DERRY STILL KEEN, WHILE BATCHELOR TURNED AWAY
DERRY STILL KEEN, WHILE BATCHELOR TURNED AWAY FROM FIELD MILL
Derry still keen to take over - if Stags stay up
Evening Post, 21Apr2008
James Derry today insisted his consortium is still in the running to buy Mansfield Town - providing the club retain its Football League status.
Full story here
The Newark businessman has had three failed attempts to take ownership of the club from Keith Haslam.
The last of those, just after Easter, saw him resign his position as non-executive chairman.
That was perceived as being an end to his interest just as John Batchelor stepped forward as a potential new buyer.
But Derry - together with long-time fans Steve Hymas and Andy Sutton - still wants to take control if the Stags are successful in their League Two survival battle.
"I'm still confident we can take over because we are still the only realistic bidders," he said.
"People talk about John Batchelor and Colin Hancock but I'm not so sure either of them are serious contenders.
"We are the one group that has true supporters involved, with the club's interests at heart and the money behind us.
"But it does depend on the club staying in the Football League.
"The amount of revenue lost from going down to non-league would make it too difficult to take on in that situation."
One of the main problems, Derry explained, would be the amount of rent.
In the Football League it would be £275,000 per year, as opposed to just £100,000 less at £175,000 in the Blue Square Premier.
Derry said: "We always believed a deal could be done if the club was in the League, but at Easter it looked as if the club would not be and that's why we took the decision to withdraw our interest.
"The club's income would be significantly less at Conference (Blue Square Premier) level and the £175,000 ground rent would be too much.
"Look at Oxford. They are probably a bigger club than Mansfield, but they are struggling in mid-table in the Conference.
"But I am confident now the team could stay up and if that were the case, we would want to strike a deal as soon as possible.
"I am not saying it would be the week after the end of the season, but certainly we would want to get on with things."
Derry is adamant that if his consortium does complete a buy-out, he would do 'everything in his power' to ensure top scorer Michael Boulding stays at Mansfield.
Lincoln City are one club thought to be interested in signing the striker, who has scored 25 goals this season.
"There is no way we would want Mickey Boulding to leave because he has been fantastic this season and player of the year in my eyes," said Derry.
"There are rumours that Lincoln are after him but I will do all we can to keep him - he's the best striker in the division."
Would-be Stags owner Batchelor turned away from Mansfield Town match
CHAD AUDIO, 19Apr2008
THE unpopular John Batchelor, bidding to buy Mansfield Town, was turned away from the club's gates ahead of Saturday afternoon's match with Shrewsbury.
Stewards and police blocked his entrance to the Field Mill car park on the instructions of the club, who had said on Friday he would not be welcome.
Full story and audio here
Photos by Martin Shaw
CHAD story continued:
Batchelor protested that he wanted to watch the match, the club he intends to own.
And he lashed out at Stags' chief executive Stephen Booth, whom he blames for the current impasse in his takeover talks.
Batchelor again said that he did not mind that the fans are against him, calling them 'fickle', and insisted that he is determined to complete an agreement with Stags owner Keith Haslam.
But after making his point to the stewards, police and waiting media, Batchelor drove off back to his Burnley home.
However, he vowed to return next Saturday, for the home match against Rotherham, and pledged to 'try to watch every Mansfield match until I become the owner'.
The police told him they could not guarantee his safety outside the ground and asked him to move on.
And he suffered some abuse from fans entering the ground for the match, who made it clear that he is not wanted at Field Mill by supporters.
Safety officer Les Norman had told Chad they made the decision to ban the would-be owner because they could not guarantee his safety following incidents at the Macclesfield match a week earlier.
Twenty minutes into that match, police and stewards had to remove him from the Stags fans at Moss Rose 'for his own safety', after confrontations between the wannabe Stags owner and supporters - supporters angry at his high profile campaign to take over the club and rename it after fictional TV team Harchester United.
Mr Batchelor had wanted access to the directors area this Saturday, saying that he wanted to avoid a confrontation with fans similiar to the much publicised furore at Macclesfield.
But when the unconventional Mr Batchelor was refused a hospitality ticket for the match against Shrewsbury, the controversial businessman insisted he would still go to the match and pay through the turnstiles.
He added: "The only reason I am being refused admittance is because of Stephen Booth. He knows I will fire him the moment I take over.
"Stephen Booth has been tasked with selling the club yet he is getting in the way."
Photos by Martin Shaw
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