HASLAM RESPONDS OVER FIELD MILL LOCKOUT
Fri Dec 10 2010
Mansfield 103.2 has spoken exclusively to both Keith Haslam and John Radford today about the ongoing Field Mill rent row.
Listen to the interviews online here -->
Non-League Paper, 12 Dec 2010
CEO Steve Barker told the Non-League Paper: "As John has said from a previous meeting, we came up with a figure but he (Haslam) wanted virtually treble, which is talking silly money. Hopefully he's come to his senses and we can sort something out."
FOOTNOTE (not from NLP): from Chairman's notes, By John Radford, Chairman - match programme notes - Saturday 06 November 2010
"Last Friday's meeting with the stadium's current landlord almost saw me burning the midnight oil. I took many positives from a lengthy meeting, which ended at 11pm, but ultimately we disagreed on a £2,000,000 valuation of the stadium."
Stags Ltd (Keith Haslam) statement over Field Mill lockout row
CHAD.co.uk, Fri Dec 10 2010 (afternoon)
CONTROVERSIAL former Mansfield Town owner and Field Mill landlord Keith Haslam hit back for a second time on Friday in the row over his lockout of the Stags from Field Mill over unpaid rent - and investigation into his financial running of the club by new owner John Radford.
Mr Haslam - through his company Stags Ltd which owns Field Mill - locked the Stags out of the stadium last week. Mr Radford is claiming that the ex-owner should pay back £3m and last week's Chad featured details of a letter outlining the financial investigation.
Earlier on Friday Mr Haslam, in an interview on Mansfield 103.2, insisted that he had done nothing wrong - and said that he hoped the Stags could be back at Field Mill in time for their next home match against Grimsby on Boxing Day. Mr Radford said that he was willing to meet, but that the landlord needed to be realistic - both over a rental figure and a valuation of the stadium for a possible sale.
Then in a statement released to Chad, he again explained the details of the last six weeks following the only meeting between the two parties.
The statement read:
“This statement is to clarify the position of Stags Limited with regard to the publication of matters recently in the newspapers and broadcast on radio on behalf of the current owner of Mansfield Town Football Club.
“For the avoidance of doubt it is the intention of Stags Limited in this statement simply to clarify the facts of the current situation with regard to monies owed for the rent of the stadium.
“At the time Field Mill was repossessed the Club owed rent dating back to June 2010. Numerous promises had been made that the payment of the rent would be made and indeed, on one occasion, documentary proof that the payment was about to be made was provided. Unfortunately these promises were not fulfilled.
“At a meeting on 29th October 2010, the Club's new owner, John Radford, raised the possibility of purchasing the freehold of the Field Mill ground. What appeared to be a useful discussion regarding the valuation then took place.
“Several days after the meeting, instead of further contact from Mr Radford to discuss the sale, telephone calls were received from journalists asking for comment on a letter they said had been sent by the Club's solicitors. No such letter had been received and the Club's Chief Executive was contacted. He said he knew nothing about it.
“A letter was then received from the Club's solicitors on 12th November 2010 and was passed to Stags Limited's solicitors. It was apparent from that letter that the Club may not have been in the possession of all the relevant documentation relating to the sale of the ground and the declaration of the dividend. If the Club did in fact have all of the relevant papers, it is difficult to see how the Club could credibly make allegations regarding the dividend declared on 9th December 2008 or the sale of the ground.
“Stags Limited's solicitors have offered to make available to the Club's solicitors the papers relating to the transactions of 9th December 2008 so that they can satisfy themselves that there is nothing in the allegations that have been published. As yet the offer has not been taken up.
“At the time of the repossession, Stags Limited made it clear it was willing to enter into a constructive dialogue regarding the future of Field Mill. That remains the case. If Mr Radford wishes to engage in such discussions, Stags Limited would propose that the Mayor of Mansfield, Tony Eggington, should facilitate a meeting to discuss the future of the stadium and the Club's use of Field Mill for the match on Boxing Day.”
STAGS LOCKOUT: Haslam - I have done nothing wrong / Radford - Keith needs to be realisticSponsored by
CHAD.co.uk, Fri Dec 10 2010 (afternoon)
FORMER Mansfield Town owner turned landlord Keith Haslam on Friday insisted that he had done 'nothing illegal' when he sold the club two years ago.
He spoke out after locking the Stags out of the ground over non-payment of rent by new owner John Radford, who is carrying out an investigation into Mr Haslam's financial dealings when in charge of the football club and its sale.
He told Mansfield 103.2 in an interview: “I have done nothing illegal . . . I don't believe anything we have done in the deal (the sale of the football club) was wrong.”
And Mr Haslam said that he was willing to meet again with Mr Radford to try to sort out a deal whch could see the Stags return to Field Mill in time for their next home match, the Boxing Day clash with Grimsby.
He added: “There is no reason why the rent should not have been paid, apart from the suggestion that it would be a war-chest to fight him in court.
“If the rent is paid I would allow them in . . . I am willing to look at the mayor (Tony Egginton) organising a meeting between me and John.
“I have no wish to lock Mansfield Town FC out of the club. I still have people working for me (at Field Mill) and I wdon't want to hinder their work.
“I was here for 15 years and feel for the majority of the supporters . . . and (in the current situation) I feel for the corporate sponsors and advertisers.”
“I hope everyone will be sensible and it will be sorted out. If John decides to go to court I can't do anything about that.”
The two parties met at the end of October - at a meeting led by Mr Egginton - for the first time when a sale of the ground was discussed, but after that meeting Mr Radford sent a letter - featured in last week's Chad - asking for answers over Mr Haslam's financial dealings when in charge of the Stags.
The letter asked for explanations and repayment of £3m – and said legal proceedings to recover the money would begin 'in the absence of any satisfactory response'.
It is thought that Mr Haslam values the ground at around £2m and it is known that he is charging £10,000 a month rent. Mr Radford has previously said that he is prepared to pay the outstanding rent into a holding account pending a resolution of the financial investigation - and that he would be prepared to consider buying Field Mill for a realistic price, pointing out that Mr Haslam paid £1 for the stadium.Later on Friday Mr Radford, who has not spoken directly with Mr Haslam since that October meeting, told 103.2: “I don't mind meeting Keith Haslam, but he has got to understand that I am going to do the best for the football club.
“He could set up a new lease, but he has got to be realistic and sort out a correct price. The rent has got to be reasonable.”
Mr Radford again stated that he was willing to pay any rent into a holding account pending any possible legal action, but added that he thought it was unrealistic to give a person any sort of funding if there was to be a possible court case against them.
Haslam invites Mayor to help end Stags' stand-off
FIELD Mill could yet host exiled Mansfield Town's Boxing Day clash with Grimsby Town, it emerged today.
Former Stags chairman and landlord of the ground Keith Haslam took action last week to repossess the ground after a dispute over unpaid rent.
That did not affect the Stags last weekend as their scheduled home Blue Square Bet Premier game with Barrow was postponed due to bad weather.
Since then, Mansfield chairman and owner John Radford and his team have been busy trying to find an alternative venue to play home games on a temporary basis.
Discussions have taken place with the likes of Notts County, Eastwood Town and Alfreton Town, but Ilkeston Town's New Manor Ground seemed the preferred choice.
However, Haslam's company that owns Field Mill, Stags Limited, have issued a statement calling for the two parties to come together and end the stand-off.
If Mansfield were to not miss a game at their traditional, first-choice ground any agreement would have to be struck before their next home game with the Mariners straight after Christmas.
"At the time of the repossession, Stags Limited made it clear it was willing to enter into a constructive dialogue regarding the future of Field Mill. That remains the case," said the statement.
"If Mr Radford wishes to engage in such discussions, Stags Limited would propose that the Mayor of Mansfield, Tony Egginton, should facilitate a meeting to discuss the future of the stadium and the club's use of Field Mill for the match on Boxing Day."
The statement also confirmed that Radford and Haslam had met in late October to discuss the sale of Field Mill and that a valuation was discussed.
Stags landlord Haslam to break silence over lockout row
CHAD.co.uk, Fri Dec 10 2010 (morning)
FORMER Mansfield Town FC owner and Field Mill landlord Keith Haslam - who last week locked the club out of the ground and terminated its lease in a rent row - is set to break his silence over the controversy.
Mr Haslam told Chad on Friday lunchtime that he would be issuing a statement later today. He has also given an interview to local radio station Mansfield 103.2 to be broadcast later this afternoon saying that he thought the football club's valuation of Field Mill was 'unrealistic'.
Last week, in a statement issued through the bailiffs who carried out the lockout at Field Mill, Mr Haslam said: “The club has failed to pay the rent that fell due under the lease in June and September 2010.
“When the club's new owner, Mr John Radford, took over, it was understood that one of his primary aims was to resolve the future of the stadium.
“Indeed, an initial meeting was held with Mr Radford prior to which payment of the outstanding rent owed by the club was promised. The rent was, however, not paid thereby necessitating the action taken.
“We are aware from various reports that Mr Radford is said to be in current negotiations to purchase the stadium. However, since the initial meeting, from which Mr Radford apparently 'took many positives', Stags Ltd have had no communication with Mr Radford or the club concerning a sale of the stadium. Stags Ltd remain willing to engage in a constructive dialogue with the club regarding the future of the stadium.”
Earlier this week Chad revealed the contents of a letter sent by Stags owner John Radford to Mr Haslam concerning possible inappropriate dividends and loans paid to the former owner and his company Stags Ltd. The letter asked for explanations and repayment – and said legal proceedings to recover the money would begin 'in the absence of any satisfactory response'.
Mr Radford has also said that the club would not pay any rent directly to Mr Haslam until this investigation was concluded - though he has offered to pay the money into a holding account controlled by Mr Haslam.
This week's Chad contains extracts from the letter outlining the Stags' concerns – and claim for Mr Haslam to repay £3m to the football club – over the payment of a dividend of £2,364,054 to Stags Limited, the payment of loans exceeding £350,000 to Mr Haslam, the payment of loans exceeding £580,000 to Stags Limited, the payment of £37,025 to Mr Haslam for loss of office and Mr Haslam's alleged 'breach of director's duties.
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