JOHN AND CAROLYN RADFORD INTERVIEW
John and Carolyn Radford interview with iFollow Stags, broadcast Friday 4 Sept 2020
Question on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on football and rewind the clock:
Carolyn: "For me it was a case of football should only come back when it was safe to do so. We were definitely not advocates of trying to push to finish the season.
John: "The club did take advantage of the furlough scheme with the people who work in the stadium. I think that was ok for League Two clubs to do. Other than that we had to fund a lot of things ourselves. The Football League have given the club an advance on future payments.
Carolyn: "But it's only an advance."
John: "Losing your paying customers on a weekly basis hurts a football club as much as it hurts cinemas, bowling alleys, restaurants, etc, we all suffered.
John: "The club will get revenue if any of our fans buy iFollow Stags tickets (match passes), especially on the away games.
Carolyn: "If you can really push friends and family to support the football club or just want to help out, please ask them to purchase the away iFollow passes, because we get 100% of the revenue after the first 500 sold. The clubs that have bigger away followings are going to do better out of this. We want everybody to watch the away games on iFollow, pay £10, because that's really the only income that we're going to have, other than us funding it ourselves.
John: "And hopefully we can open the stadium as soon as possible. We can't wait for it to get back to normal.
John: "The club's secure, we've got a good fanbase, good sponsors. The club is not in financial difficulty in any sort of way.
Carolyn: "Hopefully we've put together a really competitive squad.
John: "We need our fans to support in the stadium, we need our fans to support us on iFollow Stags. The more our fans can support us, the easier journey our club will have.
Question on David Sharpe appointed as new CEO:
Carolyn: "We (John and I) both love the football club and want it to thrive and prosper and be sustainable. A lot of that has to do with somebody on the ground being there day in day out driving the place forward. We've all learnt how to do zoom, but a football club needs strong people on the ground pushing it forward day in day out. And I felt that I couldn't give the commitment that was required to get the club going forward.
John: "You only need to look at our training ground and see how well that's come on, and our training ground has got Steve Hymas here and what a fantastic job he has created down here.
John: "Carolyn's not been able to put the time in down at the stadium. She's joining me as co-chair. We need someone that's had the experience, enthusiastic and can put the time in, and David (Sharpe, as CEO) will do that.
Carolyn: "David is so enthusiastic, he's a good guy, we've know him for a number of years now. His work ethic is second to none.
John: "David will be reporting to Carolyn and myself on a regular basis, which he's already been doing (as Director of Football). We'll be giving him direction. He'll come up with new ideas. And his integrity is second to none.
Carolyn: "I think he's going to look at every department, make sure everything's running smoothly, give everybody energy and direction. I want the stadium to look immaculate. And have high standards.
Question on the proposed hotel and Bishop Street stand:
John: "A lot of hotels have closed down at the moment. They've just built a new Travelodge around the corner. We've got the planning. I think it depends how well we do on the field as to which project gets put up first. Certainly if we go into League One, one of the projects will be done, either the Bishop Street stand or the hotel. But we have to look at what the current economics are. There's no point in throwing money into a big white elephant. We need to see how we can see the town growing.
Question: what are you expectations for the new season:
John: "I want us to do really well. But let's do better than last season at the very least.
Carolyn: "I want the team to make us proud and provide really entertaining football, win matches, and if you do that you're going to do very well.
Question: what's your message to the fans ahead of the new season:
Carolyn: "Please buy your away iFollow passes and help your football club.
John: "On iFollow Stags. Please. Thank you."
Mansfield Town owners plea for fans to back club by buying iFollow package
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill
Owners John and Carolyn Radford are urging Mansfield Town’s loyal fans to back their club.
Stags are currently without regular income as matches continue to be played behind-closed doors for the foreseeable future.
And the Stags bosses now want fans to get behind the boys by purchasing IFollow passes to guarantee the club have paying customers.
“We have got a superb fan base and we are financially secure,” John said during an interview with the club’s official website.
“We are not in any financial difficulties, but we need the community spirit of everyone who lives in Mansfield.
“We need our fans to support us in the ground when fans can come back and with IFollow Stags.
“The more the fans can support us the easier journey our club will have.”
Carolyn added it was crucial fans took up IFollow passes, with away passes especially important to the club.
“We don't know what is going to happen with a return to fans,” said Carolyn.
“We have heard October mentioned for a return for fans. The Football League is saying IFollow will be an important part of this season.
“IFollow Stags will mean season ticket holders can watch all home games and the club will get revenue.
“We really want to keep pushing that. If you support the football club, or want to help the club, please purchase a pass and ask friends and family to do the same.
“The IFollow away pass is the important one because we get 100 per cent of the revenue after the first 500 sold, so it is really important.
“The clubs with bigger away followings will do better out of this. We have a core fan base of about 400- 500 travelling all over the country, which is fantastic.
“We want everyone to watch the away games on IFollow, your money will be the only income we have other than funding things ourselves.
“We want to open the stadium as soon as we can but we will have restrictions in place, which will probably be just home fans and reduced capacity.
“We watched the game on Saturday. It was an empty ground and it feels so weird, it's not the same atmosphere.
“The players thrive off the support and it felt very sterile. We have just got to get on with it and make sure everyone is safe. We can't wait for it to get back to normal.”
Fans can view the various IFollow packages by visit https://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow