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Archived News from March 2007

14th March 2007 11:36

Stags Fans For Change
Statement 14 March 2007

Mansfield Town FC fans call for a "demonstration game" in protest at Club's owner

Following the great response and support shown for the SFFC demonstration at Notts County last weekend the protest group is calling for a demonstration of feeling from Stags fans at the forthcoming game with Macclesfield Town on the 23rd of March. Fans are being asked to take action in one of two ways for this one game to show Keith Haslam exactly how they feel about his running of the club they follow and support.

SFFC encourages all fans, including those already staying away from Stags' home games to turn up at the ground and meet outside the West Stand at 7.15 for a mass demonstration against the present owner. The aim is to show Mr Haslam that Stags fans have endured enough over the last 14 years and that they have no confidence in him as an owner, which is why it is asking Stags fans to boycott the Macclesfield game.

SFFC realises that this is a very emotive issue for all fans concerned and that not every fan will support a boycott. SFFC has listened to the debates taking place about a boycott and does not in any way wish to create a division between fans.

While the group would encourage everyone not to attend the game, but to turn up and leave in a show of strength, it also respects the opinion of those who wish to go in and see the game. With this in mind SFFC calls on those who will not support a boycott of a full game to join in the demonstration outside the ground and then enter the ground 15 minutes after the kick off. This will show Mr Haslam that although there is a difference of opinion on whether or not to boycott, the vast majority of fans still want to see him sell the club and leave for good. Mr Haslam will no doubt say that by staying away fans will hurt the Club financially and yet it is Mr Haslam who still owes the Club money from his illegally taken loans. Once again it is the fans that are being blamed for the problems at the Club when the fault lies with Mr Haslam

“We suggest that Stags fans ask themselves this question: just who has been financially supporting the team and club for the last 14 years and who has caused the financial damage? Who does the Chairman say people don't trust? Mr Haslam claims he is willing to sell the Club, yet makes no efforts to professionally advertise the fact. The Chairman says we only want “local” investors to keep asset strippers at bay. What has Keith Haslam done with our best assets? Where is our training ground, where is our reserve side, where are our best players, where are our supporter's facilities and where is the £500,000 that Keith Haslam said he would pay back to the Club? We have been told by sources within the Club that Mr Haslam has yet to pay it back, but he claims we are in financial difficulties! Would we still be in difficulties if Keith Haslam's “loans” had not been taken out of the Club or if people trusted him?” said an SFFC spokesman.

New Chairman, James Derry, says that investors or sponsors don't trust Keith Haslam. That's why he has kept him away from the new money he hopes to bring into the Club – but Mr Haslam will still own the Club. Can Stags fans trust Keith Haslam enough to believe he won't try and use the new money for future loans that support his lifestyle?

Why is it that Chesterfield FC can be in “advanced talks” with investors and yet MTFC cannot find a buyer after ten years of Mr Haslam being willing to sell the Club? Why is it that 4,000 Stags fans would rather pay at the gates of Meadow Lane than enter Field Mill? The away following at Meadow Lane was larger than 17 out of 18 home gates this season - that must surely be an indication of the crowds the Stags could attract at home if the situation was right.

Research conducted by SFFC shows that the Club should have enjoyed an extra windfall of more than £2,000,000 over the last three seasons and yet Mr Haslam is pleading poverty! Who oversaw the spending in the last three seasons? Whose responsibility has it been to make sure the money Stags fans pay is spent on advancing the Club? Can Stags fans seriously believe that the Club will prosper while ever Keith Haslam remains at Field Mill in any capacity?

“We believe that the real future for MTFC is without Keith Haslam and we ask for all Stags fans' support. A demonstration match will send a straightforward message to him that we have all had enough of his “management style”. Nearly 1,600 Stags fans told us they want him gone ASAP – many of them were season ticket holders too. They can still send a message to him that they have had enough by either missing one game or joining in the demonstration. Do you believe that 14 years is long enough for him to prove his value to the Club? Sources at the Club say Keith Haslam is not an asset – if you agree, then tell him by giving him a clear message to go by joining with us on the 23rd of March,” said an SFFC spokesman.

James Derry has called for Stags' fans to vote with their feet, SFFC ask them to do likewise and turn up on the 23rd of March. It is easy for someone who has been at the Club for a matter of weeks to suggest we put the past behind us, but how can the past ever be put behind us when the root cause of the problem remains at Field Mill?

Please come and join in with the debate on our site http://www.stagsfansforchange.co.uk


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