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Archived News from June 2008

23rd June 2008 14:23

Ex-Stag defender Gray may return - Holland
Manager frustration as takeover saga delays pre-season preparations

CHAD.co.uk, 12 June 2008, By John Lomas

STAGS boss Paul Holland continues his thankless task of keeping potential players hanging on without a contract offer as the silence on the Mansfield Town takeover remains as deafening as ever.


But he admitted on Thursday the club is now four to six weeks behind the rest of the Conference clubs and that he has little chance of getting a squad assembled for the start of pre-season training on 3rd July.

He also confirmed former Field Mill favourite Kevin Gray is among the players he has spoken to already.

Rumours persisted on Thursday that a takeover of Mansfield Town FC could be announced within 24 hours.

It is understood that would-be owner Colin Hancock and a separate local group of businessmen still hope to persuade owner Keith Haslam to sell quickly.

The Stags, despite comments from chief executive Stephen Booth and chairman Tony Egginton 10 days earlier, have still to announce season ticket details for next season.

The delay in an announcement, first promised for last midweek and then again for this week, has fuelled speculation that new owners could be installed very soon - and would want to announce their own price structure.

Meanwhile, Holland has kept himself busy, even though he has no guarantee he will start the season as manager, and said: "I went down to the Conference awards night last weekend to acquaint myself with the managers at that level and had an enjoyable night.

"I have also spoken to Mickey Boulding on the phone and am meeting up with him in a couple of days.

"But it will be up to the people above me at the club to offer him a contract that will entice him to stay.

"I have had a good chat with him and told him I would love him to stay. He has told me there is interest in him elsewhere but he still wants to listen what Mansfield Town have to say to him.

"I am still speaking to a number of players. I have met up with two this week that I have spoken to before just to reassure them I am still interested. But is very, very difficult when you can't offer them anything concrete.

"I have spoken to other players like Stephen Dawson and Gareth Jelleyman and, without wanting to blow my own trumpet, players are wanting to know if I will be the manager here next season before they commit their futures.

"Lads have bills and mortgages to pay and they only stay loyal for so long. All I can do is get on with it. Moaning won't help.

"I will be back in at the club full time next week. But it is very difficult. It has been a baptism of fire since day one and if I can get through this and come out the other side I think I can work at any football club.

"I can understand why certain decisions can't be made until a decision on the takeover is made.

"I have done my job to the best of my ability in the meantime. Everyone now knows my position here. It is not me not signing players.

"The longer this goes on the more difficult it will make next season. You want to be as positive as you can ,but it is hard when you don't get the say-so to do what wants to be done."

He added: "We are now four to six weeks behind every club in the Conference. The players, or should that be player at the moment, are due back in for pre-season training on 2nd July.

"At the moment we'll be lucky to field a five-a-side team, let alone 11!

"If I was a player I would want to be there for the first day of pre-season training at my club. And, as a manager, you would want to have your full squad together for pre-season training and that clearly is not going to happen now.

"If we did sign someone we don't have a secretary to sort it out at the moment so I would have to do the paperwork myself or Stephen Booth.

"Agents have been phoning me and asking what positions I need to fill and I have just asked them what they've got! I have a folder with probably 60 or 70 names which you whittle down to 20-25 possible targets, knowing some won't want to come here.

"The better ones will have other clubs interested or will already be taken up.

"You really don't want to be left in the position of just taking players in to make up numbers to start the season."

Holland said he not spoken to Peterborough United pair striker Danny Crow and goalkeeper Shwan Jalal, two names linked with the Stags in the Peterborough press.

But he confirmed he had spoken to former Stags skipper Kevin Gray about a return.

"I have always kept in touch with Kevin and he has shown an interest in coming here," he said.

"I have looked at four or five centre halves as we could end up losing John Mullins, Jake Buxton and Alex John-Baptiste.

John-Baptiste is still under contract and, although he has made a transfer request, Holland said no one as yet had come in for him.


Stags boss Holland keen on former favourite
Evening Post, 12 Jun 2008
PAUL Holland today admitted he may look to bring Kevin Gray back to Field Mill for his second spell at Mansfield - if he is made manager.


The veteran defender, now 36, was released at the end of last season by Chesterfield.

Gray came through the ranks at Field Mill, making his debut as a teenager in the 1988-1989 season.

He went on to play for Huddersfield, Stockport (loan), Tranmere and Carlisle.

Acting boss Holland has been told he cannot sign any new players until the club's ongoing take-over negotiations are resolved.

But he said: "He is someone I would look at but I am looking at four or five centre halves because we are going to lose Johnny Mullins and possibly Bap (Alex John-Baptiste) and Bucko (Jake Buxton) as well."


Now Mariners chase Stags star striker Boulding
CHAD.co.uk, 12 June 2008
GRIMSBY on Thursday confirmed that they have joined the race for Stags' coveted striker Micky Boulding.


Manager Alan Buckley told the Grimsby Telegraph: "I have spoken briefly to Michael, but then I went on holiday and I think he's away now.

"We have made our interest known by making contact and we'll see what happens - I know a lot of clubs will be keen on Michael's services."

Rotherham, Bradford, Scunthorpe, Morecambe and Lincoln are all chasing the striker, who has been offered a new deal by the Stags.

Boulding, who netted 25 goals in Mansfield Town's relegation campaign, has twice played for Grimsby before.

Earlier this week Stags boss Paul Holland said he had planned to meet with the forward on his return from holiday over the next few days.

Lincoln manager Peter Jackson has also confirmed the Imps' interest, saying: "I don't think it's any secret that he's a wanted commodity.

"We've been talking to him since the end of the season, and I'm sure a lot of other clubs have spoken to him.

"We will tell him our plans for the future and where we want to take the club, which is to League One.

"Since Iffy (Onoura) and I know him well, that gives us another advantage."


Statement by Stephen Booth, Chief Executive | 12 June 08
mansfieldtown.net, 12 Jun 2008
The article in yesterday's Chad headlined 'Takeover complete in next two weeks' refers to my recent press release 'taking a swipe at the S.F.U. call for a boycott' & my failure to mention monies received from fans groups. I should, therefore, like to clear up any misunderstanding.


1. I have not, & have no intention of, 'taking a swipe at SFU' & wish them good luck in their endeavours to raise their target sum. Furthermore I recognise that it is their right to protest in whatever way they see fit, provided they stay within the law, including their call for a boycott. I should like to point out, however, that:
a. Starving the club of resources does nothing in terms of either attracting buyers or planning for the future,
b. My statement was a clear reference to the fact that the vast majority of those businesses named in the 'boycott' statement have not contributed to the club by way of either sponsorship or advertising - which begs the question 'so what is the impact of the boycott?'.
c. At no time did I refer to season ticket holders who are much valued by the club but who have the right to withdraw their support if they so choose.
2. With regard to the supporters groups:
a. OSSC contributed a total of £833.25 during the season in respect of kit sponsorship (£411.25), a programme advertisement (£50), executive packages for the Rotherham game (£272) & a contribution towards the cost of a 'Water Hog' (£100). I would like to formally acknowledge their contribution & thank them for their continued support of the club.
b. With regard to SSA they made no direct contribution to the club but paid suppliers directly for the training facilities (circa £5,000) & for certain youth team kit/ equipment (circa £1,500). Once again I should like to acknowledge this contribution. I feel I should also state, however, that during the course of the season SSA members received a total of £5,618 in discounts for season & match-day tickets - yielding a net contribution of circa £882.


It's official! Stags join the Football Conference
CHAD.co.uk, 132 June 2008
MANSFIELD Town has officially joined the Blue Square Premier after AGMs of both the Football Conference and the Football League.


Last Saturday Stags chief executive Stephen Booth represented the club at the Conference annual meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool.

But the Stags did not officially leave the League until earlier this week, at its annual meeting in Portugal where it is thought owner Keith Haslam attended.

Meanwhile, rumours persisted on Friday that Haslam was close to finally completing the protracted sale of the club.

It is known that Glapwell chairman Colin Hancock and a separate group of local businessmen are in negotiations to buy the club.

An interest from overseas and offers from former York City owner John Batchelor now appear to be the outsiders in the race to buy the club.

On Thursday Stags chairman and Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton talked about the possibility of him remaining at Field Mill under new owners.

And Chad understands that chief executive Stephen Booth may also be asked by one of the takeover parties to stay at the club, if their takeover is successful.

The club has still to announce season ticket details for next season, which has added to the takeover rumours.


Gray's on Stags boss's short-list
Evening Post, 13 Jun 2008
Former Mansfield favourite Kevin Gray is one of several central defenders on acting boss Paul Holland's short-list of targets.


The two are good friends from their time at Field Mill together in the early 1990s.

Sheffield-born Gray is a veteran of more than 500 senior outings, after making his Football League debut for the Stags in 1988-1989 as a teenager.

Gray has also played for Huddersfield, Stockport (on loan), Tranmere, Carlisle and Chesterfield.

"He is someone I would look at but I am looking at four or five centre-halves because we are going to lose Johnny Mullins and possibly Bap (Alex John-Baptiste) and Bucko (Jake Buxton) as well."

Striker Danny Crow and keeper Shwan Jalal, both formerly of Peterborough have been linked with a move to Field Mill but Holland has not spoken to either of them.

He is still waiting to see if he will land the Mansfield job full-time - with little more than two weeks before players return to training on July 2.

And he has been told he cannot sign anyone until the long-running takeover negotiations have been resolved one way or the other.

Holland said: "I had 60 or 70 names that I have whittled down to 20-25 players who are possible targets."

Only Nathan Arnold, Jason White, Ashley Kitchen and the transfer-listed Alex John-Baptiste are signed on for next season. Michael Boulding, Stephen Dawson and Gareth Jelleyman have yet to respond to offers of new deals.

Johnny Mullins has rejected his and is expected to leave for Stockport while Jake Buxton is keen to move on.



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