AGM: CLUB SEEK NEW INVESTMENT + WHY PERRY LEFT
Board actively seek fresh investment
mansfieldtown.net, Wed 18 Aug 2010
It was announced this evening at the Annual General Meeting that our Board of Directors are actively seeking fresh investment.
The following statement was read out to shareholders by Andrew Saunders, who was elected as Chairman this evening:
This season, we as a Board of Directors at Mansfield Town, believe our manager, David Holdsworth, has assembled a team capable of pushing for promotion into the Football League.
We have received a fantastic backing from our supporters and we are very pleased with the season ticket uptake.
However, the 2008/09 accounts show an operating loss of approximately £500,000. This same figure reflects the amount of money handed to Football League clubs on an annual basis.
Mansfield Town continues to be run like a Football League club, which in reflection, is the reason for these losses.
In recent times, we have looked into all aspects of the club and have cut salaries by 50%, with inevitable redundancies.
We have cut waste disposal by 60% and have almost halved electricity consumption.
We are now operating with the 'bare bones' and the only area we have protected is the playing budget, to ultimately allow a realistic chance of gaining promotion.
The club has no major debt due to the fact that we cannot obtain an overdraft and cannot borrow against our assets.
This all means that we, as directors, have covered all losses to the present date which comes to a sizable sum of over £1,000,000.
This cannot continue forever. As a consequence, we will actively seek fresh investment to allow the club every chance of promotion.
Therefore, we welcome any potential new directors willing to put £100,000 into the club in exchange for a seat on the Board of Directors. Also, potential associate directors willing to pay £25,000 will receive the usual director benefits.
We will be looking issue a number of 500 gold shares priced at £1,000 for any fans/businesses wanting to help our promotion push for this season. Every fan can be proud to have the share certificate hanging on their wall in the knowledge that every penny we receive is initialised by the club to support the team.
Board set the record straight
mansfieldtown.net, Wed 18 Aug 2010
From the Board of Directors
On 20 July 2010, it was announced that Andrew Perry had resigned from his position as Chairman of the club...
As a Board of Directors, we would now like to add further to the original statement released at the time of his resignation.
Andrew Perry was given a vote of no confidence from the Board and had little option but to resign. This was the consequence of a reneged financial agreement between the Board members.
Andrew Perry was part of a written agreement in which Board members put £125,000 into Mansfield Town Football Club.
On the back of this, we took the huge step of booking Westlife and agreed subsequent budgets.
It soon became apparent that Andrew Perry had no intention of coming up with the money after several requests and this led to financial hardship.
We do have a signed written agreement and intend to pursue this through the legal courts.
Saunders voted chairman and then issues plea for cash help
CHAD.co.uk, 18 August 2010, By John Lomas
ANDREW Saunders was officially elected the new Mansfield Town chairman at the club's AGM tonight – and immediately called for more financial help to keep the struggling Conference club alive.
He revealed the club had already begun speaking to interested parties, including enquiries from the Middle East, and said the club would also be setting up a new share issue.
Reporting a loss of £555,174 for the year ended June 2009 – the end of tADVERTISEMENT he first season in the Conference – the club's financial director Wincent Kordula admitted the club would probably be looking at similar losses for last season to when those accounts are announced in 12 months time.
Local insurance company owner and lifelong Stags fan Mr Saunders, who was the only person who put his name forward to replace Andrew Perry, who resigned last month, said: "This season the board believe our manager has assembled a team capable of pushing for promotion.
"And we have received fantastic backing from our supporters with over 1200 season tickets sold.
"However, the 2008/09 accounts show operating losses of approximately £500,000 which reflects the amount of money we received from the Football League on an annual basis before relegation.
"Mansfield Town continues to be run as a Football League which is reflected in those losses. But in recent times we have cut salaries by as much as 50 per cent with inevitable redundancies.
"Waste disposal is down 60 per cent and we have halved our electric consumption. We are down to the bare bones but the one area we haven't cut is the playing budget to give us a realistic chance of getting back into the Football League.
"We have no actual major debuts as we cannot get an overdraft as we have no asset to borrow against as we don't own the stadium. That means us as directors have covered the losses which are now over £1m.
"This cannot continue forever and so we need fresh investment to give us every chance of survival and promotion.
"We invite anyone willing to invest a six figure sum to become a director and have a seat on the board. And for £25,000 you can also become an associate director and get all the usual director's benefits."
"We have spoken to one or two people already though I won't mention names. Nothing has come out of those discussions as yet but you have to remain optimistic.
"We are looking locally at the moment but we will maybe have to expand and look nationally. In fact we have had a couple of e-mails from the Middle East, one from Thailand, which we have replied to but heard nothing back yet."
He added: "We will also be issuing amber or gold shares of about £1,000 to fans or businessmen willing to help our promotion push. You can frame your share certificate on the wall knowing every penny will be coming into the football club."
Mr Saunders said that the proposed new Stags Lottery would now be launched in October or November as staff had been tied up selling the Westlife gig which, although it had now sold 7,450 tickets, was still a big disappointment to the club.
Running through the accounts, Mr Kordula said: "These are not the best results in the world but they are a tidy-up. Last year we had no idea on the numbers we were working with now have a better understanding.
"The £1.2m turnover was down 30 per cent, the main reason being we had dropped into the Conference. League receipts were down a quarter of a million, even with the parachute payments. And we all know what happened with Setanta Sports.
"The previous year we had an average attendance of about 3,100 with 1,200 season ticket holders. So we had a good number of walk-ups on the day.
"But in 2008/09 we had 2,700 season ticket holders yet an average attendance of only 2,500. So we had few walk-ups and even season ticket holders staying away."
Revenue was down 29 per cent and administration expenses up 24 per cent. He said the figures included 'exceptional items' which may have been buried for some years and that anything they couldn't substantiate was written off.
The club also revealed that, once it was certain they would not go up last year, they decided not to pursue ground owner and ex-chairman Keith Haslam to extend the ground lease to the 10 years required for promotion.
This was a financial decision as they said every extra year you had the lease agreed incurred heavy stamp duty to pay.
The board said they would be speaking to Mr Haslam about the situation soon – you also need a 10-year lease to compete in the League – but said it would seem more financially prudent to go back to the landlord each year and avoid the extra taxation.
Mr Saunders also added that the 'Three Amigos' who bought the club were given incorrect legal advice that they didn't need a 10 year lease to gain promotion and he said: "That is now being looked at and pursued and we will see if there is an opportunity to seek redress on any advice that could have been incorrect."
Steve Hymas and Steve Middleton were re-elected as board members as were Beeley Hawley and Co as club auditors.
Stags threaten to take former chairman Perry to court
New twist on resignation
CHAD.co.uk, 18 August 2010, By John Lomas
Mansfield Town have revealed they are chasing former chairman Andy Perry for £125,000 owed to them over an alleged reneged financial agreement before he quit last month.
Stags claim the non-appearance of Mr Perry's money has left them in a mess with a quarter of their expected budget not materialising.
Current director Steve Hymas told tonight's AGM he wanted to set the record straight over Mr Perry's departure, sADVERTISEMENTaying: "This has been burning a hole in us for weeks and we want to set the record straight. We needed to come clean.
"Sometimes you have to do the more nasty things and I am happy to do that tonight as we want to be open, honest and up front. So I want to add to our previous statement about Mr Perry's resignation.
"We gave Andy a vote of no confidence and he had no option but to resign.
"He reneged on a financial agreement between board members which has left us financially embarrassed and letting people down. But we have a signed agreement with him and will be pursuing this through the courts."
Mr Hymas then read a prepared statement saying: "On 20 July 2010, it was announced that Andrew Perry had resigned from his position as chairman of the club.
"As a board of directors, we would now like to add further to the original statement released at the time of his resignation.
"Andrew Perry was given a vote of no confidence from the board and had little option but to resign. This was the consequence of a reneged financial agreement between the board members.
"Andrew Perry was part of a written agreement in which board members put £125,000 into Mansfield Town Football Club.
"On the back of this, we took the huge step of booking Westlife and agreed subsequent budgets.
"It soon became apparent that Andrew Perry had no intention of coming up with the money after several requests and this led to financial hardship and embarrassment for the club.
"We do have a signed written agreement and intend to pursue this through the legal courts."
Mr Perry was present at the meeting and had earlier contributed but refused to comment over the allegations which were made right at the end.
Was Stags dividend issue illegal?
CHAD.co.uk, 18 August 2010, By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town are taking advice over the legality of the share dividend issue that was part of the complicated financial deal which saw the current board buy out previous owner Keith Haslam, leaving him as landlord and no debts for either side.
If the club's 'distributable reserves' were insufficient to fund the dividend, the deal could yet be deemed illegal although it is unclear if this could, at any stage, see the ground returned to the club.
An item on the accounts entitled 'Continent Assets' stated: "A dividend was voted on 9th December of £2,442,488. In the directors' view the dividend was illegal as, at the time, the company had insufficient net assets.
"The directors are considering legal action to pursue this amount. The amount is not recognised as an asset due to uncertainties regarding amounts recoverable."
Interestingly in 2006 the High Court ruled that the ownership of the freehold of Wrexham's Racecourse ground had been improperly transferred, and ownership of the ground reverted to the clubs' then-administrators, the club having gone into administration in December 2004 with debts of £2,600,000).
With the clubs' emergence from administration in May 2006, ownership of the ground was moved to new owning company Wrexham Football Club (2006) Ltd.
Holdsworth backs Andrew Saunders as new Mansfield Town chairman
Evening Post, 20 Aug 2010
DAVID Holdsworth has backed the appointment of Andrew Saunders as Mansfield Town chairman.
Saunders took over as interim chairman after Andy Perry resigned from the board in July and was voted in unopposed at the club's AGM on Wednesday night.
Stags manager Holdsworth expects to have a very good working relationship with his new 'boss'.
He said: "I'm delighted for Mr Saunders and he has taken over in a seamless way which means as little disruption possible for the club.
"Andrew has always been straight and precise and good company. We have always got on and I don't see why it won't continue to be that way."
Confusion has reigned this summer as to whether the club's playing budget had been cut on the back of a £500,000 loss in the 2008-09 season.
Saunders said while other areas had seen significant cuts, that particular area had been 'protected.'
But Holdsworth said: "Andy Perry confirmed publicly the budget had been cut in the summer. There are times when it has been extremely hard, but the board are understanding.
"They know you have to get players at certain times when they are available. There are players we have got through the door but haven't been able to sign, but that happens.
"I think Mr Saunders understands the predicament we as managers find ourselves in and that sometimes you have to be patient."
Stags seeks new investment after revealing big losses
Evening Post, 19 Aug 2010
NEW Mansfield Town chairman Andrew Saunders issued a plea for fresh investment at last night's AGM.
Saunders took over as interim chairman last month from Andy Perry – and was voted in as his permanent successor last night.
The Field Mill meeting confirmed the club lost £500,000 during the 2008-09 season, their first in the Blue Square Premier, and a similar loss is expected for 2009-10.
The loss has so far been covered by the directors, who also include Steve Hymas and Steve Middleton and formerly Perry.
"We have covered the losses so far of more than £1 million and this can't continue," said Saunders. "We are seeking fresh investment to give the club every chance of survival and promotion back to the Football League.
"People may want to become directors and can do so by putting in a six-figure sum.
"We are also looking for associate directors who are prepared to put in £25,000 each, and fans and businesses to become gold or amber shareholders for £1,000."
The meeting also revealed, in a statement read out by Hymas, that Perry resigned as a director in July after a vote of no confidence by his fellow board members.