Tuesday, 8 February 2011

SFU Ask Mr Meale and Mr Eggington For Support.

In recent months the Stags have found themselves fighting to save Field Mill, Mansfield Town’s home for nearly 100 years. This battle is being waged by John Radford against the club's previous owner, Keith Haslam, who has been contacting the Conference to object to the Stags playing at Field Mill and who is seeking to repossess the football ground. It is the view of Stags Fans United (SFU) that John Radford cannot be expected to shoulder the burden of the fight ahead by himself, and all the supporters' groups and fans should unite behind him to offer him such help and assistance as is possible. Local businesses should also get behind the club and the local media are doing their best to publicise our plight.

The SFU are finding that supporters are increasingly asking about what the town's mayor and Member of Parliament are doing to help secure the club's future especially as other clubs such as Doncaster Rovers have benefitted from the local authority building them a new stadium. Mr Meale has in the past been a strong advocate of Mr Haslam, rising to his defence on many occasions. We can all rermember him promising that exciting times were ahead. Unfortunately, his legal action against a supporter of the Stags and his refusal to criticise Mr Haslam for any of his actions including breaching company law by receiving loans from the football club have clearly alienated many fans. However, he did recently describe Keith Haslam's actions in sending in bailiffs to lock the football club out of Field Mill as "disgraceful". Mr Egginton, who must be commended for his efforts in bringing Keith Haslam and John Radford together for the first meeting, now seems keen not to be seen to be taking sides in the dispute. Mansfield needs a Football League club and the only stumbling block is Keith Haslam’s total disregard for his previous actions, his intransigence with regard to the valuation of Field Mill and his inability to understand there are real concerns and justifiable questions being asked about his loans, his gifts to the Stags Community Trust, his termination payment, possible breach of his director's duties and above all the extremely questionable way he removed Field Mill from the club's ownership by means of a dividend that did not seem justified by the previous profits of the club (in fact, the club made losses for many years). All these matters are currently being investigated by Pinsent Masons on behalf of John Radford. Field Mill, if people need to be reminded was built on the back of finances from Peveril Securities and the Football Stadium Improvement Fund and not on the back of any personal investment from Keith Haslam. Messrs Meale and Eggington now need to stand full square behind the club, John Radford and the people of Mansfield. They need to show unity and put their political differences aside to do what is best for Mansfield Town Football Club. It is time for real action otherwise the football club and the town could be in the wilderness for many years to come.

Gentlemen, you are the area’s most prominent politicians and the town needs to see you take the lead in clearly explaining to Keith Haslam about the damage he is causing to the football club which also has important consequences for the town. Naturally like all fans and the community at large we would like to see and hear your positions and support though the media.

Stags Fans United. “Free Field Mill”