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Archived News from June 2007

12th June 2007 17:26

Stags fans deserve better
CHAD Editorial, 13 June 2007

Surely something has to give at Field Mill?
Mansfield Town Football Club has endured years of mistrust between its owner and fans, dwindling attendances and sponsorship and a lack of investment on and off the pitch - to such an extent that at the end of last season the club was fighting relegation from the Football League and has now had its capacity cut by safety bosses.

The club lost more than £250,000 in the years 2005-6 and 2004-5, it was revealed at yesterday's AGM - while at the same time chief executive Keith Haslam's salary rose by 20%.

This was all despite the windfall of the money-spinning FA Cup tie at Newcastle in January 2006 - and Mr Haslam finally paying back an illegal £500,000 loan.

And there is nothing to suggest that the figures for last season will be any more encouraging.

Chairman James Derry says the club's financial plight is largely down to falling attendances.

But the supporters turned out in numbers back in 2004-5 when the Stags reached the play-off final (comment from Martin - actually that was 2003-4).

Mr Derry and the Australian bidders for the club agree on one thing . . . . 'bums on seats' is essential, whoever runs the club.

It is clear then that the return of more fans and sponsors is the only way forward financially, so it seems that there has to be new owners.

It is reported that there are two interested bidders for the football club . . . and though little is known about either at the moment, already many supporters are hoping that one of them is successful.

If any owner is to retain the support of fans and sponsors, however, one thing is very clear . . . supporters deserve to be treated as paying customers.

They deserve, and need if they are to be persuaded to return, better facilities inside the stadium, to be 'allowed' to know what is happening to their club - and given the chance to see investment and then, hopefully, some success on the pitch.


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