans into the ground as possible, Mansfield and Railway supporters. But Mansfield's boss doesn't see it like that."
The Stags had been asked to share the £3,000 cost of erecting the temporary stand. But according to the Railway chairman, because Mansfield's share in any profits from the extra supporters might not have covered that cost, Mr Haslam has vetoed the plan.
Mr Northfield added: "On such an occasion as this, and because of the extra revenue anyway from the TV coverage, we wanted to consider the fans.
"If it had cost us a bit of money to get extra fans in, we were happy to do that. But Mansfield didn't see it that way.
"It could save us money to have less supporters in the ground and that is what Mansfield want. So there will be 300 Mansfield fans at the game standing instead of 500 sitting and 150 standing.
"Mansfield want to make more money, it is as simple as that really. They don't want to consider their fans.
"I am very surprised that the club doesn't want to make an effort. It is crazy really as we were making it more difficult for our players, by having more Mansfield fans at the match, and just trying to help Mansfield.
"We could have over-ruled Mansfield on this, but we didn't want to fall out with them. So we have given Mansfield Town FC what they want.
"This is a final decision and there is no going back, I am not messing about anymore and it is all so unnecessary.
"We wanted to help the Mansfield fans, but MTFC have stopped us."
Mr Haslam told Chad tonight: "It would have worked out at £18.80 per head for adults and £11 for concessions and so we would have lost money and not broken even.
"We didn't want to pay, but Harrogate have the right to erect a stand if they want to.
"It is different for a non league club, themoney from the TV people and associated things will keep them going for two years.
"It is different for Football League clubs. I spoke to other clubs and they said you can't pay."
Mansfield will get 40% of the gate receipts for the tie, plus £75,000 for appearing live on the television.
The capacity had been set at 2,174 with the Stags being allocated 650 tickets. It is not know what the new capacity figure will be for the match. Tickets are priced at £18 for adults, £8 concessions.
Tonight Stags chairman James Derry, who has played no part in the FA Cup discussions and is still waiting to hear from Mr Haslam after placing a final bid for the club on Monday, said: "Keith (Haslam) has been dealing with Harrogate. This is news to me."
Mansfield Town have yet to say when tickets will go on sale, with season ticket holders now expected to snap up the full 300 allocation.
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