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Archived News from August 2008

29th August 2008 0:19

Stags chairman's transfer cash pledge
Evening Post, 20 Aug 2008
Mansfield chairman Andrew Perry today vowed to make money available to strengthen the Stags' squad later in the season - if they are in with a chance of promotion.

Full story at Evening Post website here

Manager Billy McEwan said on Saturday he still hopes to add three or four new faces to his squad, which has been completely rebuilt following relegation.

Perry confirmed there is still money in the pot for players to be brought to the club in the short-term. And he added the board would also look at making more funds available in the January transfer window, should the Stags' standing in the Blue Square Premier merit it.

"When we spoke to Billy about the budget, he said that was about what he thought he would be looking at," said Perry.

"If you spend that much more, it doesn't always guarantee results.
"Billy is an old head at this level and in this league. He knows what a pound is worth and when players are not worth what they're asking.

"We will support Billy if everything is right. Billy hasn't used his budget up for players right now.

"If things go well on the pitch and we get to Christmas with a few tired legs, and we need strengthening to keep us up there, then we will look at things.

"If we are not going to go up or down, then we might see things differently."

Now more than a month into his role, Perry is enjoying the challenge of leading the Stags, along with fellow joint owners Andrew Saunders and Steve Middleton.

He said: "It is still very exciting. They are long days at the moment but we knew it was going to be like that for the first three or four months.
"Soon Andy, Steve and myself will be looking at he ground, and other things that will benefit the club."


New Stags board: We will invest
Evening Post, 20 Aug 2008
A Few months ago, all Andrew Perry (pictured) and Andrew Saunders had to worry about on match days at Field Mill was if their beloved Mansfield would win - and if their half-time cuppa would be piping hot.

Full story at Evening Post website here

But now, having become joint owners of the club along with Steve Middleton, there is so much more to occupy their minds.

It may have proved a difficult and long-winded task to agree a deal to purchase the club from long-time owner Keith Haslam, but that has proved to be just the start of the hard work.

With their own businesses still to run, they have worked round the clock in their spare time in a bid to get their feet under the table at Field Mill.

Starting almost from scratch, and with no previous experience of running a football club, it has been a steep learning curve.

But Perry, the new chairman, and Saunders, a director, have been putting everything into making sure the new era gets off to a smooth start.

"It is still very exciting," said Perry. "They are long days at the moment but we knew it was going to be like that for the first three or four months.

"Everyone involved at the club has worked in a certain way in the past. Now we are trying to get people into the way we feel the club should be run.

"First we have to build the club up and we are going to be making appointments over the next six or seven weeks to help us do that.

"That is going to release Andy (Saunders), Steve (Middleton) and myself to look at other things, such as the ground, and things that will benefit the club."

It has been well documented that Mansfield have made losses over the last couple of financial years and this is one of the issues the board are keen to address.

They know that getting the club's commercial activity going - so lacking in recent times - is vitally important.

As part of that, they have already appointed Bob Gorrill to help generate that income.

Saunders said: "That was the key to us. The commercial department had got to do substantially more than under the previous management.

"We want to have plenty of community involvement - that is paramount. Only last week we were invited to West Notts College's Fresher's Day where we were looking at how we can link up with their courses such as media and catering.

Perry added: "We are talking to people who we do business with in a different way. It is not just Perry Electrical but Mansfield Town as well.

"It is not just a case of selling tickets. We have to look at other areas and make sure the criticisms about our commercial performance are in the past.

"It is difficult in the current economic climate. People are not able to release as much money as they otherwise might.

"I'm sure 90 per cent of supporters would feel let down if we did not do better commercially than the previous owners.

"We have got experience in the electrical and insurance sectors, but this is a football club.

"It's important we get things going off the field and we are really open to ideas.

"If we can make things better for the supporters we will try to do so. The ideas of 2,500 people is better than just a couple."

The new regime's ethos also centres on the rights for fans to have their say.

A place on the board for a supporter's representative remains very much in the pipeline.

"We have said that we will be making an appointment as soon as possible and we are already speaking to supporters' groups about it," said Saunders.

"I think we need the involvement of the supporters. They pay the money.

"For too long, Mansfield has not looked after its supporters and we intend to do so.

"We intend to emake sure this is a community club, while still keeping a business head on."

One of the first decisions, Perry, Saunders and Middleton had to make was over the managerial vacancy.

Many fans had anticipated that Paul Holland, who had set up the club friendlies and kept in contact with the players over the summer, would land the job after guiding Stags in the latter stages of their relegation season following the sacking of Billy Dearden.

But instead, the new board plumped for experience in the shape of former Field Mill favourite Billy McEwan.

It is a decision they have no cause to regret, certainly in the short-term, being delighted with the Scot's contribution so far.

Perry said: "We are not putting him under any pressure by saying we want success at this point or that point. It is a three-year plan.

"Billy's professionalism has been excellent - he has got very high standards.

"He has been at Football League clubs as well as York in the Conference and he's been in the game a long time.

"The advice that he can offer ourselves, not just the team, has been invaluable.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Haslam era was that unbudgeted money accrued by the club was not put back into the team.

Little cash from the sell-on clause from Liam Lawrence's move to Stoke, or from the FA Cup runs in 2005-2006 (when they played at Newcastle) and last year (when they hosted Middlesbrough) was made available to Stags managers.

The new board insist things will be different in future - so long as it does not jeopardise the club's financial situation.

"Last season, with the club being at the bottom of the league and the fans not coming to games it was hard - and now we are seeing things from the other side," said Perry.

"Some of the money from the FA Cup run was needed just to keep the club going.

"If we get a home crowd of 1,800, we have still got overheads. You have to look at the budgets and allocate the money accordingly.

"But if things are going well and we were to get a boost like that, then some of it would be available for strengthening.

"We want to get the club back on an even footing but we are also proud people and fans - we want nothing more than to see the club do well.

"But we will make tough business decisions when they are needed. We know that will not always make us popular with everyone, but we will always be trying to do what is best for the club.

"Anything that comes into the club will stay there and any profit we make will benefit it."

It is a stance that is as tough as the task facing Perry and Saunders of turning Mansfield around. But they would not have it any other way.


Latest | August 2008