SSA STATEMENT ON BOOTH COMMENTS
Following criticism of the SSA via comments attributed to Mr Booth in our last Football League matchday programme (see here), SSA would like to publically clarify the situation.
Mr Booth attended an SSA Committee meeting and requested whether the SSA would contribute funding for players, a request which was rejected by the SSA Committee.
Mr Booth then offered his Club Wembley tickets for an England friendly as raffle prizes, but requested the use of the SSA's lottery licence in order to adminster the fundraiser as he understood at that point in time that MTFC did not have a lottery licence.
Despite tight timescales, the SSA committee agreed the use of our licence and printed and distributed tickets via fans and the club.
Monies raised through raffle ticket sales by club staff and fans were adminstered by the SSA due to the raffle being run under the SSA licence and was ringfenced for Mr Booth as the prizes were donated through his genorosity.
Mr Booth requested this money during conversations with SSA representatives in late April whilst discussing the ticketing arrangements for the Dagenham fixture. Following the printing of the tickets the money raised from the fundraiser was £856 and a cheque for this amount has been made payable to Mr Booth as the tickets were donated by him.
SSA would prefer the money to be donated to a recognised charity of his choice, but that is his decision and is respected.
However, SSA feel very disappointed and disrespected on behalf of our 1,000 members that Mr Booth felt unable to honour the agreement signed with James Derry at the beginning of the season ensuring SSA members had second priority after season ticket holders for all-ticket matches.
As far as Mr Booth's reported comments on the OSSC not complaining, we trust he respects the recent OSSC statement backing the SSA's disappointment. SSA enjoy a great relationship with OSSC who represent approx 40 members, but it is the 1,000 SSA members (which includes some members of OSSC) whose money has allowed our team to enjoy excellent training facilities and buy youth team equipment, yet fans are criticised and agreements ignored.
SSA have in the past invested directly into the club ensuring the club kept players like Nathan Arnold and Jake Buxton and through Team Mansfield, yet agreements are disrespected.
Yes, requests for further funding have been refused by the SSA Committee, but Mr Booth needs to realise the fans of Mansfield Town have for years invested huge amounts of time, money and passion into supporting our club home and away and have been rewarded with one promotion and immediate relegation during the last 15 years and every other season in the basement division, in addition to countless sagas of bad publicity, poor management and a complete lack of positive leadership or ambition, in our opinion.
Supporters have not taken loans from the club nor overseen declines of sponsors over the years. Gutted fans have had to read about the club reportedly being sold then bids turned down and now face the shattering reality of watching non league football after 78 years, despite providing the team with the best training facilities probably ever.
The team itself reached the 4th Round of the FA Cup and gained 2 live appearances on BBC TV, yet club leadership cannot act to prevent the team being relegated to non league or broker a sale to reputable buyers despite it apparantly being for sale for what seems like forever, yet can spend time criticising fans resulting in alienating paying customers further!
Where has the committment been from the club to the fans to even stabilise never mind progress our club?
Instead our proud club has been shamefully dismantled. The recent lunchtime phone in on 103.2 was embarrasing beyond belief and the relegation goal summed up the saddest of seasons for the fans of our beloved football club.
Mansfield Town is not a toy and hugely important to many people, Mr Booth, and although SSA appreciate you are a Sheffield United fan doing a job of work at a snapshot in time, please respect what our fans have had to put up with for years and please ensure that your influence at such a crucial time in our history safeguards the best long term interests of Mansfield Town the club and the long suffering customers of Mansfield Town.
The SSA Committee
Latest | May 2008