{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from July 2008

9th July 2008 15:18

03 July 2008
MTFC has been sold to a group of local businessmen. Andy Perry, Andy Saunders, and Steve Middleton, have taken control at Field Mill.
Perry to be new Stags chairman
CHAD.co.uk, 04 July 2008, by Tim Morriss

NEW Stags owner Andy Perry - part of a three-man consortium which bought Mansfield Town FC on Thursday - is to be the new chairman.
The decision was announced on Friday lunchtime, ahead of this afternoon's official press conference when details of the buyout are expected to be given.

Full story here

Fellow consortium members Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton are also expected to play an active role in the running of the Stags.

Current non executive chairman Tony Egginton - Mansfield's mayor currently in the USA - and chief executive Stephen Booth both said yesterday that they expected to be leaving their roles.

And Perry told Chad this lunchtime: "Stephen's (Booth) contract was terminated with the sale of the club and I have told Tony (Egginton) that I will be taking over as chairman.

"To make things work on the pitch we have to get them right off the pitch. Andy (Saunders) and Steve (Middleton) will also be heavily involved and fellow directors, this is an equal partnership."

Season tickets will finally go on sale at 10am on Saturday, the new owners have announced.

And Billy McEwan is expected to be unveiled as the new manager at the press conference following Paul Holland's departure earlier today - exclusively revealed at Chad.co.uk.

However, Perry said on Friday lunchtime that it was 'presumptious and jumping the gun' to say McEwan would be the new boss.

Andy Perry interview from Mansfield 103.2 on 04July2008 (thanks to CHAD website) here
Season tickets on sale on Saturday - big savings by purchasing early. Details here
Consortium to start season ticket sales this weekend? click here

Andy Perry talks about consortium takeover

ONE of the first jobs for the new owners of Mansfield Town FC has been to announce season ticket details.
This had ben put off by previous owner Keith Haslam, who sold the club on Thursday evening, and his chief executive Stephen Booth because of the impending sale of the Stags.

Now that they have finally completed agreed a deal, the consortium of Mansfield businessmen - Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton - are treating season tickets as one of their first priorities.

And on Friday lunchtime they announced that tickets would go on sale over the weekend - with discounts of around 10% for those buying them inside the first week.

And those fans willing to pay an extra £5 in addition to purchasing their season ticket have the chance to enter a raffle to have their season ticket money refunded!

The ticket office will be open from 10am-2pm on both Saturday and Sunday - and also remain open until 8pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week.

This weekend will be an open event at Field Mill, where fans can also look around the ground at where their season ticket seats will be and possibly meet the new manager and some players.

Click here for details at the club's official website.

Admission prices for next season at Field Mill on a matchday basis will be very similiar to last season.

Many fans had previously said they would boycott season ticket sales while Haslam was still in charge, but his departure is expected to provoke a rush for tickets when they finally go on sale.

The consortium, who will need to start to create an income flow into a club losing thousands of pounds a month, expect to make an announcement on a new commercial manager to replace Tony Lormor, who left Field Mill last month, very soon.


LONG suffering Mansfield Town fans, many of whom have campaigned for Keith Haslam to sell the club over several years, are delighted by his decision to sell the Stags to a Mansfield-based consortium of businessmen.
Chris Vasper, of TEAM Mansfield (TM), told Chad: "These are genuine people who have the best interests of Mansfield Town FC at heart.

"They will bring a passion to the club that we have not had for 15 years.

"Yes, they will make some mistakes, but they will get a lot right."

Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton were the surpise new owners when the takeover was finally announced on Thursday evening.

And immediately fans groups urged the Mansfield trio to give the supporters a say in the running of the club.

TM were one of four groups who formed Stags Fans United (SFU) recently, with the aim of raising £250,000 to invest in any new owners in return for a place on the board of directors.

Vasper said: "We hope the new owners will take on board that a lot of people have come together under the SFU banner to raise money for new owners.

"We want to sit down and talk with them as soon as possible. We would like a place on the board of directors in return for us investing this money - and to be given the chance to buy more shares."

TM owns 3.3% of the shares in the football club and so far SFU has raised £36,000 towerds its £250,000 target.

Vasper also urged those fans who had been wavering from paying their £100 for a share in the SFU supporters trust to now join the group.

And he urged fans to immediately end their boycott of sponsorship and season ticket sales - when they go on sale.

He added: "On a personal basis, one of the first things I will be doing through my own company The Quill Press is to see the commercial manager - when one is appointed - to get involved in sponsorship of matches."

Stags Fans United - a merger of four fans groups, the Stags Supporters Association (SSA), Stags Fans For Change (SFFC), Ollerton Stags Supporters Club (OSSC), as well as TM - said that it welcomed the news, urged fans to get behind the new owners and urged the consortium to work with the supporters.
In a statement it said: "SFU are delighted that Mansfield Town has finally been sold and this prolonged debacle has finally come to a close.

"We know that the new owners will work in the best interests of the club and the supporters and that they will do everything they can to get us back into the Football League.

"It's now up to us as supporters to back the new owners and return to Field Mill to support the team. In doing this we feel it's imperative that season tickets are put on sale as soon as possible for the supporters to purchase at the earliest opportunity and if your company has been boycotting the club in recent years, maybe you might consider renewing your support.

"SFU will continue to raise as much money as possible. We have currently raised over £35,000 to invest in the club and we hope that the new owners will be prepared to offer the supporters group not only shares, but a place on the board. Something that TM have been campaigning for, for many years".

Dean Foulkes from the SSA said: "It is excellent news. We have owners who want the club to succeed. We now urge fans to go out and buy season tickets."

Radio Nottingham audio from Breakfast show 04 July 2008
Part 1, 7am news and Martin Shaw of SSA
Part 2, 8am, David Jackson and Chris Vasper of TM

Mansfield Town FC sold to consortium of local businessmen
CHAD.co.uk, 03 July 2008, exclusive by Tim Morriss

Colin Hancock misses out in race to buy Stags

MANSFIELD Town Football Club has been sold today (Thursday) - and the protracted takeover had a major twist at the end of the sale saga.

For Chad can reveal that the new owners of the Stags are a group of local businessmen and NOT Glapwell FC owner, dentist Dr Colin Hancock, as had been expected.

Former club sponsors Andy Perry and Andy Saunders, together with Steve Middleton, have taken control at Field Mill after a takeover was announced on Thursday evening.

Full story here

The sale follows the collapse of several previous takeovers by the Derry consortium last season.

Saunders is a high profile figure in supporters groups Stags Supporters Association (SSA) and the recently formed Stags Fans United (SFU) - positions he will now, no doubt, have to relinquish.

Middleton (49) is a new name to Stags fans, but has been a Mansfield fan since 1969. He is from Mansfield and has an electrical business in Newark.

It is expected that all three will take a hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the club.

All three - Andy Perry is from former shirt sponsors Perry Electrical and Andrew Saunders from ASIS, Andrews Saunders Insurance Services, which sponsored the Quarry Lane end stand at the 'new' Field Mill - are expected to attend a press conference at Field Mill at 2pm on Friday and have said they will not comment further until then.

However, Saunders did tell Chad on Thursday evening: "I am delighted that the sale has gone through."

A statement was released by solicitors on Thursday evening saying said that a legally binding agreement had been entered into between the trio and Mansfield Town FC owner Keith Haslam for the sale of the club.

The statement from John Wilford, of Elliot Mather Solicitors, said: "We are pleased to announce that we have been advising a consortium of local businessmen in respect of the purchase of Mansfield Town FC.

"We can confirm that we have entered into a legally binding agreement to purchase the club."

The news finally ends Haslam's controversial 15-year tenure of the Stags and he confirmed the news to 103.2's Tony Delahunty on Thursday evening.

The new owners - who have bought the football club and will rent Field Mill over a 10-year lease (thought to include a get-out clause at some point) - have been in direct negotiations with Mr Haslam in recent weeks.

It is unlikely that financial details of the deal will be released. However, it is thought the consortium will have bought Haslam's majority shareholding for £1 and it is known that the rent will be substantially less than the £175,000 figure first quoted when the Derry consortium failed to achieve a takeover earlier this year.

The group's hopes of a takeover appeared to have been scuppered 10 days ago when it was announced that Dr Hancock and the club had agreed a deal.

He had been in takeover talks for several weeks, backed by Stags chief executive Stephen Booth - brought to Field Mill before Christmas to broker a sale - and chairman mayor Tony Egginton.

That deal would have seen Keith Haslam sell both the club and Field Mill - though on Thursday evening Egginton revealed that the option to purchase the ground would only have come after three years.

The lengthy sale negotiations have hampered the club´s plans to fight back from last season´s first ever relegation from the Football League, with manager Paul Holland still unsure of his position and with just a handful of players signed on for the Blue Square Premier campaign ahead.

The takeover cannot be confirmed until the shareholders formally back the sale of MTFC. But as Keith Haslam's company Stags Ltd owns the majority shareholding in the football club, the annual meeting - or even an Extraordinary General Meeting - is just a formality.

The news must mean the end for chief executive Stephen Booth - brought to the club to broker a sale but who has played no role in this deal.

Non executive chairman Tony Egginton, Mansfield's mayor who took over the figurehead role to enable the club to complete its end of season fixtures when safety certificate holder James Derry left, is also expected to step down.

It is not known if the new owners will offer manager Paul Holland a contract for the new season, or opt for a more experienced boss.

Holland gained his first manager's role towards the end of last season following Billy Dearden's departure - when former Stags midfielder and Derby County coach Billy McEwan had been strongly linked with the job.

Radio Nottingham audio from Drivetime show 03 July 2008, here

Good luck for the future, says departing owner Haslam

CHAD.co.uk, 03 July 2008

Full story here

MANSFIELD Town's departing owner Keith Haslam wished the club good luck for the future after he agreed to sell to a consortium of local businessmen.
Haslam told 103.2's Tony Delahunty that he wished the new owners - Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton - all the best and added that he knew it was a lifetime's ambition for Perry.

Haslam, who agreed to sell on Thursday evening, added he thought he was handing over a wealthy club and hoped that it would do well in the future.

He said that he had kept silent throughout the recent takeover negotiations because he felt others had been pressured into making statements.

That comment was no doubt a reference to the recent announcement by Colin Hancock that he had secured a takeover agreement for the club.

Haslam added that he thought the deal with the Perry/Saunders/Middleton group had been conducted professionally.

He said news of the sale would be a relief to his family.

Stags chief executive Stephen Booth, brought to the club to broker a sale, knew nothing of the deal with the Mansfield consortium and had been working with chairman Tony Egginton to complete the Hancock deal.

A shocked Booth told Chad after the sale was announced: "I hope this brings an end to what has been a disastrous two years for the town and the football club.

"I hope that the club can now move forward and have a spring in its step for the new season.

"It was always my intention to achieve a sale of the club and then move on. The fact I have not been involved in this deal does not change that and there is no reason for me to stay now.

"I have spoken to Colin Hancock's advisor (Colin Hancock is out of the country) and they are extremely disappointed - but it is not for me to comment for Colin.

"I had asked Keith (Haslam) to make Colin aware of the news before it was publically announced and I shall be meeting Keith in the morning."

And late on Thursday evening Stags chairman and Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton - currently in the USA - gave his first reaction to the takeover news.

He told Chad: "I am delighted that we have resolved the ongoing saga.

"I am also delighted to have local ownership under people who I know have a desire to move the club forward.

"I now hope that they can convince the fans to come back to the club - but as Keith (Haslam) is staying as landlord it may be a hard job to persuade some fans to return."

Egginton had been closely involved with the Hancock takeover talks - which would eventually have seen Field Mill sold as well as the Stags, and was as surprised as many Stags fans to hear news of the Perry/Saunders/Middleton consortium deal for the football club alone.

He added: "Like everyone else, I thought that Colin (Hancock) was to be the new owner.

"I was happy with that deal, knowing many of the details and that it would eventually take Keith (Haslam) away from the club completely.

"That deal had an option to buy the ground after three years.

"But this takeover means that he will still be landlord and I hope that we can persuade the fans still to return.

"It is the best we could do, Keith (Haslam) has not gone altogether - but let's all rally round.

"I and Mansfield District Council will do whatever we can to help the owners. And to any sceptics out there, I say give the new owners a go, get behind the club and let's get back into the Football League.

"That and turning MTFC into a community club at the heart of the town again is the most important thing."

He added that he did not expect the new regime to want him to stay on as chairman, saying: "I was only ever interim chairman, brought in to add some stability and facilitate a sale.

"If asked to stay on I will do, but I would have thought they would have other plans and want to drive things forward themselves."

Egginton called on the consortium to engage with the supporters, make the public aware of their plans and unite all those wanting to help Mansfield Town FC

He added that he felt 'extremely sorry' for buyout loser Colin Hancock, but said his presence in the saga had helped to finally persuade Haslam to sell.

The mayor said: "Maybe in a roundabout way Colin has helped to bring this all to a conclusion. We must thank him for that.

"Without his strong approach and hard-nosed negotiations, no doubt Keith (Haslam) would still be talking to the likes of John Batchelor, people playing at buying the club."

Mansfield MP Alan Meale told Chad: "It is excellent news and removes the state of limbo for everyone at the club.

"At last we have a situation where there is purpose to build, a route to follow. If they want my help, they will get my help.

"I haven't spoken to Keith (Haslam) for the best part of seven or eight months and have not got a clue as to what he is doing.

"But this is marvellous news.

"I know Andy Perry quite well, he is a good man. He has football in his heart and cares deeply about it

"I know he has done work for the fans groups.

"I am confident they care enough about the club to ensure they strive for success with it.

"They are people with business acumen and are local people who care about the club.

"These are homebred people who want success and I wish them every endeavour in doing that."


Manager Holland 'in the dark'
Captain Bucko says sale good for club

CHAD.co.uk, 03 July 2008, By John Lomas

MANAGER Paul Holland was as surprised as everyone else to hear the Perry consortium had taken control of Mansfield Town Football Club tonight rather than Colin Hancock - and could say little about it.
"I am as much in the dark as everyone else at the moment," he told Chad.

Full story here

Holland is now waiting to hear if the new owners will appoint him as manager for the new season in the Blue Square Premier.

He told Chad: "I have not got a clue what is happening. I have not spoken to anybody and I am waiting for someone to ring me."

Jake Buxton said: "People are pleased there has been a sale of the club, though we were led to believe it was going to be this Mr Hancock who was going to move things forward here.

"I know the players that have come back training here like Jon D'Laryea and Gareth Jelleyman have not signed deals, but have agreed terms. Maybe that all changes now with the new people.

"Is Paul Holland going to be the manager? Who knows? I think Paul had been led to believe that if Mr Hancock took over then he would be made manager.

"As a player and part of the squad, and a fan at heart, this sale has got to be good for the club in general.

"It has been a long summer and I know nothing could be resolved while Keith Haslam was in charge.

"As players we have been waiting six weeks to find out what will happen and it now sounds like we are going to have to wait a few more days before we find out what is going to happen with the new owners.

"I have come back here for pre-season training to see what players the club will be getting in. I wanted to get a feel of the place and Paul Holland told me he has five or six very experienced players he wants to bring in.

"I have had offers from a couple of clubs to stay in the League and I have spoken to Mansfield too. I have been here a long time and, the same as players like Mickey Boulding, I want to see what sort of surge the club can put together to get back in the League.

"You want to see them get name players in from the League and have a real go at it. That's what the fans here deserve."


New era as Stags takeover deal set
Evening Post, 04/07/2008

Mansfield Town fans were today eyeing a new beginning after a takeover of the club by a consortium of local businessmen.

Supporters spoke of their "absolute delight" as outgoing owner Keith Haslam was understood to have struck a deal with Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton.

It marks the end of a saga spanning several months that saw deals from other bidders falling through at the last minute.

An official statement was expected from the club this morning.

The trio are longstanding supporters, with Perry, of Perry Electrical, being the current shirt sponsor, and Saunders, of former sponsors Andrew Saunders Insurance Services, joint chair of the Stags Supporters' Association.

Chris Vasper, chairman of Team Mansfield Supporters Trust, which was set up in 1999 to oust Haslam, said: "It is fantastic news. Not just because there has been a takeover but because Andy Saunders is a lifelong fan Stags fan.

"We are absolutely over the moon. It has been a long time coming.

"We know they will do everything they can to make sure we are successful.

"The important thing now is for supporters to get behind these three guys."

Mansfield Mayor Tony Egginton, who sat in as chairman of the club, called for fans to get behind the new owners.

He said: "I am extremely pleased. It is an end to a very, very long saga.

"The whole of the backroom staff can start to plan and get prepared for what is a tremendous challenge.

"We want to be playing Notts County and Chesterfield.

"If we are going to bounce straight back to the Football League people have really got to get behind the club and give them the best of starts."

Martin Shaw, from the Stags Supporters' Association, said: "I think it is great news for the club to have people who we know are fans running it.

"I think supporters will genuinely be very pleased that the club is in the hands of new owners after 15 years of torment."


Buyout loser Hancock gives first reaction
CHAD.co.uk, 04 July 2008, by Tim Morriss

DISAPPOINTED Glapwell businessman Colin Hancock wished the new owners of Mansfield Town 'good luck' after losing out in the race to buy the football club.

Full story here

The dentist and Glapwell FC chairman thought he had secured a deal to buy both the Stags and Field Mill - and that agreement was announced two weeks ago at a major function in Mansfield.

But on Thursday evening a consortium of Mansfield businessmen - Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton - were confirmed as the new owners of the football club, renting the ground from controversial owner Keith Haslam.

The news came as a surprise to both Hancock and the club's chief executive Stephen Booth and chairman Tony Egginton, who had worked to put the Hancock deal together.

And last night Egginton praised the efforts of Hancock for bringing Haslam to the negotiating table with a serious offer.

But the mayor did reveal for the first time that the Hancock deal's option to buy the ground would only have happened after three years.

Hancock, on holiday in Menorca, told Chad on Friday morning: "I am disappointed, but it is not the end of the world.

"For a brief month I thought I had found a lot of friends in Mansfield, but it seems I was three short!

"But I wish the new owners all the best for the future.

"It is not the deal I would have done, I wanted to secure the future of the club by way of its assets.

"But Keith Haslam is a businessman and has done the deal he thinks is best for him.

"When I first got involved in looking at Mansfield, I said that if the club was not playing next season it would not be through a lack of effort on my part.

"I did all I could. Now I wish the club, its owners and the fans all the best and some stability for the future."



Latest | July 2008