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Archived News from September 2010

MANSFIELD TOWN UP FOR SALE
20th September 2010 21:58


Mansfield Town up for sale
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 09 Sep 2010

After a lengthy Board Meeting at Field Mill, it has been decided that Mansfield Town Football Club is to be put up for sale.

Read full story at mansfieldtown.net here

The Board believe David Holdsworth, the manager, has assembled a squad capable of returning to the Football League which currently sit in a healthy position in the top three of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

The Board believe they have taken the club as far as they can and now is the ideal time for someone new to takeover the helm and move the club to the next level.

The Board statement added: "Anyone wishing to have the exciting prospect of owning an established football club with a dedicated fanbase should approach the club and express an interest as soon as possible to help maintain the good start to the season."

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video interview with chairman Andy Saunders --->

Watch at mansfieldtown.net here

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audio interview with chairman Andy Saunders --->

Listen at BBC.co.uk here

Cash-strapped Mansfield Town up for sale
BBC.co.uk, Thursday, 9 September 2010, 3:20pm

Cash-strapped Mansfield Town have been put up for sale.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/m/mansfield_town/8984904.stm?

The Blue Square Bet Premier club are third in the table but have had to cut the playing budget and scrap the youth team and centre of excellence.

Stags chairman Andrew Saunders told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We felt that to drive the club forward, it needs someone else to take it on.

"We are not really in a position to support the club in the same financial way as we have been doing."

He added: "In the short-term, we will support the club as long as we possibly can. The club will remain for sale as long as it takes.

"Administration is not something I see happening immediately. "

The Stags dropped out of the Football League in 2008 and finished ninth last season, falling 16 points short of the play-off places.

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Stags up for sale
CHAD.co.uk, 09 September 2010
AFTER a lengthy Board Meeting at Field Mill, it has been decided that Mansfield Town Football Club is to be put up for sale.

http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/Stags-up-for-sale.6523488.jp

The Board believe David Holdsworth, the manager, has assembled a squad capable of returning to the Football League and currently sit in a healthy position in the top three of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

The Board believe they have taken the club as far as they can and now is the ideal time for someone new to takeover the helm and move the club to the next level.

The Board statement added: "Anyone wishing to have the exciting prospect of owning an established football club with a dedicated fanbase should approach the club and express an interest as soon as possible to help maintain the good start to the season."

Chairman Andy Saunders later told the club's official web site: "Myself, Steve Hymas and Steve Middleton have made major commitments to this football club financially but we have come to the point where we can't really make any further financial commitments to the club ourselves.

"It is well documented we are putting in the region of £10,000 a week.

"It was a very, very hard decision as I have supported this club since 1966 and the other two not quite as long. But we believe this is the way forward.

"We can't support the club any further than we have so it is in the best interests of the football club to put the club up for sale.

"We are third in the table so it is probably the best time to sell the club. We feel someone else can take the club on and get it back into the Football League where it belongs.

"We are still fully behind the football club. The fans have supported us fantastically well since the start of the season. We need them to back us to the hilt as this football club is bigger than any one person."

Mr Saunders said he and the other directors would be happy to stay involved at the club if needed by any possible new owner.

"I feel myself and the other directors have something to offer to any new perspective owners but it would be dependent on who the owners were and if they wanted our involvement.

"One or two people have shown an interest and some talks are ongoing. But the sums of money involved are quite small and we need a major investment which as yet has not been forthcoming."

Full story in next week's Chad.

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STAGS ARE IN NEED OF A SAVIOUR
CHAD.co.uk, Wed Sep 15

JUST over two years since the so-called 'Three Amigos' bought Mansfield Town Football Club, the dream has turned sour and the club is back on the market.

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/stags_are_in_need_of_a_saviour_1_1543787

With heavy rents to pay, crowds failing to reach break-even figures, despite good performances, and no more parachute payments from the Football League the club are hemorrhaging £10,000 a week.

And current owners and passionate Stags fans Andy Saunders, Steve Middleton and Steve Hymas last week reluctantly decided to put the club up for sale.

This came less than two months since the first of those original 'Amigos', Andy Perry, left the club following an alleged fall-out over money.

However, although the club need a buyer as soon as possible, current chairman Andy Saunders stressed there was no imminent danger of them pulling the plug or going into administration.

He is not putting a time frame on how much longer the directors can keep putting their money in apart from saying: “We (the directors) will support the club as much as we possibly can until we attract new owners or further investment.”

On administration he added: “That is something I sincerely hope will not happen at Mansfield Town Football Club.

“It is certainly not something I can see happening immediately.

“We (the directors) will support the club as much as we possibly can until we attract new owners or further investment.

“It's very difficult in non-League football (to maintain a club). Mansfield is a big club at this level with a large stadium which costs us a lot to keep running.

“In the short term, we will support the club as long as we possibly can. The decision to put the club up for sale was made with the heaviest of hearts.

“Now is the time for the town and its people to support their club.

“We sit proudly in third position in the Blue Square Bet Premier and have a squad capable of promotion.

“It is an ideal time for people to flock to Field Mill and back us.”

Director Hymas, brought on board by the 'Three Amigos' - Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton - as they were dubbed by fans in January, 18 months after their takeover of the Stags, admitted in the summer that the board was subsidising the club by £10,000 a week.

Then chairman Perry dismissed the claim and said 'the true picture of last season will be seen in the accounts'.

However, it was announced at the AGM that the amount was true meaning the directors have put in £1m of their own money over two seasons.

Perry had stepped down as chairman and also from the board of directors - though it is believed he remains a shareholder.

At the time there were rumours that he was unable to match the financial committment of other directors as they continued to keep the club afloat with their own money.

Directors had also appealed for cash through the matchday programme.

The cash crisis has already seen the Stags reluctantly forced to scrap their Centre of Excellence and then the club closed down their youth team.

The Stags' financial battle has seen them stage major pop concerts at Field Mill in a bid to make money too - as well as accept help from fans' fund The 12th Stags, which has funded the wages of two new players this summer, strikers Paul Connor and Luke Medley.

But the first music venture, an X Factor event, eventually ended up losing a few thousand pounds, while the appearance of pop superstars Westlife failed to fill Field Mill as expected, despite a late flurry of ticket sales.

And the club's efforts to attract more sponsorship and develop commercial activity has been hampered by the national economic downturn. Stags are also now losing an income of around £600,000 a year compared to its Football League days in terms of TV revenue.

Finally the club released a statement last Thursday stating: “After a lengthy board meeting at Field Mill, it has been decided that Mansfield Town Football Club is to be put up for sale.

“The board believe David Holdsworth, the manager, has assembled a squad capable of returning to the Football League and currently sit in a healthy position in the top three of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

“The board believe they have taken the club as far as they can and now is the ideal time for someone new to takeover the helm and move the club to the next level.

“Anyone wishing to have the exciting prospect of owning an established football club with a dedicated fanbase should approach the club and express an interest as soon as possible to help maintain the good start to the season.”

This is the second time in just over two years that Mansfield Town has been up for sale.

Former controversial Stags' owner Keith Haslam agreed a deal to sell the football club to Perry, Saunders and Middleton in late June 2008 just after relegation from the Football League, though the deal was only completed four months later.

It ended Haslam's 15-year tenure at the helm of the club and a long period of uncertainty as would-be buyers came and went, though Haslam remains landlord and continues to own the Field Mill stadium, charging the club a rent believed to be more than £100,000 a year.

Despite the off-the-field gloom, on the pitch David Holdsworth's men are going well and produced a third successive away win at Southport last weekend.

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Chairman Saunders tight-lipped over cost of Stags sale
Evening Post, 10 Sep 2010

CHAIRMAN Andrew Saunders today refused to put a price on taking over Mansfield Town.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/sport/Chairman-Saunders-tight-lipped-cost-Stags-sale/article-2630289-detail/article.html

He and fellow directors Steve Hymas and Steve Middleton put the club up for sale yesterday, saying they had taken the club as far as they could.

Saunders is now urging potential investors to come forward after revealing it is costing him and his fellow board members around £10,000 a week to keep the club running.

He believes the club has big potential and, under the right ownership, could make a swift return to the Football League.

"I am not quite sure at his stage what a takeover would cost," said Saunders.

"We have made financial commitments to the club and come to a point where we can't make any further financial commitments.

"The directors have been putting an awful lot of money into the club – in the region of £10,000 a week.

"We have had one or two people who are interested in putting some money in and discussions are ongoing."

When he was elected as chairman in August, Saunders appealed for fresh investment.

But he explained he feels now is the ideal time not just for an injection of cash, but for a change of owner.

Saunders said: "At this moment in time, we are third in the Blue Square Premier, so it's probably the best time to sell.

"The club is in need of someone else to take it further on.

"We need to get back in the Football League, where the club should be and hopefully someone will have heard about this and is in a situation to step forward and buy the club.

"I urge anyone interested to pick up the phone and talk to myself, Steve Middleton or Steve Hymas – we will listen to anyone."

All three directors would, Saunders insisted, consider staying on a new board under a new owner.

They have been forced to work without a previous fourth member after the former chairman, Andy Perry, resigned earlier in the summer.

"I think what happens would depend on the potential new owner, but I would like to feel that myself and the other directors have something to offer," said Saunders.

"If they wanted me, personally, to stay on, that is something I would look at."

Saunders insisted putting the club up for sale was a heart-breaking decision for the trio, who are all big Stags fans.

The decision was taken at a board meeting on Tuesday night.

Saunders said: "It has been a very, very difficult decision. I have supported Mansfield since 1966 and the other two Steves a little bit shorter time than that.

"But we believe it will be for the benefit of the club. We believe this is the best way forward.

"We are looking forward to new ownership and I'm sure any new owner could drive this club forward."

The chairman recognises the club's fans would have concerns about the club's future prospects.

"My message to the supporters is to stay fully behind the club. All the fans have supported the club fantastically since the start of the season," he said.

"We need them to still back us to the hilt because the club is bigger than any one person."

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Stags up for sale
Submitted by WG on Sun, 12/09/2010 - 11:35
http://www.footballeconomy.com/content/stags-sale?

Mansfield Town FC have been put up for sale. They are in their third season outside the Football League and enjoyed the fourth biggest crowds outside the Football League last season. Chairman Andrew Perry was voted off the board in July, with remaining directors alleging he had reneged on a written obligation in joining them in punpinng £125,000 each into the club.
Now current chairman Andrew Saunders and his fellow directors have admitted they don't have the money to continue covering a loss of around £10,000 a week, having together ploughed £1m into the club since taking over in 2008.
As well as a 50 per cent cut in staff salaries through redundancies and getting rid of the club's youth set-up, the playing budget was slashed to just over £450,000 for this season. Even so the Stags have been early front-runners in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

(note that comment on "playing budget was slashed to just over £450,000 for this season" came from the Non-League paper, 12Sep2010)

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Mansfield on the market
teamtalk.com, Thursday 9th September 2010 15:15

Mansfield Town have announced their intention to sell the Blue Square Bet Premier club and have opened the door for potential offers.

http://www.teamtalk.com/news/1849/6366633/Mansfield-on-the-market?

According to the club's official website, the board feels it has taken the club as far as it can and are appealing for new owners to take the club forward.

Manager David Holdsworth has worked tirelessly to improve the standing of the club since joining from Ilkeston Town and the board are hopeful any new owner will continue to back the ambitious former Watford, Sheffield United and Birmingham City defender.

The club statement reads: "After a lengthy Board Meeting at Field Mill, it has been decided that Mansfield Town Football Club is to be put up for sale.

"The Board believe David Holdsworth, the manager, has assembled a squad capable of returning to the Football League which currently sit in a healthy position in the top three of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

"The Board believe they have taken the club as far as they can and now is the ideal time for someone new to takeover the helm and move the club to the next level.

"Anyone wishing to have the exciting prospect of owning an established football club with a dedicated fanbase should approach the club and express an interest as soon as possible to help maintain the good start to the season."

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Holdsworth hoping 'for sale' Stags can find investment to move the club forwards
Evening Post, 10 Sep 2010
DAVID Holdsworth hopes Mansfield Town can find the investment required to match his lofty ambitions after the club was put up for sale.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/football/Holdsworth-hoping-sale-Stags-investment-club-forwards/article-2628344-detail/article.html?

Owners Steve Middleton, Steve Hymas and chairman Andrew Saunders announced their decision after a board meeting yesterday. They felt they gone 'as far as they could' and invited applicants to take over 'an established club with a dedicated fan base.'

Crawley and Forest Green are just two clubs who have benefited from fresh investment this summer and manager Holdsworth is willing for something similar to happen to help the Stags back into the Football League.

"The best thing would be if someone could come in and look at it and put some money in so I could develop the club as a manager," said Holdsworth.

"When I came in we had a reserve and youth system and I would always want that in place in an ideal world.

"I understand why that has been taken away.

"If someone does want to buy a community football club then they could do no better than Mansfield Town.

"The board have made this decision with the best interest of the club at heart.

"But I will continue to do my best for the club whatever the circumstances."

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Holdsworth calls for Stags professionalism in uncertain times
Evening Post, By matt halfpenny

IT would be the natural human reaction for any employee in any business – and Mansfield Town's manager and players are no different.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/mansfieldtown/Holdsworth-calls-Stags-professionalism-uncertain-times/article-2631790-detail/article.html?

After the club's board of directors announced they had taken the club as far as they could and put it up for sale, David Holdsworth and his team are, first and foremost, concerned about their futures.

Having started the season brightly to sit third in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, they were hoping to concentrate their efforts on a strong push for a play-off place, starting at Southport this afternoon.

But as Holdsworth admits, that is not a simple task in light of Thursday's news and so many questions remaining unanswered.

He knows the uncertainty about the future direction of the club is bound to have some kind of unsettling effect on the players.

But he is optimistic their professionalism will shine through at Haig Avenue and beyond.

"It is inevitable that we will all have worries, myself and the players included, as we all have families to consider," said Holdsworth.

"And we all work in an industry where we want the best for the club we are working for.

"I hope sincerely the players will come out today and show some fighting spirit.

"We just have to stay focussed as a squad and I'm determined to pull everyone together at Southport and make sure it doesn't affect our performances.

"Hopefully we will be able to maintain the high standards we have set."

To Holdsworth, the scenario that has unfolded is not entirely a surprise having worked hard to keep costs down over the summer.

It also became abundantly clear at the club's annual general meeting last month that Stags have been struggling financially.

Indeed, newly-elected chairman, Andrew Saunders, appealed for new backers to come on-side after confirming the club had lost more than £1m in their first two years out of the Football League.

Holdsworth said: "It has been an extremely difficult, a very testing time for the three directors over the past four or five months.

"I have been privy to some information and so I know this situation might have been a possibility.

"But I have always supported them and understand why they are doing this.

"I hope someone can now come in and take it forward."

Holdsworth feels sympathy for the fans who have once again had the future of their club thrown into the air.

It is only just over two years, amid much fanfare, since the current owners took control from Keith Haslam.

"I have bought into the community aspect of this club since day one and I want to see that succeed," said Holdsworth.

"The supporters are the future of the club and the future would be in doubt if we didn't have their support."

The most obvious way for Mansfield to stem any losses in the short term is for the club to cut their wage bill by releasing players.

Holdsworth said: "I hope I can keep the players together. I worked extremely hard in the summer and we have got a talented squad.

"But whether players will have to leave, we just have to wait and see."

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Audio interview with David Holdsworth from BBC Radio Nottingham. Listen here

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Audio interview with SSA chairman Dean Foulkes from BBC Radio Nottingham breakfast show, 10 Sep 2010. Listen here

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All at Stagsnet would like to thank the owners for their efforts thus far. They are truly appreciated.

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Latest | September 2010