John and Carolyn Radford Q&A 9th May 2016 – Summary
Thank you to John and Carolyn for an excellent evening. These evenings and fans forums are very important to help transparency at the club. John has never refused to attend any of them and has always answered every question he has been asked. They were both in good form last night and it was a very entertaining evening. Darren Shaw
Transcribed by Darren Shaw:
Hopes for 2016-2017
We are aiming to do better next season and hopefully will achieve promotion. The budget will be improved substantially next season. The budget should be at least top half if not top six. We need to add a bit more quality to the squad. (Carolyn – we are not going on holiday next year!).
Signing players is Adam Murray’s decision.
We did try and strengthen this squad this season at Christmas. We were constantly looking for players. It is hard to find the right players. Loan players do not always improve the squad and sometimes it affects the football being played by the current squad.
We are hoping to sign another striker. We are looking for an experienced striker. You have to pay big money to attract strikers. You also have to attract them to the club and show ambition. That’s why it is important to improve the stadium and develop the training facilities. The strikers we are looking to sign are in The Championship and League 1 at the moment. We have a couple of names we are working on.
I would love to keep Ryan Tafazolli next season. We get on really well with Ryan but we are not getting on with his agent at the moment. (Carolyn – that’s because John keeps calling him by the wrong name!.)
Emmanuel Dieseruvwe wants to sign for the club. We could also sign Blair Adams but it is up to Adam. Mitch Rose is probably staying.
Our best signing has probably been Matt Green but we have signed lots of other really good players such as Ryan Tafazolli, Sam Clucas and Jack Thomas. Matt Green has done really well. To find a striker who scores 15-20 goals per season is really difficult. Matt Green is here for another two seasons.
When we want to sign a player we firstly talk to the chairman and the manager of the other football club and then talk to the player concerned. We do not approach the player’s agent as they normally try and stick a big fee on top.
Adam Murray has three candidates in mind but he has not made his mind up yet. It’s up to him.
If we finish top ten next season then we will have a trip to Malta. I did offer the players an incentive this season. I fell out with the players this season after the Accrington home game and then later offered them a silly amount of money if they got promoted. It would have hurt me a bit if they had succeeded.
Field Mill/One Call Stadium
There are around another three payments due to Keith Haslam. I bought the ground off him for around £2 million. I paid a lump sum up front with the balance payable over seven years.
It is being levelled at the moment. We have put in a planning application for a 3G pitch and to make the changing rooms much larger. Planning to fit six training pitches on there. Hoping to finish off the training ground by next season. We need our own training ground to attract good players to the club. We are also hoping to let the local primary school use the facilities.
We bought the scoreboard from Wembley a few years ago. The technology might be falling behind a bit now. You can put on it whatever you want including replays. (Note: It was confirmed later by Paul Broughton that the scoreboard will not be able to show replays)
I would like to see season tickets at lower prices but I don’t want the stadium taken over by season ticket holders as we cannot then sell tickets on match days. Season ticket holders are my favourite people but they cannot always come to every game. We have looked into selling part time season tickets where you could buy a season ticket at a cheap price and then let us know when you cannot come to a game so we can resell them. It’s just the capacity of the stadium that causes problems for selling too many season tickets. Our season tickets are not the cheapest but they are in the lowest 10-20%. We have not set them at a stupid price. We have tried to pitch it right so the stadium will be as full as possible.
Junior Ticket Prices
I agree it would be an excellent idea to increase free entry for juniors from U7s to U11s so it includes all primary school children. We can consider that next season. The problem is that some eleven year olds look much older which is a problem for the stewards. U17s can get in for £4 with a £15 membership card. We will also look into having a Parent and Child season ticket
We are averaging 3,500 in a 10,000 seater stadium. The club would be wasting money developing the Bishop Street at the moment. The crowds do not justify it.
We have some really dedicated fantastic staff who are all on the same page who want success for the club. It’s great to see young players coming through like Jack Thomas. They did great to win the Youth Alliance. We have been strict with our youth system so it is completely separate from the first team and the manager is not in charge of it. The plan that I have put in place is that every season the first team manager will have to accept four youth team players into his squad on two year contracts. This means that there will always be eight youth team players in the squad. The manager will not have to play them and could send them out on loan but Jack Thomas has done well so this could encourage the manager to play them. It’s difficult for managers to play young players when their job is on the line but hopefully this plan will help bring some of our youth team players through.
We are sticking with the plan of having a new home and away kit every two seasons. I’m not going to change this unless fans demand a new kit every season. The new away kit should be available for the Open Day. I’m also happy for fans to submit designs for a new kit. Perhaps we can have a competition to design a new kit and then have a shortlist and arrange for the fans to vote on it.
I’m currently happy with the club badge but I’d consider changing it if the fans really wanted to.
A transfer embargo has been placed by the Football League on Notts County as they have not paid the Stags the £20,000 they received from selling tickets for the game at Field Mill. This means that they cannot sign any players at the moment. The club should get paid though as the money will be deducted by the Football League from the next monthly distribution payment to Notts County. Notts County are in a bit of a financial mess at the moment with Ray Trew wanting to sell the club and therefore not being prepared to finance the club any further. They have also not paid for the damage to the toilets in the North Stand. It is frustrating as we looked after their directors very well when they came to Field Mill.
I would be prepared to do another charity walk to Doncaster. A fellow director has agreed to sponsor their shirts for another season but that should be the last season. Doncaster Rovers probably only receive around a twentieth of what Mansfield Town receive from One Call.
Thanks to all the staff who work really hard behind the scenes. The End of Season Dinner was a great success and a great evening.
Plans for the future.
We do not want to sell the club. We have really enjoyed it for the last five-six years. We have three young children and we want them to have the chance to enjoy it as well in the future.