Mansfield Town praised for pro-active efforts to get more fans at matches

Carolyn Radford, Steve Evans, assistant manager Paul Raynor and John Radford.
Carolyn Radford, Steve Evans, assistant manager Paul Raynor and John Radford.

Mansfield Town has been praised by a fans’ chief for its initiatives to engage more with supporters and try to increase attendances at the One Call Stadium.

Last Saturday hundreds more supporters went to the home match against Leyton Orient to take advantage of the two-for-one match ticket offer that includes next weekend’s clash against Hartlepool.

More than 1,300 supporters snapped up the tickets as the club said it wanted to generate a carnival atmosphere in the ground on matchdays.

Dean Foulkes, chairman of the Stags Supporters Association, described the new offer as brilliant.

“Any incentive to get more fans through the gate has to help,” he said.

“It`s fabulous that the club pro-actively looks at this (type of offer).

“It used to be a huge battle for the SSA and Stags Fans United (SFU) in the darker days many years ago (under previous owner Keith Haslam) to get the club to the table on fans issues like this.”

Last week the club publicised its much-praised family area at One Call Stadium with a well-received video that showed what was on offer for families going to the Stags on matchdays.

It was the latest in a number of initiatives introduced by chairman John Radford and his wife, Carolyn, the chief executive, to try to encourage fans back to the club.

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Another was the introduction of a singing section in the Ian Greaves Upper Stand for the 2-0 win over Leyton Orient. The section was formed when fans James Perrin, Daniel Maddison and Mitch Bailey asked for a meeting with club officials to set up the new area.

With a drummer providing the backing, the section sang throughout the game among and John Radford said their efforts were terrific.

Dean Foulkes said: “The atmosphere at the ground last week obviously was hugely improved thanks to the singing section.

“It must help the players and would be brilliant to have that every home game. Hopefully more fans will see that is the dedicated place to be now if you want to have a sing song and it can grow bigger.”

Asked what more the club could do now to get back the missing fans, he added: “The bottom line is, if people have a good time at the ground and go away feeling entertained, especially if they have watched a winning Stags side, you would like to think word-of-mouth will ultimately increase gates.

“Prior to Steve Evans coming our home record hadn`t been the best for quite a while. I would like to think a consistently winning end to the season, especially at home, would increase crowds, especially when we arrive in League One next season.

“Burton the other night attracted less than 4,000 for a Championship game, however, I would like to think when we reach that level our attendances would at least be averaging double that.

“I would like to think the whole town is waking up to the fact that the club is having a real serious go at promotion, but the reality is we need as many people as possible through the turnstiles at home games to show real positive backing to what the club management are trying to achieve for the fans and the town.

“I know the club are always open to ideas from fans so if anyone has any suggestions, contact the club directly or the SSA at info@thessa.org.”