Stags Fans United have been successful with their application to Mansfield District Council to register Field Mill (now known as the One Call Stadium) along with land and buildings lying to the north-west of Quarry Lane as Community Assets. The application was discussed at a board meeting of Mansfield Town on 3rd November 2014 and John Radford agreed to Stags Fans United making the application following the club’s AGM on 12th December 2014. Field Mill is the second oldest football ground in the world and the oldest football ground in the world that hosts professional football. It is also the oldest football ground in the Football League.
SFU Supporter Representative, Darren Shaw, said “Mansfield Town plays a major role in the local community and it is good to try and do something that recognizes that fact and which also recognizes the historical importance of Field Mill. John and Carolyn Radford have already taken some excellent steps to promote the club as a Community Club including re-establishing the Centre of Excellence with local youngsters, supporting the Mansfield Town Ladies team and giving free tickets away to local schools. Mark Hemingray and his team also do a great job with Football in the Community. Hopefully our application will help the club promote itself as a Community Club and this may be of assistance when the club is applying for grants and financial assistance for community projects. John Radford has also frequently stated that he would like to protect the ground so that nobody can buy the club in the future with a view to exploiting the ground for their own benefit.”
Under the Localism Act 2011, community groups are given a legal right to identify an asset believed to be of value to their social interests, and give them a fair chance to make a bid to acquire it if the property owner decides to dispose of it. Registration of Field Mill as a Community Asset means that Mansfield District Council must be notified of any intention to sell Field Mill and the local community would then have an interim period of 6 weeks to consider placing a bid. If a community group is interested in placing a bid, a 6 month moratorium period starts, and the owner of the asset is not permitted to dispose of it during this period. This gives a community group time to prepare a business plan and find the finances for the bid. During this period the owner may continue to market and negotiate sales, but may not exchange contracts. At the end of this 6 month period the owner will consider all the bids received; but they can dispose of the asset to whoever they choose. It is important to note that the listing serves only to give a window of time to groups to prepare to bid alongside other potential interested parties if the asset comes up for disposal. Any disposal after the six month period, takes place under normal market conditions and the owner is under no obligation to sell to a community group. Further information can be found on Mansfield District Council’s website.
Field Mill is the 34th football stadium to be registered as a Community Asset and can now take its place alongside other important Community Assets such as Old Trafford, Anfield, Portman Road, St Andrews and The Valley.
More information on the history of Field Mill can be found on the Mansfield Town website