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Archived News from September 2011

19th September 2011 21:59

Stags appoint new CEO
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 13 Sep 2011

We are delighted to announce Carolyn Still as our new Chief Executive Officer.


Ms Still has succeeded Steve Barker, who has accepted a new position within One Call Group, Chairman John Radford's company.

At 29-years-old, Ms Still becomes the youngest in the country to take up such a role in football.

A politics graduate from the University of Durham, Ms Still brings a wealth of experience to her new position developed through the fashion industry where she worked alongside the Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer in two of the world's largest luxury goods companies, Bulgari SpA and Gucci Group.

Speaking to mansfieldtown.net, Ms Still said: "It's a great privilege for me to be offered the chance to lead this football club.

"I intend to add vibrancy and fresh ideas to our approach off the field.

"Having attended numerous fundraising events, organised by the club's supporters groups, I am well aware of the passion and enthusiasm that the fans have to see the Stags succeed.

"I want to wake sleeping fans with a lot of different initiatives by liaising with them and finding what they want.

"Much work has been done to develop relationships with key businesses in and around the area, and we must continue to work hard to ensure that our off-the-field commercial activity increases in an attempt to make the club self-sustainable.

"The club must continue to forge close relationships with the local community, businesses and supporters and it will be my job to ensure that these are strengthened to maximise both our revenue and our position in the local community.

"'We have a fantastic team both on and off the field and I am pleased to accept this role during a time when there appears to be a real buzz around the place," she added


Mansfield Town appoint youngest chief executive in English football
bbc.co.uk, Tuesday 13 September 2011 1:30pm

Mansfield Town have appointed the youngest chief executive in English football.


Carolyn Still, 29, has previously worked in the fashion industry for Bulgari and Gucci.

She succeeds Steve Barker, who has accepted a new position within chairman John Radford's company, One Call Group.

"It's a great privilege. I intend to add vibrancy and fresh ideas to our approach off the field," Still told the Blue Square Premier club's website.

"Having attended numerous fundraising events, organised by the club's supporters' groups, I am well aware of the passion and enthusiasm that the fans have to see the Stags succeed.

"I want to wake sleeping fans with a lot of different initiatives by liaising with them and finding what they want.

"Much work has been done to develop relationships with key businesses in and around the area, and we must continue to work hard to ensure that our off-the-field commercial activity increases in an attempt to make the club self-sustainable."


mikebettison (BBC Radio Nottm editor), Wed 14Sep2011 8pm
This BBC story - about #stags photogenic new Chief Exec gets 320,000 hits in a day. Not bad for a non-league story. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14901438.stm


audio interview with Carolyn Still from BBC Radio Nottm --->

Mansfield Town appointment genuine - Carolyn Still
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Mansfield Town's new chief executive Carolyn Still insists her appointment is "genuine" amid speculation she is in a relationship with owner John Radford.

Still, 29, became English football's youngest chief executive on Tuesday.

Radford has so far not responded to BBC Radio Nottingham as to whether he is romantically involved with Still.

But Still said: "I don't feel it's appropriate, at this stage, to comment. This has been a genuine appointment. I have worked hard to get where I am."

Still is a politics graduate from the University of Durham and has previously worked in the fashion industry for Bulgari and Gucci.

She succeeds Steve Barker, who has accepted a new position within chairman John Radford's company, One Call Group


twitter.com/Matchtalk (David Jackson)
Carolyn Still, new CEO at Mansfield Town, says it's 'not appropriate' to discuss nature of her relationship with club's owner John Radford.


Interview with Carolyn Still from TalkSport Radio, 14Sep2011


Still determined to prove her worth at Stags
Nottingham Post, Friday, September 16, 2011

IT'S fair to say that the appointment of Carolyn Still as Mansfield Town's new chief executive has raised a few eyebrows.


At 29, she is thought to be the youngest chief executive of a professional football club in the country.

That, combined with model-esque looks, illustrated by the picture accompanying the press release to announce her arrival, was enough to attract the interest of several national papers on Wednesday.

Still, whose expertise is in the world of fashion where she has worked for luxury goods companies Bulgari SpA and Gucci Group, is well aware that her arrival may be greeted with a certain degree of scepticism.

But the politics graduate from the University of Durham is determined to be judged on what she does in a business capacity – where she believes she can make a real difference.

"Yes, I'm a young woman in football, but I want to be judged on what I do," said Still. "What I'm saying is have a look in a year's time and see what I have done.

"I'm not a football fan, but I'm sure I'll get a crash course in that. People say football and fashion don't mix, but we are talking about business principals here – and I believe they are transferrable.

"The club have great supporters who are passionate and it makes my job so much easier when everyone is enthused.

"I intend to work hard because I know you don't get anywhere doing the bare minimum.

"Having ideas and talking about what you are going to do is one thing, but it's all about what you actually do that matters.

"I am going to make some mistakes, of course, but I'm certainly going to try to make things happen.

"Steve (Barker) has put some good building blocks in place. I'm got to get my feet under the table but after that I want to get things going quickly."

Inevitably, Still's appointment has drawn comparisons with Karren Brady, who, at 23, became managing director at Birmingham City.

Still replaces the outgoing Barker, who has taken up a role in chairman John Radford's One Call business.

She said: "Of course Karren Brady is an inspiration. It's obviously male-dominated on the pitch, but I believe if you look behind the scenes at clubs these days, there are a lot of women involved and contributing to the team's success.

"You need the backing, but you also have to follow up that trust by performing, regardless of who you are. I intend to back it up.

"Karren is a phenomenal woman and what she has achieved is a sign of the changing times – that women can be tough in business.

"I'm not staying I'm going to come in and steamroller people, I'm a people person at heart, but I think I can cope with the pressures."

Mansfield have struggled financially over the past few years and their last set of accounts in August showed they lost £1m.

Those figures relate to the Stags' second season in the Blue Square Bet Premier and were before John Radford took over as chairman almost 12 months ago.

And even though the club's backer – along with his fellow directors – are willing to cover the club's losses, Still feels the gaps between profit and expenditure can, and should, be closed.

"I do think being self-sustaining is more than achievable but some tough decisions have to be made," she said.

"I will have to be very direct with people, but I think negotiation is my strongest capacity. I don't take no for an answer.

"I believe I can get big cash injections and people to support those who are already putting money in.

"It is a good time to come in because the team are coming off the back of a 5-0 win and the manager (Paul Cox) is doing a fantastic job."

However, Still insists Mansfield's success on the field will not be sacrificed simply to ensure the books are balanced.

She said: "Keeping a tight reins on the finances is paramount to how a business performs. It is always quite a fine line, especially when it is a community business.

"But it is absolutely not the case that it will affect the investment in the team. The directors and chairman are putting a phenomenal amount in and they will continue to back Mansfield because they are all very passionate.

"But I really believe I can get more investment – the club brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people – to supplement that."

Having worked with Radford in the past, Still believes it will benefit her during her time at Field Mill.

"I have known John for a couple of years and in the last year I have worked with him in a consultancy capacity," she said.

"He's obviously a very busy businessman and the fact I already know him will work in the club's favour.

"I will be able to call him on the phone and talk over any issues at any point."


Daily Telegraph


TalkSport online Magazine


guardian.co.uk's tea-time take on the world of football

The professional voyeur world's answer to MacGyver; and a cure for Jedward

Paul Doyle and Rob Smyth guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 14 September 2011 16.12 BST



The Fiver is glad that so many of the old men who run Britain's ailing newspapers are concerned about the nation's youth. Every time we see some grizzled columnist lament the country's moral decline and rail against children being exposed to sickening levels of smut, violence and foreigners, our heart does a little Maypole dance of glee. "These principled go-getters are the people who will make this country great again!" we bellow approvingly before turning to the next article on the same subject, which is normally located somewhere between the 14th and the 47th shot of a woman with little clothing and no knowledge that she is being photographed by a handsomely paid fat man hanging from a tree 400 yards away with a telescopic lens in one hand and, um, a branch of the tree in the other (otherwise he wouldn't be hanging unless, of course, he was the professional voyeur world's answer to MacGyver and had fashioned a makeshift harness from twine and drool. This cannot be ruled out).

They're big on role models, these old men who peddle half-truths and tawdry innuendo. Oh yes. They demand that young folks have perfect people to inspire them, idols they can strive to emulate. Little boys should know that they can grow up to be HEROES who can score, kill and be maimed for their country. Little girls should know that they can grow up to be STUNNAHS who can pout, purr and strip for the lads. If a typically zany flight of fancy leads those girls to go to college or learn some skill other than sticking their chests outs, well, nevermind, all is not lost: they'll get coverage if they're lookers.

"The $exiest football boss ever!" drools the Daily Mail today as it publishes a large photo of … no, not you, Garry Cook … Carolyn Still, who has just been appointed chief executive officer of Mansfield Town. "I intend to add vibrancy and fresh ideas to our approach off the field," droned Still in a statement that would never have been reported if she were not an attractive 29-year-old whose every utterance could be wilfully misinterpreted by frothing readers. "I want to wake sleeping fans with a lot of different initiatives by liaising with them and finding what they want," added Still without the editor having to so much as nudge or wink.

To be frank, the Fiver was half-expecting certain papers to mock up shots of Still in a bikini or a maid's uniform or a nurse's outfit or a leopard-skin leotard or a ... [Fiver pauses to mop brow] ... well, you get the picture. Actually, you don't. But if anyone publishes one like that, we'll let you know so that you can express your outrage.


A Woman In A Mans(field) World?
September 14, 2011 - blog by Jenni

MMansfield Town have a new CEO, a 29-year-old who has a politics degree and has previously worked for some big fashion brands. Succeeding Steve Barker, the previous CEO, who has now moved on to a new role with Stags chairman John Radford's company, the new appointee is keen to start working with local businesses, increase gates, work with the fans – you know, the usual stuff. It is a rite of passage that all new CEOs seem to have to go through these days.

At twenty-nine years of age, the newcomer at the Conference Premier side is one of the youngest in that role in the country and the press release on the club's website is full of promising quotes, such as: ”I intend to add vibrancy and fresh ideas to our approach off the field” and ”Having attended numerous fundraising events, organised by the club's supporters groups, I am well aware of the passion and enthusiasm that the fans have to see the Stags succeed.” Oh yeah, there's one other thing. The new CEO is a woman, and Carolyn Still is her name. She's got blonde hair and is a bit more photogenic than the average football director. And so the usual comments begin.

As the excellent Too Good To Go Down points out there is much written about the lack of managers, CEOs and directors from ethnic minorities and the need to stamp out racism in football, but as soon as a woman is thrown into the mix, even if they are 'the sexiest CEO in football' (a phrase that comes courtesy of the journalistic masterpiece which is the Metro) the inherent sexism which lies beneath the surface of the game bubbles right up to the top of the glass. Let's not forget it is less than a year since loud-mouthed, neanderthal duo Richard Keys and Andy Gray were banished from Sky to TalkSport amid an outcry about sexism in football. It seems that a well presented young woman with an impressive CV (albeit one in which doesn't include much in the way of footballing experience) can only be reported on with reference to her 'sexiness.'

It iss hard to find one article which doesn't refer to Miss Still's appearance. Nevermind the fact she's a businesswoman who has been trusted by the chairman to take on the CEO role – it wouldn't matter if she had three heads and a tail – she is there to do a job and that's what she should be judged on. But then its unlikely a new CEO of a non-league club would be making the headlines of national papers unless they had three heads and a tail or, alternatively, they were a young, glamorous blonde woman. But then again, we might look at the case of Manda Rigby, who was announced as the new chairman of Bath City (or “Chairmanda” as the club's official Twitter feed rather wonderfully refers to her as) – she's a woman too – there wasn't the lads-mag banter which Miss Still has attracted when she was unveiled in her new role in August.

Instead, Ms Rigby, a councillor for Bath and North-East Somerset as well as an experienced businesswoman, had glowing recommendations from manager Adie Britton, praising her for being a 'mad keen, passionate football fan' and mentioning her dad's playing career. Most of the reporting noted she was believed to be the only female chairperson in football, and Ms Rigby herself said, “In some ways I think it makes no difference. My business acumen and knowledge of football are the equal of any man. However, my style may be slightly different, and certainly I want to be as inclusive as possible.” But no one commented on her blonde hair, her looks or her age.

As one of the few women reporting on non-league football at the moment, I've been told more than once this season already that, “sorry love you can't have a team sheet they are just for the reporters” as well have being previously asked which player I'm dating and there was even a camera phone incident which I wrote about on my blog at the time – it's frustrating, its patronising and it still happens. While Miss Still's appointment may have titillated some bored journalists into cobbling together some guff about how 'sexy' she is while wheeling out an old pic of Karen Brady for good measure to fill a gap at the tail end of 'silly season' it is unlikely to stop old men trying to explain the offside rule to me on match days


Post by Steve Hymas on Stagsnet messageboard, 14 Sep 2011:
I must say i have a very open mind on this appointment.I can see the obvious benefits to the club with the publicity and that can only be a good thing as we aim to raise the profile of the club.We need to up the ante and Carolyn certainly fits the bill.
We have a very strong board at the club now and have monthly board meetings to discuss any problems and how to move the club forward.We all have different sections of the club to cover and help the CEO along.
All we want at the club is a happy ship and a winning team.Coxy is providing that on the pitch and its now down to us to emulate this off the pitch and we wish Carolyn every success in her new post.


#stags #mtfc Disappointed to see Chief Exc Steve Barker leave under a cloud Know he was liked by many. Boardroom difficulties got in the way


The Sun, 17 Sep 2011

Youngest footie boss Carolyn Still was an escort
New club exec's saucy past
By TOM WELLS, thesun.co.uk, 17 Sep 2011

A WOMAN who became the youngest boss of an English football club used to be an ESCORT, The Sun can reveal.


Glamorous Carolyn Still, 29, enjoyed steamy dates with scores of male punters before landing the top job at Mansfield Town FC.

Carolyn was on the books of two sexy agencies and was said to have "met men at different times of day and night".

She was made chief executive of the Nottinghamshire club last week after striking up a friendship with club chairman John Radford, 45, who offered her a job.

The pair deny their close relationship had any impact on her appointment to the Blue Square Bet Premier club, nicknamed The Stags.

Carolyn, believed to be originally from Lancashire, is thought to have been first lured into escorting as a politics student almost ten years ago.

She signed up with an agency called Lucy Brookes, posing for raunchy internet photos as "Luella".

The money she earned is believed to have gone to pay off debts and she later headed to London to work as an account manager for top fashion labels Bulgari and Gucci.

Later she moved back to Leeds — where she had worked previously — and held a job with crisp makers Seabrook's before returning to escorting in 2009.

Sources revealed she signed up with another agency, McKenzie's, one of the biggest in Britain.

This time she worked under the name "Brooke" and received rave reviews from punters who hired her for hours at a time. Last night the shocked soccer executive did not deny our story when we put it to her.

Instead she told The Sun: "I haven't had a hunky-dory life at all. I don't even know what to say. For me, it's just very overwhelming."

However a pal revealed she had been "very good" as an escort and that men had paid her huge tips.

The pal added: "She used to meet men at different times of the day and night. It helped bring in a lot of extra money."

Carolyn is thought to have quit escorting last year.

Speaking last week about her new role, she said: "I intend to add vibrancy and fresh ideas to our approach off the field. I want to wake sleeping fans."

Carolyn's appointment comes almost 20 years since SunSport columnist Karren Brady blazed a trail in English soccer.

Apprentice star and West Ham vice-chairman Karren, now 42, was made Birmingham City's managing director at 23 in 1993.

She battled sexism from players and club officials to begin with.

But eventually she won respect for her no-nonsense approach - with ex-Blues manager Barry Fry later describing her as "one hard b*****d".

However Carolyn has already faced questions over her closeness to Mr Radford.

Repeated rumours suggest the pair are an item, a claim which Carolyn has so far failed to deny.

Speaking after landing the job, she said: "I don't feel it's appropriate at this stage to comment.

"This has been a genuine appointment. I have worked hard to get where I am."

McKenzie's agency hit the headlines in 2007 when Cristiano Ronaldo and current Man Utd star Anderson romped with FIVE girls from the firm, including Tyese Cunningham and Gemma Storey.




City Living » Interview »City Loving

Posted on Wednesday 4th March 2009


Meet Carolyn Still, a lady who gave up Gucci glamour for life as a Yorkshire rose

“Before I came to Leeds, I split my time between Lancashire and London, went to university in Durham, and then moved back to London to work for Gucci,” new Leeds resident Carolyn tells us. Working for Gucci? Then moving to Leeds? Is she crackers?

“No, it was all a bit The Devil Wears Prada!” she laughs. “I wanted to move back up North. I visited Leeds for the day, based purely on the recommendations on other people, and absolutely, completely fell in love with it.”

Crikey. We didn't quite realise Leeds was that good, but who are we to argue? On a year out from her legal practise studies here in Leeds, Carolyn is spending her time making the most of everything Leeds has to offer. Unsurprisingly, she isn't talking about its art galleries.

“A lot of my friends from Durham moved here after university, and we've had some great nights out. I have been doing a lot of temporary work, but I've mostly just partied a lot…”

Carolyn's move from London to Leeds would probably have been a lot less pain-free had it not been for her “fantastic” estate agent, Carrie Alliston of Hunters, who showed Carolyn around countless apartments before helping her settle on her perfect place to store all those designer handbags - a penthouse apartment in the recently-completed Gateway.

“I have the most magnificent panoramic views of Leeds - my balcony goes all the way around the building,” she gushes. “Every apartment Carrie showed me was stunning, but there was a really strong sense of community here in the Gateway, because of the on-site bar and residents-only gym. It really is an amazing place to live.”

The Gateway is also just a five minute walk away from the bright lights of Briggate, which suits “always late for everything” Carolyn down to the ground. In fact, she's so smitten with her Leeds city centre lifestyle that she's even changed her career plan to ensure she'll never have to leave.

“I totally intended to move back to London after I finished my course, but now I've decided that I'd like to have a Leeds-based law firm. The quality of life is just far better here than in London - people are more positive, and so much friendlier. I can walk into any of the bars on Call Lane, and be sure that I'll know people.

“I don't think I'm ever going to move out of Leeds. I'm a Yorkshire girl now!”



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