TEAM MANSFIELD STATEMENT: WHAT NOW?
09 January 2007
TEAM Mansfield have released a statement entitled What Now? To read the statement visit http://www.teammansfield.co.uk
The statement is also pasted below:
A Statement from TEAM Mansfield
In December 2005, in the middle of the previous crisis (a word that has become synonymous with the current regime) at Field Mill, in response to mounting criticism from fans, Alan Meale was quoted as saying ...'there are interesting and exciting times on the horizon. Those detractors should just hold their breath and they might be surprised. What they really should be doing is getting behind the squad and supporting them instead of whingeing from the sidelines and encouraging people to not support the club or even come to matches. That's the last thing players, staff and real supporters need….' So here we are, 12 months on, and what became of those interesting and exciting times? Assuming the reader hasn't expired through lack of oxygen, this is what happened.
We were promised a club restructuring that would significantly reduce Keith Haslam's shareholding, introduce new funds and new much needed executive directors. What did we get? A new non-executive 'chairman' who is not a statutory director and appears to have no day to day involvement at MTFC. An appointment driven by political expediency to give the impression that governance and management at our club have changed when they haven't. Stand up Peter Lee and take a bow, we'd love to hear from you, perhaps you will Chair the long over due Occasional, sorry, Annual General Meeting at our club? Since Mr Lee's appointment, the club have cancelled all of the Monthly board meetings due to be chaired by him and Mr Lee has failed to attend a single home game for the last 3 months, and as such we continue to be concerned about the absence of Peter Lee from the club. Irrespective of the amount of days he was contracted to work at the Mansfield Town, it would provide evidence of his continued employment by the club if he took the time to attend even a few matches.
We have the almost unbelievable position of Keith Haslam and Alan Meale threatening and instigating legal action against supporters for various alleged comments about their behaviour at Mansfield Town. Perhaps we should not be surprised that Keith Haslam and Alan Meale are prepared to use bullying tactics rather than engagement in an attempt to reduce criticism. What is incredible is the local MP using the same solicitor as Haslam, threatening to sue his own constituents over matters relating to the town's football club. Is it appropriate behaviour from someone who enjoys Parliamentary privilege? Does the Labour party endorse this sort of behaviour – perhaps someone should ask the Chief Whip? Fair questions to a man who was promising 'exciting times' and is always quick to use his profile and position to defend Keith Haslam.
The now familiar 'bad news' stories of investigations and audits carried out by Sport England and other bodies revealing yet more poor governance and questionable use of public money at our club continue. And in the interests of maintaining the MTFC's national profile, MTFC loss of the pointless and gratuitous court case with Keith Curle.
On-field performances have continued the long term decline experienced throughout the previous 14 years of Keith Haslam's tenure and in common with previous years and opportunities to maximise the income through, player sales have been taken with no thought for the long term future of our club. The final straw for many fans will be this week's sale of Richie Barker to Hartlepool. Our top goal scorer being sold at a time when we are 1 point off the relegation places shows Mr Haslam's lack of ambition in trying to keep our club in the Football League. The reality of the situation is that Barker was under contract, he was a vital cog in our survival and Mr Haslam could have put the shutters up to any club wishing to purchase him.
On the plus side, we might get a nice new casino on the training pitch!
What is clear is that the pressure brought about by fans over the past 12 months has moved Keith Haslam to a position where he has declared yet again that he is prepared to sell. What we, as fans, have to do is make sure he does leave this time before the next 12 months of 'exciting times' see non-league football back at Field Mill for the first time in 76 years. To this end TEAM Mansfield will work together with any other group committed to seeking the same aims as TM, and asks Stags fans to support the following action:
· To consider a complete boycott of upcoming games at Field Mill. This will display the strength of feeling and serve to further encourage Mr Haslam to leave. Fans will be asked to donate any money they would have paid at the turnstiles to a fund to be invested into the club when Haslam relinquishes control. Publicity for this action will be issued shortly prior to the games involved.
· Support of any bid that is likely to remove Mr Haslam on reasonable terms and is in the interests of MTFC and its fans.
· We ask anyone looking to take part in any corporate sponsorship to withhold doing so until Mr Haslam leaves the club.
· TEAM Mansfield are continuing to work closely with the Compliance Unit of the FA , Charities Commission and other interested parties to ensure our concerns are heard by those who we feel should be acting to ensure Mr Haslam is made to account for his governance of the club.
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