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Archived News from January 2008

28th January 2008 12:13

Stags fans register anger and disbelief at Palmer comments aired on MOTD

As of early Sunday morning, approximately 50 Stags fans had registered their shock, anger and disbelief with the BBC, via their online complaints form, of Carlton Palmer's comments about Keith Haslam's ownership of Mansfield Town Football Club aired during the build-up to the Middlesbrough FA Cup 4th round tie, live on the BBC yesterday.

When asked what the FA Cup run would mean to the town of Mansfield, Palmer entered into a speech denouncing supporters' actions in protest against Keith Haslam, suggesting that Haslam had done "a fantastic job" in the 15 years that he had been here, he suggested that the building of the (partially condemned, 3-sided, reduced capacity) stadium represented success, and that the club had "moved forward" under Haslam.

Stags fans would clearly take issue with all of the points raised by Mr Palmer, stated in his position as Match of the Day 'Analyst'.

What the BBC failed to mention was that Carlton Palmer has been a friend of Keith Haslam for over 17 years (according to Palmer himself), and clearly Stags fans are angered that Palmer was able to come to Mansfield, meet up with Mr Haslam, and proceed to sit in the BBC studio and back up his friend's position as owner of Mansfield Town with such incredulous and unsubstantiated comments, live on air and in front of a National television audience.

Stags fans can lodge any complaints with the BBC in order to raise this bias reporting by the corporation and by Mr Palmer, of what is essentially a sensitive, local political issue, in order that fans may secure some form of redress of Mr Palmer's viewpoints equally in the public domain.

You can register your complaint with the BBC at the following address:


To view the video of Carlton Palmer's speech in support of Keith Haslam on Match of the Day, you can watch it here

Beeb blasted by Stags fans for 'bias'

ANGRY Stags fans have bombarded the BBC with complaints about comments by former Mansfield manager Carlton Palmer during Saturday's live coverage of the cup tie with Middlesbrough.
Palmer, a studio pundit for Match Of The Day, is a friend of underfire Stags owner Keith Haslam and defended the football club boss in front of the watching TV audience, who were not told of the pair's friendship.

He was allowed to infer, unchallenged, that the controversial owner had put his own money into the Stags and built a new stadium – when fans point out that the funding for the new stands at Field Mill came from grants.

The unpopular ex-Stags manager told presenter Gabby Logan: "The club is struggling with the supporters wanting the chairman (Haslam) out. He has done a fantastic job over the last 15 years, built a new stadium and the club has come a long way.
"Hopefully the supporters will realise the job the chairman has done here. They will realise if the club doesn't have anyone to put any money into it, who is going to run it, so they can't hound him out."

His pre-match statement also incensed many fans because the BBC did not allow protesting supporters the right of reply – or the chance to air their grievances of the stewardship of the Stags by Mr Haslam.

The BBC made passing reference to the anti-Haslam protests during the match commentary when balls – bearing the slogans Mansfield For Sale and Haslam Out – were thrown onto the pitch and briefly held up play.

But this did not satisfy the angry fans, more than 100 of whom have bombarded the BBC with complaints and also the Chad website chad.co.uk.

They have accused the BBC of bias over a 'sensitive, local political issue' and are seeking the chance to put their views forward on national TV.

The BBC's policy states 'the BBC must do all it can to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality in all relevant output'.

George, of Gonerby, told chad.co.uk: "Why was Carlton allowed to make his comments about the state of the club unchallenged when later in the commentary it appeared that Steve Wilson (and therefore the BBC) was fully aware of the problems at the club.)

Others posted on the BBC's 606 website:

One said: 'I would ask that match pundit Carlton Palmer's remarks regarding his personal friend and owner of Mansfield Town, Keith Haslam, are reviewed and parties with an alternative viewpoint should be allowed to respond to his inaccuracies. The subject of Mr Haslam is an exceedingly controversial and sensitive issue locally (and also touches on local politics), and it is vital that in the interests of fairness, that those who strongly disagree with Mr Palmer's comments and may also be in a position to expose them as misleading, are allowed to do so.'

Another Stags fans posted: 'I wish to complain about the biased comments made by Carlton Palmer on Match of the Day Live today regarding the fact that he considered that Mansfield Town owner, Keith Haslam, had done a fantastic job running the football club over the last 15 years.

'Mr Palmer failed to disclose that he is a close personal friend of Keith Haslam and is therefore not in a position to give an independent view on this matter. Furthermore, in the interests of balance, no Mansfield supporters were interviewed to present the opposite view that the football club are only in the position they are in (23rd in Division 2 and facing relegation to the Conference) due to the large amounts of money that have been taken out of the football club by Keith Haslam.

'Keith Haslam has made large loans to himself and his company, Stags Limited, from the football club. These loans have exceeded £1,000,000 at times.

'The football club's accounts for the year ended 30th June 2003 showed that £239,297 of loans to Keith Haslam had been "written off" meaning that these loans would never be repaid.

'The accounts for the year ended 30th June 2006 showed that Mansfield Town is owed £585,728 by Keith Haslam's company, Stags Limited.

'How can the BBC not have done their homework here, Calton Palmer and Keith Haslam are best mates and have been for a long time.'


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