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Archived News from March 2009

DROP IN GATES COULD HINDER / REF WAS RIGHT
18th March 2009 20:38


Drop in gates could hinder Stags' ambitions
CHAD.co.uk, 16 March 2009, By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town's hopes of a promotion push next season are being rocked by a worrying drop in gates.

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
New Stags manager David Holdsworth looks to have comfortably eased relegation fears inside 11 games in charge and has already begun bringing in some top quality players for next season, goal ace Daryl Clare being the latest new face.

Holdsworth also has an exciting shopping list with players already telling him they want to be part of next season's plans.

But all those plans could crumble if Stags do not push their gates up for the last five home games of the current campaign as budgets won't be met and cuts will be forced on the owners.

Saturday's 3-0 win over Forest Green set a new Field Mill record of 593 minutes without conceding a home goal.

Yet Saturday's 2,174 gate saw a drop of 290 home fans inside seven days.

The season began so well with 2,703 watching the Histon game, 2,741 for Northwich, 2,536 for Eastbourne, 3,171 - boosted by away fans - for Cambridge, 2,563 for Woking and 2,757 for Wrexham.

Obviously the 'credit crunch' is having an effect. But the 'Three Amigos', who were assured fans would flock back once owner Keith Haslam was gone, are naturally starting to worry.

"I know some people have said they are not coming as there is nothing to play for but the trouble is we have already budgeted to a certain level," said chairman Andy Perry.

"It will affect us being able to help David. This season we have had the 'parachute payment' but next season there isn't one. So we still need to fans to come out and see us.

"We have dropped prices and offered incentives but we seem to be down to our hardcore die-hards who will always come.

"If we go any lower with prices and the extra people don't come in then you put yourself into financial issues.

"So please still come out and show your support. If you don't it will affect next season and also affect what David is able to do during the summer.

"We have players whose contracts are almost up and without the money we won't be able to pay them during the summer months.

"Fans want promise and they want Daryl Clare here. But other clubs will come in for him from day one at the end of the season and offer him money.

"We can't turn round to him or any player and just say we will pay you from the first week in August. We want to tie these players up now."

He added: "The gates we get in our last five home matches will be a gauge as to where we are with season tickets.

"We will be announcing prices at the end of the month. But if we drop them too low and only the same diehards take them up then the money available won't match the ambitions we have in moving forward. It is a gamble.

"I do understand that a good start to next season will see more bums on seats. But that doesn't help us now.

"Some say this season is dead and buried but all we can do is fight for every point still available and hope and wish. We still need our supporters to come to these games.

"I know it's a big ask in this day and age when there are issues with job cuts and the financial position everyone is in.

"But this club is no different. We are a business and we are in the middle of it too. We have hopes and aspirations of getting to another level, but that requires a certain level of funding.

"All three of us on the board have put a certain amount of money in this season plus we had the parachute money.

"But there is only so much you can do. There aren't many Abramovichs about and clubs like Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all borrowed huge amounts.

"The further down the leagues you go the more it has to be a viable financial proposition.

"We are heavily reliant on the town's support and local businesses have done their bit this season to a certain level. Now we have to push to the next level.

"People can see the big changes we have made here and we have hopes and aspirations. We can't see those fade as we will be left with the costings."

Manager Holdsworth added: "It is very important that we must be able to balance our level of expenditure with realism. If we don't get improved crowds then there is only a certain level of expenditure we can go to.

"The players have bought into what I am doing here and now we hope fans will buy into the product too.

"I echo what the chairman has said that we must have improved crowds to bring in the type of players I am looking at. If not we will have to lower our sights.

"I do recognise the current climate in the social world. We did expect a few more in on Saturday but it's Mother's Day this weekend so perhaps they were saving their money for presents.

"We hope that those who did turn up enjoyed seeing a convincing 3-0 win and tell all their friends. We all want the best for this football club and I am trying to lay the foundations very quickly."

The next home game is on Saturday, 28th March against Torquay United (3pm).

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Referee WAS right to send off Somner - Holdsworth
CHAD.co.uk, 16 March 2009, By John Lomas
After reviewing the match DVD David Holdsworth conceded that Matt Somner did deserve his red card which will see him miss the next three games.

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Somner flicked a leg at Adriano Rigoglioso and was shown a straight red, having already been booked shortly before anyway.

Referee Colin Harwood finished up with a tally of two red and six yellow cards, bringing criticism from both bosses at the end.

But on Monday Holdsworth said: "The referee got it right.

"Matt left himself in a position of vulnerability. He left a trailing leg in the air after the ball had gone away and the referee was perfectly positioned to witness it.

"Matt is a winner and has been magnificent since I came here. But now he is suspended and it's going to cost us.

"The matter will be dealt with privately between ourselves. We have a code of conduct here and we have set standards which the players have done brilliantly to adhere to.

"Only a few small fines have been handed out. But the lads know they won't get away with anything. I have been there, seen it, done it. You can't kid a kidder!

"There was a coming together but it was very soft, given the context of the later challenge on Ryan Williams. If Matt's was a sending-off then that certainly was.

"On that I think his position was poor. But you can't get them all right.

"He was a bit pedantic about the 10 yards with Mark Stallard. But he got a lot of things right. He got the penalty decision right. It was a WWF challenge with his push on Scott Garner and the lad didn't need to do it."

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Clare takes next step towards Stags debut
CHAD.co.uk, 16 March 2009, By John Lomas
DARYL Clare will take another step towards match fitness as part of a very strong Mansfield Town side to face Nottingham Forest in a reserve clash at Field Mill on Wednesday (2pm).

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
The Rushden and Diamonds goal ace, on loan to Stags until the end of the season, has not played for three months and Stags fans cannot wait to see him in first team action.

"Daryl is working very hard and he will play for 60 to 65 minutes on Wednesday and, if he comes through that, then he will be in the 20 for Saturday's trip to Grays," said manager David Holdsworth.

"There is no rush. It will be hard to change the side anyway after last weekend though I probably will do as I like to keep rotating players."

He added: "I will play six to eight first team players in a very strong team on Wednesday.

"I don't want anyone feeling left out and they all need to get 90 minutes under their belts as games are coming thick and fast and they will be needed as we will pick up injuries and suspensions."

Jason White, Gianluca Havern, Curtis Woodhouse, Neil MacKenzie, Michael Blackwood, Conor Higginson, Alan O'Hare, Scott Gardner, Chris Wood and Grant Ryan will all figure as will youngsters Tom Naylor and Andrew Gascoigne.

The only trialist likely to play is Sheffield United full back Elijah Reid.

"I want to take another look at Gascoigne and Nayor as they are two very good youngsters," said Holdsworth.

"And Elijah will come in again. He is a good prospect but it's very difficult as he is a right back as we have three players who can play that role already.

"But I want to be fair to him and he acquitted himself very well last week.

"I have to be mindful of what would happen if Gary Silk decided his future lay elsewhere.

"I believe he wants to stay but these players may have other people telling them they can earn a lot more elsewhere. Nothing is set in stone yet."

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Latest | March 2009