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Archived News from April 2004

24th April 2004 11:25

Mansfields local MP, Alan Meale, has backed supporters protests over the Police proposal to alter away ends at Field Mill. Below is the letter Mr Meale has written to Mansfields Chief Constable.

Dear Chief Constable,


I write to you concerning the decision taken by Mansfield police to change the seating arrangements for local football fans of the towns Football League club.

Quite frankly the decision to do this together with the manner in which it was arrived at beggars belief.

I say this because not only was the consultation connected with it extremely limited, the decision to do it was presented as little more than a "fait accompli" to the football club, it's supporters and others. Worse still, I believe that the decision could lead, in future, to major problems occurring connected directly to events held at the stadia, because of a lack of understanding and forethought by the Police officials involved.

For example, by transferring visiting supporters from the Quarry Lane end of the ground, to the North Stand, would create a number of major problems re both stewarding and policing of opposing fans at the ground.

For instance

1) The stadiums Bishop Street stand which is used by away fans, would pose a problem, as visiting fans can at present only leave via the Quarry Lane end. Thus forcing them having to confront home fans, arriving and leaving the game.

2) At present the only local hostelry available for visiting fans is situated next to the Quarry Lane end of the ground, which would cause them to walk into home fans, either on the way into, or out of it.
Whatsmore, not to use these premises would cause large numbers of visitors, walking considerable distances into the Mansfield market place which itself would likely cause havoc, especially as it would be impossible to police such an area.

3) Major difficulties would also occur because the route for most of Mansfield's local fans arriving and leaving Field Mill will inevitably lead to them coming face to face with visiting supporters.

4) Further, the use of the Portland Retail car park for extra visitors would cause major difficulties for the many innocent and unconnected shoppers using these stores.

5) Major barriers would also have to be purchased, at considerable cost to the Club, and built into the stadia to keep opposing fans from confronting each other. Whereas as present the existing iron fencing in Quarry Lane is sufficient to keep them apart.

6) Last but not least, if trouble does occur, the new arrangements would mean that any confrontations which may happen, would then be at the opposite end of the ground from the control box.

In conclusion, I would urge that in your capacity as Chief Constable, you order suspension of these plans until a full and proper consultation has been held on this matter. I say this because to my knowledge, Mansfield fans, local residents, businesses and Mansfield Town Football Club are all against the proposals.

Perhaps a way forward on this matter might be a site visit. I therefore invite you to come to the ground and discuss the matter with myself, Mr Keith Haslam, the Club Chairman, local businesses and fans representatives.

In this respect, on Saturday 8 May 2004 Mansfield Town FC are playing Northampton Town FC at the ground. It is anticipated that both Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott MP and Sports Minister Richard Caborn MP, are to be present at the game to officially open the Stags Cyber and Education Centre at the ground.

Perhaps you could let me know if you are available so that arrangements can be made?

Yours faithfully
Alan Meale MP


Latest | April 2004