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23rd March 2008 23:58

Evening Post, 19 March 2008

A Takeover of Mansfield Town has moved a step closer with an unnamed backer agreeing to put in a 'significant sum' to join James Derry's consortium.

Last week the Newark businessman appealed for fresh investors to come forward and help complete a buy-out from Keith Haslam.

That was after owner Haslam agreed to sell the club for £1 to Derry's consortium, but keep Field Mill and charge rent.

However, club chairman Derry insists £500,000 of working capital is needed to run the club over the next few months.

He and Mansfield businessman Steve Hymas have agreed to find £250,000 of that sum, but need others to join them for a deal to go through.

Since Derry's plea, he says he has been pleased with the response as new backers make themselves known.

And he has also met with the club's various supporter groups to see if they are keen to be involved.

Derry said: "I have had a meeting with one guy who is a lifelong Mansfield fan and he has agreed to put in a significant sum to join the consortium. That will help us towards our £250,000 target and hopefully the other people interested will be able to ensure a deal is concluded quickly.

"I am in discussions at the moment and they are encouraging because in some cases they are with individuals who have come to light since the appeal.

"I have also spoken to the fans' groups and it is my belief they intend to get involved in return for a seat on the board and shares.

"I said £500,000 of working capital was needed, but I think that is a minimum. If we could get it up to £750,000 or even a £1m, it would make things a whole lot easier."

Chairman of Team Mansfield, Chris Vasper, said: "We have met with other supporters' groups and we are keen to buy into it, under the right circumstances.

"We have had several discussions with James Derry and we are encouraged by them, but there remains a lot of unanswered questions that still need to be addressed.

"We would need a document from him stating that all monies put in will be purely for the benefit of the club."

Full story at --> http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=133943&command=displayContent&sourceNode=133936&contentPK=20186426&folderPk=78484&pNodeId=133959


Stags fans forum to hear details of takeover plans
New backer comes forward and may join Derry consortium

By Tim Morriss, CHAD.co.uk. 18Mar08
STAGS fans are being urged to attend a special forum on Thursday evening and find out about the possible sale of Mansfield Town Football Club by Keith Haslam.
After months of wrangling, the controversial owner has finally agreed a takeover deal to a consortium led by James Derry.

But twice in recent weeks the deal collapsed when one of Mr Derry's backers pulled out at the last minute.

Now the consortium, also including Mansfield businessman Steve Hymas, has appealed for urgent financial backing of around £250,000 to complete the buyout.

Full story at CHAD website here

A public appeal last Thursday has already produced several potential investors, among them one Mansfield businessman and supporters groups, who have joined together to try to help the takeover - as reported at Chad.co.uk on Sunday.

Details of the fans groups potential involvement may also be given at a fans forum this Thursday, when Mr Derry and chief executive Stephen Booth - brokering the deal to sell the club - will answer questions.

The four main supporters groups, TEAM Mansfield (TM), Stags Supporters Association (SSA), Stags Fans For Change (SFFC) and Ollerton Stags Supporters Club (OSSC), have discussed launching an appeal for donations to help complete the already agreed sale of the Stags to a consortium led by James Derry - in return for the fans being given a representative on the board of directors that run the Stags in the future.

A spokesman for TM told Chad: "We have had productive discussions with James Derry and Stephen Booth and while there are reasons to be encouraged, there are a lot of issues that need clarifying very urgently before we move forward."

The forum is on Thursday 20th March at 7.30pm in the X Bar, entry is by SSA/TM/OSSC membership card only due to limited capacity, but half price SSA membership will be available on the night.

TEAM Mansfield first met Mr Derry, Mr Hymas and Mr Booth last Thursday, then quickly arranged a meeting with the other fans groups before discussing the takeover plans further with Mr Derry on Monday.

On Tuesday Mr Derry said: "It has all been very positive since the appeal on Thursday. I have one Mansfield supporter and businessman who will now come into the consortium. He is not in this to make money, he wants to be involved just for the good of the club.

"I am also hopeful that the fans will become involved in return for representation on the board of directors. We are almost there . . . and I have still got to talk to two other people who have come forward.

"I am very reassured by what is happening. People can see that Keith (Haslam) must be serious as he is prepared to sell for £1. They can see that it is going to happen."

Mr Booth told Chad: "We have what is effectively an agreed deal. The ball is very firmly in James Derry's court and it is upto him to put his side of it together."

As revealed at Chad.co.uk on Thursday, Mr Haslam has agreed a deal with the James Derry consortium to sell the club for just £1 - and rent Field Mill to the new owners, giving them an option to buy the stadium.

The consortium would take on the club with a zero bank balance, and no debt, but first must prove that it has at least £0.5m ready to put into the Stags as working capital.


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