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Mansfield Town's 'ground' for concern

Mon 17th Jan 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

In line with their ongoing policy of transparency with supporters, Mansfield Town Football Club have released the following statement regarding the leasehold of Field Mill.

Following the repossession of Field Mill by Mr Haslam in December, we made a statement to the effect that a new lease had been signed allowing us to remain at the ground until the end of the current football season.

This position was arrived at following a meeting between Chairman John Radford and Keith Haslam witnessed in full by Mayor Tony Egginton on 16 December 2010. At this meeting, it was verbally agreed that we would return to Field Mill for the remainder of the season in return for a reduced rental payment to be paid in full to Mr Haslam plus a sum of £2,000 as a gesture of goodwill to cover Mr Haslam's expenses incurred by Solicitor's fees for the re-writing of the new lease.

Crucially, it was also agreed that the new leasehold would in no way affect separate legal proceedings concerning the investigation of dividend payments made to Mr Haslam's company Stags Ltd during his time as majority shareholder of the Club.

This was all verbally agreed by both parties in the presence of the Mayor and the reduced rent payment was immediately paid by us into an account controlled by Mr Haslam's Solicitors to be released once the new lease had been drawn up and signed by both parties.

Unfortunately, we regret to announce that the new lease has not been signed due to Mr Haslam's repeated failure to respect several elements of the lease which were agreed upon by all parties at the initial meeting.

Mr Haslam has reneged on the deal by insisting on a clause being included prohibiting Mr Radford from pursuing the legal case concerning dividend payments against Mr Haslam whilst we remain tenants at Field Mill. Since the meeting, Mr Haslam has also insisted that we pay £3,500 towards bailiff costs during the three week period when he locked us out of the stadium, which we have paid.

We now find ourselves in the position of having no current lease on the ground through no fault of our own and call on Mayor Tony Egginton, who witnessed the verbal agreement, to work with Mr Haslam to honour it in full.

We wish to make clear that we will not in any circumstance be held to ransom by unreasonable demands made after the original agreement had been put in place.

Whilst Mr Haslam remains wholly uncooperative, he represents an obstacle to our ambition of regaining our rightful place in the Football League and is in no way acting in the interests of the Town of Mansfield of whose fabric, we are such a central part.

We now urge Mr Haslam to do what is right and uphold an agreement that serves both the interests of the Mansfield community and its football club






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