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Archived News from December 2010

17th December 2010 15:24

Dennis Strudwick (Conference board) and Steve Barker (Stags CEO) on Radio Nottingham, 14 Dec 2010. Listen here

FULL Dennis Strudwick interview NOW HERE - listen here


13 Dec 2010

audio from BBC Non-League show, 13 Dec 2010, as Eric Samuelson of the Conference Board, confirms that Mansfield wouldn't be able to play home Conference league games at Ilkeston (*) (essentially unless we can increase the capacity by a thousand in 7 days, from 3000 to 4000, which is clearly not possible). Listen here

(*) and the same applies to Alfreton, where the capacity would need to be increased by 400 in 7 days (from 3600 to 4000).



Conference press release.. essentially Mansfield can't play league games at Ilkeston unless up to grade A by 20th Dec.. more tonight



1. The Board of the Football Conference confirm that both Kidderminster Harriers FC and Histon FC have been charged with misconduct under Rule 18. These charges relate to allegations of submitting misleading financial information.

Each club will within the next two weeks formally appear before an independent commission who will adjudicate on the evidence to be heard.

2. Mansfield Town FC has been instructed by the Board of the Football Conference, that while they are sympathetic to recent events, nevertheless the integrity of the competition must remain paramount in the interest of all member clubs.

As a consequence of information received from the club and its solicitor, the club is required no later than 5pm on Monday 20 December to notify the Conference, of where it will meet the obligation under rule, to fulfil its scheduled Boxing Day home fixture and all home fixtures thereafter.

The rules of the competition are quite clear. If the ground upon which they were admitted to membership is no longer available to stage their home fixtures, then Mansfield Town can only fulfil future fixtures at a ground on which they intend to play such fixtures, which is certified as having an “A” grade qualification. Failure to meet this requirement will not only impinge on issues which relate to competition rules on membership criteria, but other associated matters including, though not limited to, promotion regulations to the Football League.


Stags still eyeing temporary move to Ilkeston despite 'grading' issues
Evening Post
MANSFIELD Town are still eyeing a temporary move to Ilkeston – despite the New Manor Ground not being up to Blue Square Premier standard.


The Stags have been kicked off Field Mill by landlord Keith Haslam over a rent dispute.

Haslam and Mansfield chairman John Radford are due to meet for fresh talks to resolve the situation on Thursday.

But the Stags are taking no chances with their home game against Grimsby Town on Boxing Day fast approaching.

They favour a move to Ilkeston because there are no senior games currently being played there, avoiding potential clashes.

The Stags have been told, however, by the Conference that the Derbyshire ground does not meet required grade A standards.

They would need to improve capacity by 1,000 to 4,000, as well as improve floodlighting and the size of changing facilities.

As a result, they are looking at existing Football League grounds to host fixtures while the work is carried out.

Notts County's Meadow Lane and Rotherham United's Don Valley Stadium are understood to be the venues under consideration for those games against the Mariners and against Altrincham on January 3.

"Alfreton is still an option but there is some possibility of clashes, so our preferred option is Ilkeston," said chief executive, Steve Barker, speaking ahead of at Mansfield's victory against Worksop in the FA Trophy last night.

"There are some issues to address before we can play there, and the main issue is capacity.

"We are looking at the possibility of having temporary stands and seating to bring it up over the required 4,000.

"There are certain firms who have done it at the likes of Bournemouth and Exeter, but it means we have to look at a Ground A venue for Grimsby and possibly the game after that to give us time to make the improvements."

Barker also confirmed Mansfield would 'ideally' unveil their new manager prior to Friday night's scheduled Blue Square Premier trip to Crawley.


One man again has the future of Mansfield Town in his hands
Paul Taylor, Evening Post, 16 Dec 2010

IT is unlikely to have registered on the radar of many football fans outside of Nottinghamshire – or even of those within the county's borders.


A clash between Mansfield Town and Worksop, in the first round of the FA Trophy, hardly screamed glamour and intrigue.

But this north-Notts non-league showdown said more about the current state of football than might initially have appeared obvious.

Not just because it was a rare clash between these two local rivals who, for decades, were separated by several rungs of the football ladder.

But also because of the unique, worrying position that both clubs find themselves in.

How often in the history of the game can two clubs who are currently homeless have ended up playing at the home of another club that, currently, is not playing at all?

Certainly, when they ran out at Ilkeston – whose own future was very much in doubt following their financial collapse earlier this season – the bright new dawn that had been heralded at Mansfield Town under new owner John Radford seemed to be cast under an ever-increasing cloud of doom.

But the blame for that, in the eyes of many fans, does not so much lie with the current chairman, as one of his predecessors.

Keith Haslam, of course, has the same rights as every landlord, in that he can fairly demand that his agreed rent is paid regularly and on time.

But, by being so quick to change the locks at Field Mill and kick-out his tenants, the former Stags owner must have known that his popularity levels in the town would plunge even further.

He must also have been aware of the peril his actions would leave the club in – the club he once loved.

It can be dressed up as a business decision, as the actions of a man who merely wants money he believes he is owed.

But he is surely in danger of slaying the goose that lays the golden egg.

He may own the ground and, in theory, it is built on land that is prime for development, be it for retail purposes or housing.

But there would be much red tape to plough through before that would be possible, not least the good-will and cooperation of the local council.

Having Mansfield Town as long-term tenants must remain the most profitable, straight-forward option – as well as the most community friendly. With Radford and Co having stated that they had employed the services of a legal team to explore the finances of the club under Haslam's reign, perhaps this was merely his way of making a point; of proving that he too has teeth.

But he came to own the ground after allegedly using some of a £2.4m sum paid out in the form of a dividend from the club itself – the legality of which is the main source of Radford's investigations – to complete the purchase of Field Mill.

Not a bad return for a man who initially managed to complete the purchase of the club for £1.

Certainly it was a better piece of business for Haslam than the occasion when, during his tenure at Field Mill, he was approached by a television production company who wanted to use his new house as a film set.

There was no payment involved, but his property – that he was yet to move into – would be completely renovated as part of the deal.

Unfortunately, what didn't become obvious until after was that it was a drama set in the 60s.

And, while completely redecorated, it was in a manner fitting of the era, with lots of velour and bright colours.

Whatever happens with Field Mill, whether it is sold back to the club or a new rental agreement is reached, it should leave the former chairman with plenty of funds for interior decorating. Heck, the ground itself might even get finished.

Whatever Haslam's intentions, the only people suffering at the minute are the fans of Mansfield Town.

Worksop, at least, have agreed a deal with neighbours Retford to play at their ground for the next two seasons.

The Stags, thus far, are not certain where they will be playing on Boxing Day.

And, having dispatched Worksop on Tuesday, for once, they will have been upset being handed a home tie in the second round of the Trophy.

That game, in theory, could be played at Ilkeston again.

Unfortunately, their league matches cannot, after Blue Square Premier officials warned that neither the New Manor Ground or the alternative venue, Alfreton Town, meet the required criteria.

So, unless an agreement can be reached, Stags could face a huge fine and a points deduction.

Their hopes of a return to the Football League could be dashed in a flash.

And, while it may have seemed like a brave new era at Mansfield Town, it appears that, in fact, the opposite is currently true.

As was the case for much of their recent history, their fate remains very much in the hands of one man.



Latest | December 2010