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Archived News from April 2008

7th April 2008 23:07

Batchelor and Haslam in takeover talks on Monday
by Tim Morriss, CHAD.co.uk, 4Apr2008
THE future of Mansfield Town could be decided at a meeting on Monday.
The controversial John Batchelor – now likely to back down on his idea to rename the football club after fictional TV team Harchester United – will hold another meeting with Stags owner Keith Haslam at the beginning of next week.

On Tuesday, Haslam told Chad that the Batchelor offer was the only one on the table and that he just required proof of the would-be owner's 'liquid funds.

The former York City owner – who took that club into administration and is facing an uphill battle to win the support of Stags fans – says he has shown that he has the funding in place to buy either just the club, or the club and Field Mill.

Batchelor confirmed that a meeting is scheduled with the Stags' owner on Monday.

Full story --> http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/Batchelor-and-Haslam-in-takeover.3947845.jp

However, Chad has also spoken to other local parties over the past couple of days who are still interested in launching a separate takeover bid at Field Mill.

The club is available in a £500,000 deal, plus an annual rent of £275,000 (£175,000 in the Conference) on a 10-year lease with an option to buy the stadium.

However, Batchelor is also prepared to buy Field Mill for the £4.25m asking price, if necessary.

On Wednesday, he told Chad.co.uk that if he acquires the club, he would immediately offer a 100% share ownership deal to the fans – 2,500 shares to be sold for 250 each.

That suggestion was greeted with scepticism by fans, but Batchelor insists that he would make just £31,000 From the deal. However, he would also want to be chairman for a minimum of three years and take 25% of any annual profit.

But following the furore over his plan to link the Stags to Sky TV's Harchester United – and his previous business record of closing down 15 businesses, plus the York City affair – Batchelor has little support from the Mansfield fans for his takeover bid, despite the unpopularity of the current Stags owner.

Mr Batchelor has denied reports in Lancashire on Thursday that he recently bid £1.5m for Accrington Stanley and planned to either move the club, or form a new team Lancashire United, to play at Leigh.

Stanley chairman Eric Whalley told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph: "I met with Mr Batchelor three times, the last about six weeks ago. First he bid a million, and then £1.5m, and told me he wanted to move the club to Leigh and call it Lancashire United, and I just couldn't go along with that.

"It was a serious offer, but we've worked too hard to put Accrington Stanley back on the map to see it fade away again."
Batchelor told Chad: "There was no formal bid. Just ideas were talked about.

"It is well known I am interested to get involved at a football club again. Over the past three years, I have had talks at Stockport, where my deal was given to the fans; Macclesfield, who didn't want to sell; Chester, Rotherham and Wrexham.

"But this (Mansfield) is the closest I have got to taking over anywhere since being at York."


Batchelor going to Stags' Barnet game
by Tim Morriss, CHAD.co.uk, 4Apr2008
CONTROVERSIAL would-be Stags owner John Batchelor WILL be going to Saturday's match against Barnet.
And Batchelor, who will pay through the turnstiles if he is not invited as a guest of the club into the directors' area, has said he willing to speak to any Mansfield Town fans.

The former York City owner, who took that club into administration, angered Stags fans with his bizarre idea a week ago to rename Mansfield Town after a fictional TV team – Harchester United from Sky One's Dream Team soap opera – 'to increase commercial and marketing opportunities'.

However, he said in midweek that if his takeover bid is successful, he would issue a 100% share ownership in the club – and give fans the chance to buy the shares, run the club and veto his renaming plan.

On Friday Batchelor – who will continue his takeover talks with Stags owner Keith Haslam on Monday - told Chad: "The most important thing is what happens on the field. I just hope we win, it doesn't have to be pretty let's just get the three points.

"And, as always, if fans see me and want to talk, then I am happy to explain my ideas. I have always said I will talk to anyone – as I hope I have demonstrated by giving out my telephone number and calling supporters back - and engaging in many debates on websites."

When asked if he had the money for the £0.5m club buyout - £1 for the majority shareholding and £500,000 to invest into the club - he insisted: "As I have said before, I have released equity from property. Why does no-one believe that I can come up with the money to buy the club?"


TV producer wants to meet Stags fans at Barnet match
by Tim Morriss, CHAD.co.uk, 4Apr2008

THE producer hoping to turn the twists and turns at Mansfield Town into a TV documentary will be at Saturday's match against Barnet - and wants to meet as many fans as possible.
Jane Hewland first became interested in the Stags a week ago when her leaked e-mail about John Batchelor's plans to rename the Stags as fictional TV team Harchester United caused an outcry.

Jane - executive producer of the now finished Sky One series Dream Team, featuring Harchester - came to Field Mill on Tuesday to watch the victory over Wrexham, as a guest of the club.

And she will be returning on Saturday to meet fans - many of whom contacted her after a story on this website on Wednesday.

Full story --> http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/TV-producer-wants-to-meet.3950406.jp

Jane hopes to persuade Sky One bosses to allow her to make a documentary about the club, the takeover saga, the struggles of a lower League outfit and the personalities involved – including the supporters.

She told Chad: "There is another very different and fascinating series that could be made."

Jane will not be filming this weekend, but hopes to at a match before the end of the season.

She told Chad on Friday: "I hope to meet up with some of the many fans who contacted me after the story on Chad.co.uk.

"I'll be happy to talk to anyone who wants to approach me at the game. If they want to know how to recognise me, I'm on Facebook!!


Latest | April 2008