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Archived News from March 2012

RADFORD GAINS GROUND FOR STAGS
6th March 2012 11:32



John Radford gains Field Mill for Stags!
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 01 Mar 2012 4.35pm

We are delighted to announce that Chairman John Radford has finally resolved the long-standing dispute with Keith Haslam by gaining ownership of our home, Field Mill.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/page/NewsDetail/0,,10325~2629880,00.html

Following a series of meetings between the Chairman and former landlord Keith Haslam, Mr Radford has now secured a 17 year lease on Field Mill which will allow us to be promoted. In addition, Mr Radford will secure ownership of the ground for the club by purchasing the freehold from Mr Haslam tomorrow morning.

In one of the most poignant moments in our history, our destiny is now safely back in our hands after a spell of almost four years whereby we have been tenants in our own home.

Mr Radford made restoring the club's outright ownership of the ground his biggest priority when becoming chairman in September 2010 and has pursued lengthy and expensive legal proceedings to secure that vision.

The implications of this deal are far reaching. There is no longer any barrier to any potential promotion to the Football League as we can now confirm that we fully meet membership criteria.

This joyous news comes as a welcome boost to our promotion push following a string of impressive results which has seen us win five games from our last seven matches, just two points off the play-offs.

Chairman John Radford said: "This is a momentous day in the club's history. It is great news for the whole Town as well as the club's supporters, players and staff.

"I would ask the people of Mansfield to come out in force and back the players as we now focus on our main priority of returning to the Football League."

Chief Executive Carolyn Still said: "It's like a cloud has been lifted. This is a relief for everybody involved.

"I've always said that this club should be at the heart of the community and I would urge everyone to now get behind us."

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video interview with Carolyn Still --->
http://www.mansfieldtown.net/page/NewsDetail/0,,10325~2630115,00.html

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John Radford and Carolyn Still interview with Mansfield 103.2, 5pm Thursday --->
http://soundcloud.com/mansfield-103-2-sport/01-03-2012-john-radford

Once the audio disappears from the 103.2 website, it will permanently be on the Stagsnet definitive archive webspace at
http://www.stagsnet.net/interviews/JohnRadford_01Mar12_ground_1032.mp3

In response to a guess on the price for the ground, John Radford says he has paid slightly lower than £3million to Mr Haslam for the ground.

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Mansfield Town chairman John Radford plans for the future after Field Mill purchase
chad.co.uk, Thursday 1 March 2012 18:21

STAGS chairman John Radford has bought Field Mill football ground – bringing the controversial reign of Keith Haslam to an end after 19 years.

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/mansfield_town_chairman_john_radford_plans_for_the_future_after_field_mill_purchase_1_4304163

In an exclusive interview with Chad, Mr Radford confirmed the deal had been agreed with Mr Haslam over the Christmas period although he did not reveal how much had been paid.

The deal comes on the 1st March deadline for promotion-chasing Conference clubs to show that they either own their own ground or have a 10-year lease in place.

The ground will now be owned by John Radford Stadium Ltd with a clause in place meaning Field Mill cannot be used for anything other than for sporting purposes over the next 20 years.

Mr Radford, who bought the club in September 2010, said: “The ground has been secured for the fans and for the club. It is a tremendous relief that the deal has finally been concluded.

“Keith was worried that I would purchase the ground to sell on for profit, that was never the aim – I am not a developer.

“We have put the 20 year clause in place to get rid of those fears. Field Mill is the home of Mansfield Town and that is the way it will stay.

“We can now work on developing the ground to help with the academy and training facilities and improve what we can offer commercially.

“Having the future of the ground resolved will ease the pressure on the club. It means we can focus solely on getting the team promoted and driving the club forward.

“The team is coming together well. It is nice to know that I have got some longevity in Paul Cox.

“He will be a good manager for us over the next few years. He is putting together a good team, teams become good teams over time and that is what is happening here.”

Mr Radford, who vowed to buy the stadium and give it back to the fans when he took over at the helm, has also called on stay-away fans to now get behind Mansfield Town in big numbers.

“Keith Haslam is no longer associated with the club and I hope people that stayed away because of his connection will come back,” he said.

“It is vital that the fans get behind us now. If we get back into the Football League it will give the club a big lift and people in the town a big boost.”

The ground purchase finally brings an end to the long-running sage over the future of Field Mill and brings to an end the threat of legal action over the ground's ownership.

When the club withheld rent they were suddenly locked out of the ground in December 2010, before a truce was called just before that Christmas.

The disputed ownership of Field Mill and the legal battle went to court in February last year.

In a quick hearing at Mansfield County Court, the case was adjourned to Birmingham. Crucially, the two parties agreed a scenario that prevented any possible future lockouts - and brought a degree of stability off the field.

The agreement has seen the Stags pay £120,000 per season into a joint account in the names of the club and Mr Haslam's solicitors - with the money not being released until ordered by the court or until the two parties reached agreement. Haslam also agreed not to prevent the club staying at Field Mill while the dispute was resolved.

The club revealed a 'Plan B' late last year and started work on the possibility of playing matches at Rainworth Welfare should they get promoted and not be able to play at Field Mill.

To listen to an interview with John Radford click here
http://www2.mansfieldtoday.co.uk/podcasts/StagsTalk/JohnRadfordbuysFieldMill.mp3

Once the audio disappears from the CHAD website, it will permanently be on the Stagsnet definitive archive webspace at
http://www.stagsnet.net/interviews/JohnRadfordbuysFieldMill_01Mar12_CHAD.mp3

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Radford outlines future vision at Field Mill
Nottingham Post, Monday, March 05, 2012

JOHN Radford saw Mansfield Town close the gap to the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs to just one point – then outlined his determination to press ahead with redevelopment of the Field Mill complex.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15400449-detail/story.html

The Stags chairman and owner was given a standing ovation before Saturday's 2-1 win over derby rivals Lincoln by much of a season-best crowd of 4,838 after completing his purchase of the ground from landlord Keith Haslam at the end of last week.

Now he is looking at ways he can improve and redevelop the facilities, starting with the training pitch.

"Keith Haslam has nothing to do with this club now whatsoever," said Radford.

"I'm absolutely delighted and privileged that I have been able to buy the ground

"We have a clause that says the ground can only be used for sports for the next 20 years and after that I intend for the fans to own the ground.

"I will obviously never charge any rent, which will help with the finances, even if I am not chairman any more during that time.

"Now I own the place it is different to renting it. We have already started by putting new flooring down (in the reception area) But first we will be getting the training pitch back up to scratch."

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Chairman' programme notes v Lincoln

We have something to play for at last! Field Mill is ours. Let's now make this a fortress. We have always been proud of this stadium and now we can develop it.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/page/FromTheChairman/0,,10325~2633833,00.html

The experience of purchasing the ground has been traumatic to say the least, at times. However, I must thank my Chief Executive who has demonstrated great resolve and a very strong business acumen throughout.

I must also extend my gratitude towards all of our hard working colleagues behind the scenes who have contributed tirelessly, particularly Jenny Hizzett. Thanks of course to our solicitors, Pinsent Mason.

Now the work begins as we now hold our own destiny. The shackles have been lifted, as have the clouds, and the sun is now shining.

Immediate work will now be undertaken by the groundsman and his staff to re-develop the training pitch, to the side of the Ian Greaves Stand. The academy will grow bigger and I am sure we will see a few of our youth players promoted to the first team in the not too distant future.

There is much to look forward to with the addition of a reserve team next season, a youth team which has remained unbeaten this season, and our continued play-off charge.

From hereon in, there will be no more talk about Keith Haslam, only football. On the playing front, Paul is developing a promising squad to push us closer to the play-offs. Today, as we celebrate ownership of Field Mill, let's get behind Paul and the players and encourage them to cap off a great day with three points.

Come on you Stags!

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Mansfield Town fans welcome John Radford's Field Mill purchase
chad.co.uk, Thursday 1 March 2012 17:55

STAGS boss Paul Cox and fans groups have today said Mansfield Town's purchase of their Field Mill stadium will allow the club to move forward.

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/mansfield_town_fans_welcome_john_radford_s_field_mill_purchase_1_4303965

The deal, which finally brings to an end the controversial 19-year association of Keith Haslam with Mansfield Town, comes just hours before today's (1st March) deadline for promotion-chasing Conference clubs to show that they either own their own ground or have a 10-year lease in place.

The ground will now be owned by John Radford Stadium Ltd with a clause in place meaning Field Mill cannot be used for anything other than for sporting purposes over the next 20 years.

The ground purchase also brings an end to the long-running saga over the future of Field Mill and brings to an end the threat of legal action over the ground's ownership.

Boss Paul Cox said: “It is a positive step for the club. We can start planning now for the future. The ground issue has been hanging over the club's head for a long time, but hopefully the fans will now come out in droves and help take this club forward.

“There are many ways that this club can improve and go forward. Having ownership of the ground will improve our mindset and that can only be a good thing, but I am mindful that we have a big game on Saturday and that is something we must focus on as a group of players.

Dean Foulkes, chairman of the Stags Supporters Association, said: “This is fantastic news for the club and finallty banishes the black cloud that has been hanging over the club.

“We now have a wonderful springboard to move the club forward and I hope everyone will get behind Mansfield Town and drive us towards our goal of promotion.”

Chris Vasper, former chairman of the Team Mansfield group, said removing Keith Haslam's name from Mansfield Town Football Club was vital to any future success.

“Hopefully the community will now come out in force and get behind the club,” he said. “There are still people who have stayed away because of our connection with Keith Haslam.

“His name has been hanging over this club ever since he left. The amount of rent we have been paying was far too much.

“This will give Mansfield Town a massive lift and is the perfect springboard for us. In many ways it is like getting a new stadium, and that normally leads to clubs getting promotion.

“We are getting the wins on the field and are slowly getting there, this might be just what we need. This time next year we could be back in the Football League and owning our own ground like we used to be.

“In many ways the next two months are massive for the club. This is the closest we have been to get promoted back to the Football League and we need to grasp it.”

The disputed ownership of Field Mill and the legal battle went to court in February last year.

In a quick hearing at Mansfield County Court, the case was adjourned to Birmingham. Crucially, the two parties agreed a scenario that prevented any possible future lockouts - and brought a degree of stability off the field.

The agreement has seen the Stags pay £120,000 per season into a joint account in the names of the club and Mr Haslam's solicitors - with the money not being released until ordered by the court or until the two parties reached agreement. Haslam also agreed not to prevent the club staying at Field Mill while the dispute was resolved.

The club revealed a 'Plan B' late last year and started work on the possibility of playing matches at Rainworth Welfare should they get promoted and not be able to play at Field Mill

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Confirmed: Stags buy back Field Mill
Nottingham Post, Thursday, March 01, 2012 6pm

OWNER and chairman John Radford today sealed his place in Mansfield Town's history by confirming a deal to buy Field Mill from Keith Haslam.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Confirmed-Stags-buy-Field/story-15365847-detail/story.html

As revealed in today's Nottingham Post, the One Call Insurance businessman has agreed a deal with the club's former owner and landlord after fresh negotiations this week.

The Stags have initially secured a 17-year lease before the freehold purchase will be completed tomorrow.

It means the Stags can now compete for promotion back to the Football League come the end of the season if they finish in the play-off positions.

Mansfield needed to have ownership of a Football-League standard ground – or have a 10-year lease in place on such a venue – by today's 5pm cut-off point to be eligible.

The club initially believed that deadline was 5pm yesterday, but since the relevant paperwork has been received well in advance by the Football Conference and Football League, that has never been an issue for concern.

Mansfield are currently seventh place in the league table, two points off the top five, having lost just once since Christmas.

"This is a momentous day in the club's history," said Radford. "It is great news for the whole town as well as the club's supporters, players and staff.

"I would ask the people of Mansfield to come out in force and back the players as we now focus on our main priority of returning to the Football League."

Chief executive Carolyn Still added: "It's like a cloud has been lifted. This is a relief for everybody involved.

"I've always said that this club should be at the heart of the community and I would urge everyone to now get behind us."

The positive ground news has delighted boss Paul Cox, who said he never doubted Radford would deliver.

The owner said when he took over in September 2010 that if he did purchase Field Mill he would then give it back to the fans.

"This is a real positive step forward for the club," said Cox. "Now I think the club can really start planning – and planning for a big future.

"It just seems the club has been under a cloud for a long time. Now I'm hoping that everyone comes out and gets behind the club, because this is really good news.

"It will have improved the club's mindset. There have been doubts – ifs, buts and maybes – but now the chairman has done what he said he would do."

Meanwhile, Cox rates skipper Adam Murray as 50-50 to play in Saturday's derby with Lincoln City.

The midfielder was initially expected to be ruled out for ten days to two weeks but the Stags are now more optimistic after the player has received treatment all this week.

Cox said: "Muzza has played a lot of football – and played with a few niggles and kicks. People probably don't realise he's put his body on the line.

"He will be a loss if he doesn't play against Lincoln, but I would rather have him miss that game and be fit for the next 12 than him play at the weekend and miss the next 12.

"But he's been working on it all week and he was running on it yesterday. I know he doesn't want to miss the game.

"He's an honest boy and he will make the decision on his fitness in a professional manner because he knows what's at stake.

"Muzza suffers no fools about the performances of those around him, but he's also very analytical of his own performances.

"That is the type of character you want in your dressing room."

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Stags hope to emulate Doncaster's Championship success
Nottingham Post, Friday, March 02, 2012

MANSFIELD Town should be looking to emulate Doncaster Rovers by climbing into the Championship, insists club executive Carolyn Still.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15374146-detail/story.html

Chairman John Radford last night confirmed his purchase of Field Mill from Keith Haslam, ending a protracted fight to get what has been the Stags' home since 1919-20 back in club hands.

It means Mansfield can now look forward to a bright future after several years of stagnation, not helped by paying rent money to their ex-landlord.

The Stags had feared they may not be eligible for the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs this season because they did not own their ground or have a ten-year lease in place.

But those issues have been swept away after Haslam agreed to sell the stadium for a seven-figure sum – as first revealed by the Post yesterday.

Seventh place Mansfield will now be going full tilt for promotion in their last 13 games.

But Still believes the club should not just stop at having ambitions of getting back in the country's elite 92.

"It's such a relief and now we can focus as a club on achieving all the things we want to on the pitch," she said. "John has been heavily involved at Doncaster and Mansfield have been higher up in the pyramid than they were in the past.

"The Doncaster model is one to follow. They are in the Championship and there have been plenty of others of Mansfield's size that have been up there.

"But we need the community to get behind us – without them it can't happen."

Stags are offering free tickets for the Fleetwood home game to fans who buy a ticket for the Lincoln clash before 12noon.

Still added: "We want to get as many fans into the ground, especially those who have stayed away because of what has happened in the past."

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Mansfield Town owner John Radford says deal to buy Field Mill from Keith Haslam is completed
chad.co.uk, Thursday 1 March 2012 4pm

STAGS chairman John Radford has today confimed a deal to buy Field Mill has been done subject to Football Conference ratification.

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/mansfield_town_owner_john_radford_says_deal_to_buy_field_mill_from_keith_haslam_is_completed_1_4303813

Mansfield Town's owner told Chad on Thursday afternoon that all the necessary paperwork had been lodged with the Football Conference ahead of the crunch 5pm deadline to show they own a ground or have a 10 year lease in place.

The deal means that Mansfield Town will now be eligible for promotion to the Football League, should Paul Cox's men win promotion on the field,

It also means landlord and former owner Keith Haslam is no longer associated with the club after a controversial 19-year period at Field Mill.

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EARLIER STORIES:
12.30pm Thursday

twitter.com/Matchtalk (David Jackson) Football Conference and Football League have documents re John Radford's potential purchase of Field Mill. Announcement may be tomoro though

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9am Thursday
twitter.com/StephenThirkill Mansfield Town chairman John Radford refuses to confirm that stadium deal is done - http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/mansfield_town_field_mill_ground_deal_done_1_4299682

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Mansfield Town Field Mill ground deal 'done'
chad.co.uk, Thursday 1 March 2012 9am

STAGS chairman John Radford refused to confirm on Thursday morning rumours that he has bought the Field Mill football ground – bringing the controversial link of Keith Haslam to Mansfield Town FC to an end after 19 years.

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/mansfield_town_field_mill_ground_deal_done_1_4299682

Mr Radford told Chad that he would be issuing a statement later on Thursday - the 1st March deadline for promotion-chasing Conference clubs to show that they either own their own ground or have a 10-year lease in place and so be eligible for promotion or to take part in the play-offs.

Mansfield radio station 103.2 was reporting that the owner had confirmed to them that the long-awaited deal had been done.

But Mr Radford told Chad: “I need a few more hours.”

Mr Haslam was unavailable for comment on Thursday morning. And a spokesman for the club later confirmed to Chad that the deadl had not been completed.

Chad understands that if the deal is done, the ground will now be owned by a new company, John Radford Stadium Ltd.

The two sides have been in negotiations over the past few weeks to try to tie up a deal which had been agreed in principle some time ago

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8.50am Thursday
twitter.com/radiorhodes #stags #mtfc From what I can gather Mr Radford has to tie the deal up properly today. Have been told that statements to be made later

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"Deal Done" To Buy Field Mill

http://www.mansfield103.co.uk/sport.php?n=1666

8am Thursday

There have been dramatic developments involving Mansfield Town and Field Mill.

It's understood that the club have bought the ground off of landlord Keith Haslam.

Speaking to Mansfield 103.2's Dave Rhodes last night, Stags owner John Radford said he had signed a deal that would transfer the ground into the club's hands.

When Mr Haslam was asked to comment on Mr Radford's claim, he said he was not in a position to make a statement.

If the club have bought Field Mill, it would bring to an end the long-running dispute between themselves and Mr Haslam.

It is not clear how much the club have paid for the ground or whether they have dropped their legal claim that Mr Haslam illegally acquired it whilst he was chairman

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Stags confident of Field Mill deal
Nottingham Post, Thursday, March 01, 2012
7am

MANSFIELD Town chairman and owner John Radford was last night poised to buy Field Mill – which would make the club eligible for promotion this season.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/Stags-confident-Field-deal/story-15360863-detail/story.html

The Stags needed to have ownership of a Football League-standard ground – or have a ten-year lease in place on such a venue – by yesterday's 5pm cut-off point to be eligible for the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs at the end of the season.

As the Post went to press, it is understood that documents proving Radford had completed the purchase of Field Mill from former owner and landlord Keith Haslam had been received by the Football Conference ahead of the deadline and were in the process of being ratified.

It is believed Radford and Haslam came to an agreement on Tuesday after the One Call Insurance businessman made a substantial offer in excess of any previous bids

FOR FULL ARTICLE, SEE NOTTM POST

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29 Feb 2012 6.30pm

twitter.com/StephenThirkill (chad.co.uk)
Deadline for Mansfield Town to sort out Field Mill situation is 5pm Thursday - One more working day left for things to be resolved.

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EARLIER STORY
29 Feb 2012 6pm
Stags Field Mill Talks Continue
http://mansfield103.co.uk/sport.php?n=1665

Mansfield Town have been in negotiations with Field Mill landlord Keith Haslam all day over a deal on the ground as the Football League deadline looms.

Mr Haslam has told Mansfield 103.2 this evening that, in his opinion, a deal is unlikely to be done today.

The Stags were hopeful of negotiating a ten year lease on the ground which would then see them become eligible for promotion to the Football League.

Club Chairman John Radford has said that he is still working on a deal.

Sources within the club say that the Stags were working under the impression that they had to have a deal in place by close of play tonight to satisfy the Football League requirements. (comment by Martin - incorrect - it is 5pm Thursday)

No one at the Football League was available for clarification of when the deadline comes into effect

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twitter.com/radiorhodes #stags #mtfc Confusion reigns supreme. Just spoken to JR who claims he's still "sorting things out"

twitter.com/radiorhodes RE: KH claims deal not possible because his lawyers "are not available". Club are attempting to clarify when the exact deadline is #stags

twitter.com/radiorhodes Haslam Says "Deal Unlikely Tonight" on Field Mill. Listen here >> audioboo.fm/boos/690650-ha… #stags #mtfc

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EARLIER STORY
28 Feb 2012, 11pm

With little more than a day until the March 1st deadline, nothing has yet been signed. More here
http://audioboo.fm/boos/688312-radford-and-haslam-meet-but-no-deal-is-signed

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