MANSFIELD TOWN’s bid to regain Field Mill from landlord Keith Haslam continues with a meeting of solicitors today (Wednesday), but Stags chairman John Radford is confident of an out-of-court settlement before next season begins.
Stags have challenged the legality of the way Mr Haslam retained ownership of the ground when he sold the club and Mr Radford said: “It (today) is just a preliminary hearing to decide the way the case should proceed.
“There is no need for anyone to be there bar the solicitors. We will certainly be present for the next one once a date is set if it all lasts that long.
“It could be July next year before a decision is made (through the courts). But I think it should be settled well before then.
“It may be resolved out of court. I don’t mind either way. If it goes to court it will cost Mr Haslam a lot more money.
“I would have liked things to have moved quicker than this. I have made my offer to him (Keith Haslam) and we are just waiting for him, though I understand he has phoned a few times while I have been away and busy.”
Mr Radford said he had no plans for a new ground, adding: “I can’t see us moving anywhere else.
“But it is common knowledge that to get out of this league we need a 10-year lease or ownership of our ground which we don’t have at the moment.
“Once we have that sorted I will invest in the team. This season is almost finished now and I think things will develop quite quickly in the next few months. There is no reason it won’t be resolved before next season and then we can have a real go at getting out of the Conference.”
Mr Radford said no decision had yet been taken on who will be manager next season.
Although he has taken Stags to a Wembley final, current boss Duncan Russell’s deal runs out in the summer and he has come under increasing fire from fans over poor league results.
“We won’t be discussing contracts with the manager and players until the last 10 days of the season,” said Mr Radford.
“It’s not about whether we win the Trophy. Duncan and Paul (Hall) have my full support until the end of the season.
“Duncan knows what he has got to achieve. I have sat and spoken to him. Results are always important for any manager as, unfortunately, it is a results-based business.”
Russell said: “I would like it sorted now, but the chairman has given me until the end of the season so I have to stick by that.
“If he wants me out the job I will just shake hands and wish this football club all the best. But if I am given the job I will endeavour to bring in the best players to give us the best opportunity of promotion.
“If I am still in a job next season I will bring in players of a high calibre and experience, better than what we have, and they want to come here.
“I want to build my own side if given the opportunity – a side more than capable of winning this league, not just going up through the play-offs.
“I spoke to the chairman last week and know that if I am here he will back me.”