Stags fans forum to hear details of takeover plans

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.

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 on Sunday.

Will Stags fans groups help Derry buyout bid?

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.

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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 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.