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Archived News from April 2008

COLIN HANCOCK INTERESTED IN STAGS
15th April 2008 21:44


14 April 2008
audio from Radio Nottingham, here.
Colin Slater breaks the news on the breakfast show.
Interview with Colin Hancock on Drivetime, followed by John Armstrong-Holmes (Notts Co chairman) on Drivetime, then John Armstrong-Holmes on Matchtalk.
Clips editted together by Martin Shaw

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Colin Hancock named as one of parties in Mansfield Town FC takeover talks
by Tim Morriss, CHAD.co.uk, 14 April 2008

Full story here

Exclusive first interview with Glapwell FC chairman and former Aldershot boss who wants to buy Stags - for reasonable price

THE man who telephoned a radio station in January to say he wanted to put a large sum of money into Notts County can today be revealed as a potential buyer of Mansfield Town.
Dentist Dr Colin Hancock (62), born and raised in the Glapwell area, says he has now officially withdrawn any plans to invest in the Magpies and could be a future Stags owner.

Chad can reveal that Dr Hancock - who took over as chairman of non leage football club Glapwell last year with ambitions to lead the club into the Unibond League - first became involved in tentative takeover talks at Field Mill in late February, but when approached by Chad at that time asked to remain anonymous.

However, the successful businessman, director of the Denticare of Harley Street group - which has branches in Mansfield, Newark and Nottingham, as well as Wales - was on Monday morning named on BBC Radio Nottingham, which said he had turned his attentions to the Stags after 'not being taken seriously' at Meadow Lane.

He is one of several people who have been involved in Stags takeover talks since the New Year - including the James Derry local consortium, a second group of businessmen known to Chad, current front runner John Batchelor and one other individual concern. However, it is unlikely that there will be progress in any buyout discussons this week as Stags owner Keith Haslam is out of the country on holiday.

On Sunday, Dr Hancock who now lives in Nottingham, told Chad: "I am genuinely interested in Mansfield Town for the right reasons. But I will not get involved if there is already a preferred bidder or to create a Dutch auction.

"I want the fans to know that I want to be involved for purely football reasons . . . my agenda is football, and whatever league Mansfield is in. I am sensitive to the area, to the fans. I know all about the community.

"But I don't want to raise hopes, that is why I did not want my interest in Mansfield to come out before. There has not been any bid from me, yet, just an interest."

In January the former Aldershot FC chairman called a BBC Radio Nottingham football phone-in and said he was ready to plough money - reported to be over £1m - into the club. He did hold informal telephone talks with Magpies' chairman John Armstrong-Holmes and was invited to a meeting at the club, but told Chad in February it quickly became clear his offer was going nowhere and he has now officially declined to take his interest in investing in the club any further.

Dr Hancock had been contemplating a financial backing at the Magpies ever since the club went into administration in 2002. And he was part of a group which was involved in serious negotiations, but says this waned when the supporters trust made it clear it wanted to own County.

Now Dr Hancock is pursuing a possible buyout offer at Field Mill and has already spoken to owner Keith Haslam, chief executive Stephen Booth and non executive chairman Tony Egginton, as well as other possible bidders for the club.

He was introduced to James Derry as a potential partner in his now failed consortium, which three times went close to securing ownership of Mansfield Town FC earlier this year.

That did not happen, but over the past couple of months the businessman has told Chad that he would not get in the way of any preferred bidders - which is why he remained in the background while the Derry consortium seemed on course to complete a takeover at Field Mill.

In February - when Chad first became aware of his involvement - he said: "I am an honourable man. I would not do anything to adversely affect a deal happening at Mansfield. I just want to see the club progress.

"When I could not go any further with Notts, the logical thing to do seemed to be to look closer to where I was born and to Mansfield, which also needs help."

And on Sunday he told Chad: "As I have always stressed, I do not want to come in and start a Dutch auction, which would effectively mean less money going to the football club which desperately needs investment.

"If there is a preferred bidder, which seemed at one time to be James Derry and may now be John Batchelor (labelled the front runner by Stags chief executive Stephen Booth recently even though he has described the ex-York City chairman as unsuitable for Mansfield), then I will not start a bidding war. I don't want to do that.

"I would be happy to support a team of bidders, another interest, or go on my own . . . but I can't work with Notts County anymore.

"I did have discussions there, but I have withdrawn that interest. I am now having to look elsewhere, to prove my worth and take up a challenge.

"I have spoken to Stephen Booth (Stags chief executive) and Tony Egginton (Stags non executive chairman) recently and will do so again soon; but I must stress I do not want to be a third party getting in the way of any current negotiations between the club and a preferred bidder.

"I want to know if there is any mileage in me getting involved. I would want an opportunity to try to get an agreement with Keith Haslam to buy everything, even if it that meant buying the club now and and an option on the ground. We would need to know what we are aiming for, though, and have an agreed price for the stadium.

"But it has to be a reasonable deal. And it must be set in stone, there can be no messing around. I don't want to try to bring people in and get them involved, only for everything to change.

"I do feel there has been a distinct lack of consistency in the negotiations so far. There is a deal of confusion as to what is Mr Haslam's preference.

"But I want to re-assure supporters that I am serious, I am not playing around and that I want to become involved in Mansfield Town for the right reasons. I am not Roman Abramovich, but I will put my money where my mouth is.

"So, yes, I am very interested. Mansfield is so close to my roots, in Glapwell."

If he was to be successful at Mansfield, Dr Hancock added: "Money needs to be found to take the club forward, invest in the playing side and give leadership to those behind the scenes; and to give the fans hope for the future."

Dr Hancock was chairman of Aldershot in 1992 when the club, then in the Football League, was wound up in the High Court due to mounting debts.

Born in Doe Lea, he still has family in Bramley Vale and is determined to put 'something back into the area in which I grew up'.

Dr Hancock told Chad: "I had great times in the area, playing sport when I was growing up. Glapwell has a special part in my life, having being raised as a child in the mining community.

"My aim in getting involved at Glapwell, and now maybe Mansfield, is to repay the community for the opportunities and encouragement I felt growing up, by providing opportunities and success for local talent. I am fortunate enough to be in a position now to be able to give something back.

"That is why I became involved at Glapwell and why I don't like to see Mansfield Town in the position where it is, at the bottom of the Football League.

"If I can help to bring stability to Mansfield Town, its staff and the fans, then I will try to do so."

Dr Hancock, who once played cricket for Glapwell Colliery, has a strong sporting background. He played for England U18s and British Universities, as well as having time at Notts County and Chesterfield.

He is often seen as a County fan, but told Chad: "I am a supporter of local football, I want to to see local clubs do well."

And on his involvement at Glapwell, Dr Hancock stressed that his talks at Mansfield - and any possible future ownership - would not affect his committment to the non league club.

"I have made a committment to Glapwell and that remains," he told Chad. "Any involvement in Mansfield will not affect that at all.

"There is nothing in the regulations that says I can not be involved at two clubs.

"I want to get them into the Unibond League and set up a community resource there, and we are part way to achieving that."

On Monday morning Stags chief executive Stephen Booth confirmed that he had met with Dr Hancock, but said he was unaware of any further planned meetings.

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No more Mansfield Town FC takeover discussions until end of season - Haslam
by Tim Morriss, CHAD.co.uk, 14 April 2008

MANSFIELD Town owner Keith Haslam on Monday afternoon moved to quell increasing speculation about a takeover by insisting there would be no further buyout talks until May.
In a joint statement with chief executive Stephen Booth, he said: "There will be no discussions on any takeover until after the last match of the season (away at Dagenham on 3rd May).

"The focus now must be firmly on the next three games and keeping the club in the Football League."

Full story here

Mr Haslam, who is out of the country on holiday, spoke out after it emerged on Monday morning that businessman Colin Hancock is among those wanting to buy the club.

Mansfield Town says it has also released the statement to end the frenzy surrounding the controversial entrepreneur John Batchelor, who has launched a high-profile publicity campaign in support of a bid to buy the Stags in recent weeks.
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