TWO IN RUNNING TO TAKE OVER STAGS
TWO IN RUNNING TO TAKE OVER STAGS
Evening Post, 06 June 2007
Mansfield chairman James Derry is confident the club will have new owners by the time the season kicks off.
June. I have already had a preliminary meeting with the other people and I understand where they are coming from.
The Stags are currently in negotiations with two potential investors. One is the Australian company who has made its interest known. But a fresh party has joined the race, leaving Derry believing Keith Haslam will no longer be the major shareholder by August 11.
"I'm confident the club will have new owners for the start of the season because there is a strong interest on two fronts now," said Derry.
"We have told the potential Australian investors we need to see them quickly and they have indicated they want to come over in the middle of
"It is no one who has been around before but someone who I know, which means I know it is a genuine interest.
"Things are moving along at quite a pace and the other thing making it more likely is Keith (Haslam) has indicated he now wants to go."
The interest comes despite the club's audited accounts, released this week, showing the Stags lost £250,000 between June 2005 and June 2007 (correction by Martin - should be between June 2005 and June 2006)
despite receiving a windfall from an FA Cup tie at Newcastle in January 2006, thought to be at least £350,000. They also collected £125,000 from a 25% sell-on clause when Liam Lawrence left Sunderland to join Stoke earlier this year.
"The commercial side of things has not been great and we are trying to address that," said Derry. "But the main problem is obvious: we are not getting the gates we need, which is the main source of income. We need in the mid-3,000s to break even but towards the end of the season we were getting just over 2,000 for some matches.
"The average amount paid at the gate by a fan is £11. If you lose 1,000 off the gate, that is £11,000 per game and over 25 games in a season that is £275,000."
Meanwhile, the club has appointed former policeman Les Norman as their new safety officer to alleviate safety concerns that saw the ground's capacity halved.
Aussies fly in for Stags takeover talks
CHAD website, 06 June 2007
By Tim Morriss
Australian businessmen are flying to England later this month to step up their bid to buy Mansfield Town Football Club.
The group are following up their initial £275,000 approach to take control of the Stags in May, as first reported in Chad.
Chad can exclusively reveal that the consortium will come to Mansfield to meet Stags chairman James Derry, who described their initial three-year package offer as 'well thought out'.
The businessmen, who have asked not to be named at this stage, have pledged not to put the club into debt through any sale and said they would be willing to consider 'UK investors with an interest in football'.
They added, though, that it was too early to make public any details of the level of investment they plan if successful.
However, the Australians have moved to quickly reassure fans who have criticised current chief executive Keith Haslam's stewardship of the Stags – and are sceptical about any takeover.
A spokesman told Chad: "For the first three years our plan is all about developing the club. The club needs upgrading in all areas. Aside from wages and marketing, there would be no money going out. There would be no need for loans."
And the businessmen insist that, if successful, they would relocate to Mansfield to run the club – and have a real desire to develop the Stags.
A spokesman added: "We come from many varied business backgrounds, but we all have a common passion – football.
"We are also really driven by the idea of establishing an academy that could, in time, be world class."
The businessmen have some experience of football in Australia at a local level - their spokesman, a keen player at a local level, is a coach and committee member at a community club in Australia boasting more than 1,000 young players.
But the group insist that the footballing side 'would be left to a professional while we invigorate the marketing side and other aspects of the club'.
The spokesman said: "I don't think anyone can expect investors not to assume some profit, but to maximise our profit we need to develop a product with real returns.
"We believe we can deliver a substantial improvement in general management from a pure business front."
"It must be remembered that we are businessmen, so the intent is to develop and, like any business, give it real value. Then we would look and assess again in five years and see where we were."
Stags' owner Mr Haslam has indicated that he is willing only to sell the football club, retaining ownership of Field Mill.
But the consortium spokesman added; "If Mansfield Town FC are genuinely seeking to sell, then we are very interested in coming and would be prepared to act quickly. And in the future we would hope to be able to acquire the stadium and other assets"
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