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Archived News from January 2008

11th January 2008 16:41

What Stags need to do to get Mill back to full capacity
CHAD.co.uk, 11 Jan 2008, by Tim Morriss
SAFETY officials have spelled out how Mansfield Town Football Club can return to the attendance limit at Field Mill to 100%.
Nottinghamshire County Council's Safety Advisory Group (SAG) and the Stags have been working closely to improve safety at Field Mill since the capacity was reduced to 50% last May following stewarding problems at the last match of last season.

Since then there has also been problems with turnstiles and ticketing for one match.

But the Stags in the summer did introduce a new health and safety team, led by Les Norman who has been praised by both the club and thg county council for his work.

And this week the Mill limit was raised to 80% ahead of the FA Cup tie with Premiership Middlesborough later this month.

But now SAG has told Chad what the football club must do if it wants to see the attendance figure back to the 9,000plus capacity level.

The capacity was cut to 50% in May because of:

Poor standard of stewarding, specifically despite the amount of training received and concerns over the levels of competency, skills and discipline of the stewards, supervisors and security.

Weak safety management throughout all levels of the club.

A lack of a pro-active approach to safety issues at the club.

Now the county council's safety team recognises that the Stags have appointed a new safety team, worked hard on steward training and brought in experienced contract stewards as support.

A spokesman added: "There was then the issue of the turnstiles which reduced capacity again and that work is now nearly completed."

But now SAG wants to see long-term gradual improvements at the club, which it has stated it is committed to achieving, before it can further raise the capacity restriction.

A spokesman said these include:

A robust internal system for managing ongoing housekeeping and maintenance issues that affect safety.

Ongoing support and commitment from senior managers to developing spectator safety.

Continuing to take a pro-active approach to developing a safety culture.

The spokesman added: "Such issues as these take time to embed into the culture of an organisation and therefore cannot be solved overnight. We are delighted that the club have given us their commitment and guarantee that they will address these issues and we will continue to monitor over the coming months.

"The 'S' factor (safety factor) will be reviewed at the end of the season, if not before depending on progress."


Mill capacity raised to 7,300
CHAD.co.uk, 9 Jan 2008, by Tim Morriss
THE attendance limit at Field Mill has been raised to around 7,300 by safety officials.
It means the ground will be at 80% capacity for the eagerly awaited visit of Premiership Middlesborough later this month - and there should be approximately 5,500 tickets for Stags fans.

The decision to raise the limit from the current 5,457 figure (70% in the North and South stands and 50% in the West Stand) follows a hastily arranged meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting was called after Mansfield Town were drawn against Boro in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup on Monday - in a match to be played on Saturday 26th January which will be screened live on national TV by the BBC, kick-off 12.30pm.

Nottinghamshire County Council's Safety Advisory Group (SAG) agreed to the new figure after reviewing safety work at Field Mill.

The Mill attendance figure had been reduced after the now infamous stewarding problems at the last match of last season and then issues with turnstiles this season - together with ticketing problems surrounding the local derby with Chesterfield.

Mansfield Town FC chief executive Stephen Booth told Chad: "This is a testament to the efforts of safety officer Les Norman and his team and is a ringing endorsement of what they have done.

"I am delighted. It is a clear indication of the way in which the club is addressing these issues.

"We have had good co-operation from the emergency services and the licencing authority. The meeting was very productive and this is great news."

Now Mr Booth says work will continue to try to raise the figure to 90% or even 100%.

Chairman James Derry, who has been working hard all season to persuade SAG to raise the attendance figure which at one time dropped below the 5,000 mark, added: "I am very pleased. SAG could see the progress we have made and they want us to progress in the right direction."

The Stags hope to announce details of ticket sales for the Cup tie later this week.


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