MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP
Banner protests derailed at TV match
CHAD.co.uk, 3 Dec 2007, by Tim Morriss
STAGS fans were prevented from taking anti-Keith Haslam banners into Sunday's televised FA Cup tie - by Mansfield Town's own stewards.
The banners, calling on the underfire owner to quit the club and sell to the James Derry consortium, were deemed to breach health and safety regulations.
Fans were either told the banners were too large - even though the usual flags supporting the club were allowed - or that they might incite crowd trouble.
Stags stewards were drafted in by non league Harrogate Railway to help at their tiny Station View ground.
This week a spokesman for MTFC told Chad: "The banners were extremely large and would not have been allowed in at most football grounds.
"North Yorkshire police said they were against health and safety regulations and there was not enough room in the ground for them.
"However, balloons, T-shirts and smaller banners were allowed to be taken into the ground."
Bemused fans, who had planned the protest banners following Mr Haslam's rejection of the James Derry consortium offer to buy the club on Thursday, presume the ban was to try to prevent their message being aired on the Match Of The Day TV cameras and to a wider, national TV audience.