Tag: Mansfield Town

Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Mansfield?

It is probably a reflection on the autocratic way in which most football clubs are run that when a chairman actually seems to be acting in a way that is beneficial to his club and his supporters, it can almost feel counter-intuitive. What, one could be tempted to think, is his ulterior motive? In the case of John Radford, the chairman of Mansfield Town, the answer seems to be, “the good of his football club”, and both Radford and Mansfield had a decent result at their local County Court yesterday. Keith Haslam has already tried to repossess Field Mill from the Stags once this season and today saw the beginning of his second attempt to throw them out of their home. He has failed, for now. After his previous antics, revised terms for a lease were agreed between Haslam and the club, but the club refused to sign it and now claim that Haslam attempted to change its terms. So it was that thirty or so supporters, Radford, Haslam, Chief Executive Steve Barker and supporter-director Darren Shaw all turned out at Mansfield County Court to try and thrash the matter out. The result was a good one for Mansfield. He decreed that the club must not be evicted from Field Mill until the end of next season and the case has been adjourned to the middle of April, when...

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Keith Haslam Reneges On Verbal Agreement, Say Mansfield Town

It felt too good to be true. We reported last month on Keith Haslam’s decision to evict Mansfield Town from their Field Mill ground and on the subsequent agreement which allowed them to return to the ground before the matter became an issue that could seriously threaten their existence. With a public statement left on the club’s official website this afternoon, however, it becomes clear that this matter is not resolved to anything like the extent that it should be by now and that Haslam, who seems fated to return to our attention time and time again as something approaching a pantomime villain, is reneging on a verbal agreement that he reached with the new owners of the club. It was exactly a month ago that Mansfield Town reached agreement with Haslam over the future of the club’s tenure at Field Mill. At the meeting, it was agreed that the club would return to their ground providing a payment was made in full for a reduced rental rate to cover the rest of this season as well as an ex gratia payment to be made of £2,000 to cover Haslam’s legal costs in getting the lease re-written. Mansfield Town claim, however, that these weren’t the only clauses that were agreed when verbal agreement was reached, and it is the small matter of how Field Mill came to be under...

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Mansfield Are Going Home

It has been a week of conflicting news for Mansfield Town but, after it looked as if their future may be hanging in the balance, there has finally been some good news for supporters of the Blue Square Premier club. As regular readers of this site will already be aware, Mansfield were evicted from their ground, Field Mill, for non-payment of rent by their former owner Keith Haslam. Haslam, you might remember, had used money a dividend paid to his company by the club itself in order to complete this separation of the club from its biggest single asset in the first place, prior to his departure from the club. Over the last few days, the situation at Mansfield had looked as if it could become desperate, to the point of threatening the very future of the club. Once locked out of Field Mill, the club had to fight a battle upon two fronts: on the one hand, to try and secure a return to their ground, and on the other to find a temporary home to tide them over in the short-term – or, potentially, to find a new home to share whilst looking to secure a new ground within Mansfield, should a return to Field Mill not be possible in what could only be described as the worst case scenario. The club identified two potential sites to...

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Haslam Evicts Mansfield: Will Football Look The Other Way?

What to make, then, of Keith Van Hooghaslam, the Scumbag Millionaire landlord of Mansfield, and his most recent round of pantomime villainy? Anybody turning up at Mansfield Town’s Field Mill ground this morning will have been met by a stark message pinned to the entrance. Haslam has evicted the club from the ground that he owns for non-payment of rent, an irony that is almost unbelievable when we consider the manner in which Haslam came to own it in the first place. Haslam’s tenure at Field Mill was characterised by a tendency for him to look after number one. Mansfield Town’s accounts to June of 2003, published in September of that year, confirmed that a loan of £239,297 made by the club to Haslam, had been written off. The following year, the club’s accounts confirmed that the club had loaned him a further £90,000, in apparent breach of an agreement reached between Haslam and TEAM Mansfield, a supporters group that had bought shares in the club. In total, over £1m found its way out of Mansfield – £585,142 in “interest-free loans”, along with £583,449 to his holding company, Stags Limited, to buy land for an academy which wasn’t built and, in addition to this, he was also paying himself a salary of £60,000 per year. Keith Haslam, we should remind ourselves, bought Mansfield Town for £1 in 1993. This,...

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Few Tears For John Batchelor

The former York City owner John Batchelor died at the relatively youthful age of fifty-one in a Stockport hospital on the eleventh of April. The news of his death has been greeted with a mixture of shock and surprise by many that were aware of him. It would, however, be fair to say that his death hasn’t been greeted with much sadness by those that came into contact with him in football, at least. Batchelor, who seemed to revel in role within lower league football so extreme that by the end he could almost be described as a pantomime villain, never seemed to give a damn about those that he screwed whilst he was alive. Perhaps the lack of sadness at his parting is what he would have wanted. His arrival at York in 2002 was all about creating a fuss and creating headlines. Having had a moderate career in touring car racing, he was unknown within football but promised great things for the club. He redesigned the club’s kit to incorporate a chequered flag and changed its name to “York City Soccer Club” as a rebranding exercise. For the duration of his involvement at Bootham Crescent, however, he was running it into the ground. Persimmon Homes, who had agreed to purchase the club’s ground, had paid him £400,000 in sponsorship money for the sports club that he was...

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