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Archived News from May 2008

7th May 2008 0:10

Stags Fans United

07 May 2008

Following discussions between fans groups SFFC, TM, SSA and OSSC, all parties are absolutely united in the belief that nothing will change for the better at Mansfield Town whilst the current owner remains at Field Mill. With this in mind we would like to announce the uniting of the focus of the four main fans' organisations under the banner of Stags Fans United to help ensure the future of our club and the fortune of businesses in the Mansfield district.

After yet another season of minimal investment and lack of strategic planning by Mr Haslam there has been complete failure on the pitch and the totally unacceptable relegation to non-league football. Under the ownership of Mr Haslam we are now unable to even compete in the Football League. The fans and the town have been fed reports of aborted takeovers for far too long and the one common factor in all reported takeover attempts is the involvement of Keith Haslam. Stags Fans United questions whether during negotiations Mr Haslam is acting in the best interests of himself or the Football Club. From what has been reported in the press it appears that a deal may only be completed if the club effectively loses the land bought in Skegby for the academy training centre and also if Field Mill stadium is separated from that of the club. How can the above actions serve, in any way, the best long term interests of the club?

Stags Fans United have come together to urge all fans of MTFC and people who care about the district of Mansfield to unite and urgently consider the following key actions:

1) As fans provide the majority of Keith Haslam's income we have the power to use that money as a key lever. Stags Fans United ask all fans to consider whether if they buy another season ticket whilst the current owner remains in place are they certain their up front money will be used to benefit Mansfield Town Football Club or the owner? We are asking all fans to refuse to purchase season tickets until the arrival of a new owner who has the best interests of the club at heart. It is vital to note that it is reported in the press that the club will be sold with a zero bank balance and as such any monies arriving before its sale will not in our opinion benefit the much needed rebuilding of the team or regeneration of the club.

2) Stags Fans United are acutely aware of the potential damage that is predicted to impact on the revenue of businesses in the district of Mansfield as a result of relegation. Conservative estimates place this figure in excess of £2 million. We call upon current and former club sponsors and all local companies to agree to withhold all investment in the club until better governance is guaranteed by the departure of Keith Haslam. We all need to be united to restore Mansfield to the status of a football league town.

Stags Fans United has already received the excellent support of Andy Sutton Pipelines Limited, CHAD, Radio Mansfield 103.2, Fiducia Comprehensive financial planning Ltd, NDM Building Contractors, Pheonix Plumbing, Andrew Saunders Insurance Services, East Midlands Plastering and Opsis Consulting who have declared that their businesses are supporting the business community of Mansfield by withholding all sponsorship and funding from Mansfield Town Football Club. If your business would like to join in this initiative please contact SFU.

3) We will be calling a public meeting in the next few weeks for all fans, where details will be given of how they can contribute money or support to a fund which could give the fans a say in the future running of their club. The money could be used to support any suitable buyout or to support any future owners who have the best interests of the club at heart.

4) The fans of Mansfield Town will have noted with interest comments made by Mr Meale M.P. on Radio Mansfield 103.2 when he called for a new start at the club. He has finally recognised the need for the supporters and the local business community to be involved with the regeneration of Mansfield Town Football Club. This new found support is a welcome sea change and begs the questions whether he can put his words into action by bringing the various business leaders and supporters together. We expect urgent clarification of what he intends doing over the next four weeks to facilitate this.

Remember Mansfield Town Football Club is at the heart of your town and it is time for the fans and the town to unite to firstly restore it to acceptable and good governance. Long term we all need the club back into the Football League, under ownership that will allow our treasured club the opportunity to thrive, grow and reach our potential.


CHAD story:
Mansfield Town fans groups unite to call for season ticket boycott

Stags Fans United also asks business to withhold sponsorship

07 May 2008
by Tim Morriss

MANSFIELD Town's four main supporters groups have united under one banner to try to persuade controversial owner Keith Haslam to quickly sell the football club — and stop its demise from further hitting the town.
Stags Fans United (SFU) is launching an appeal to supporters and other businesses to cut off all income streams to Field Mill until the club is sold 'to an owner who has the best interests of the Stags and Mansfield at heart' — and who would then benefit from that money to try to rebuild the club.

SFU was formed in the aftermath of the Stags' relegation from the Football League after a proud 77-year history — and after 18 months of uncertainty at Field Mill and ultimately fruitless on-off takeover talks.

And the appeal comes just three days after manager Paul Holland and some of the players publically questioned the future direction of the club.

Now fans are being urged to boycott season ticket sales for next season until a suitable owner is installed.

And businesses are signing up to a 'Haslam free zone' — withholding sponsorship and commercial activity at the club until a takeover is underway.

Already several, worried about the effects relegation will have on the town's economy which could lose £2m-£5m through relegation, have agreed to support the income boycott.

A public meeting is also planned for the next few weeks, when fans can contribute to a fighting fund aimed at giving supporters the chance to support any suitable new owners – and have a say in the running of their club.

Mansfield MP Alan Meale, who last week said it was time for an immediate change at the club, is also being asked to take an active role. The MP said local business people should take over the Stags, in collaboration with the fans, and Stags Fans United agreed.

In a statement, the united group called on the MP to 'bring the various business leaders and supporters together. We expect urgent clarification of what he intends doing over the next four weeks to facilitate this'.

Stags Fans United has been launched by the Stags Supporters Association (SSA), Stags Fans For Change (SFFC), TEAM Mansfield (TM) and Ollerton Stags Supporters Club (OSSC).

The fans' drastic action call comes after reports that last week's relegation to non league football could cost the town as much as £5m in lost business each year — as well as lead to a fall in revenue at the already troubled football club.

Most supporters blame Mr Haslam's management of the Stags for its current predicament — and chief executive Stephen Booth admits that the low attendances and lack of real commercial activity at the club because of the 'Haslam Factor' cannot be sustained.

Mr Haslam, who put the club up for sale 18 months ago and is still at the helm after an unprecedented season of drama off the field, has previously said that he wants to sell with a zero balance sheet. That is why the SFU believes that any money from the sale of season tickets and sponsorship deals before a takeover would not benefit the club or any new owner.

Already several businesses have agreed not to renew sponsorship deals at the club or become involved in new commercial activity until a sale to an appropriate owner is completed.

These companies include last season's main sponsor A. Sutton Pipelines Ltd (ASPL), together with East Midlands Plastering, the Fiducia Group, Phoenix Plumbing, Opsis Consulting, NDM Building Contractors, ASIS, Chad and 103.2.

Several other high profile businesses have agreed to join the boycott, but asked not to be named at this stage.

Businesses wanting to add their voice to the growing protest are urged to contact PO Box 6430, Kirkby, Notts, NG17 8RA

Stags Fans United is also considering launching a major appeal to raise money to support any suitable buyout. Details of this and a planned public meeting open to all fans to attend will be given in Chad as soon as possible, a spokesman said.



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