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Archived News from April 2002

23rd April 2002 21:49

More to come for Haslam's heroes?
AMBITIOUS Stags chairman Keith Haslam still maintains the club can reach the dizzy heights of the First Division, writes John Lomas.
The dark days of past seasons were finally buried as Mr Haslam took the congratulations instead of the flak for once as Stags clinched promotion to Division Two on Saturday.
“It was a tremendous feeling on Saturday and I am so glad that I have finally delivered after there were so many disbelievers. Some of the people who patted me on the back on Saturday night would have had a knife in their hands three or four years ago! “We will enjoy this now for a few days but we are certainly not finished yet. “When I came here I said we were capable of being a First Division club and that will be the next step I want us to take. We will look to next season in a positive way and let's hope we can keep the momentum going.”
Saturday's glory was a million miles away from the mess the club was in when Haslam took over.
“It has been well documented that we were £1.6m in debt and losing £450,000 a season and probably heading for bankrupcy,” he said. “Overall this area was at a low ebb and I knew what I had to do at this club. “I had a dream and that is now coming to fruition. We have the new stadium, the youngsters are coming through, we have our first promotion and the town is coming on at a rapid rate.”
He thanked the supporters for more than playing their part in this season's success.
"The supporters have been a big part of the club this year and have really been our 12th man,” he said. “We have averaged almost 5,000 attendances and if somone had told you a couple of years ago that would happen, you'd never have believed it possible. “Now we need to move it all on another stage. If you look at the bigger clubs bringing 1,800 away fans here next season then gates of 6,000 and 7,000 could become the norm. “We will be looking at filling in the corners of the ground with seating and also have a look at the Bishop Street side. “Also, demand for the corporate side of things is huge right now so we will look at getting the West Stand properly kitted out inside. “Mansfield as a town has really come on in the last couple of years and there is much prosperity. I think we can be good for the town and the town can be good for us. Going into the Second Division will give Mansfield a higher profile as a town.”


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