How Mansfield Town landed Matty Longstaff via a bottle of champagne and chance double engagement

Mansfield Town CEO David Sharpe has revealed how a bottle of champagne and a chance double engagement resulted in the Stags being able to sign Newcastle United starlet Matty Longstaff on loan.

Thursday, 17th February 2022, 12:45 pm
Matty Longstaff pushes through the Bristol Rovers defence on his debut last weekend.
Matty Longstaff pushes through the Bristol Rovers defence on his debut last weekend.

The deal right at the end of the January transfer deadline day was a shock to most people, including Mansfield boss Nigel Clough.

“Some things work in football quite strangely, but it's who you know,” explained Sharpe at last night's fans' forum at the One Call Stadium.

“I got engaged over Christmas. I was lucky enough to be in Barbados and Matty Longstaff' s agent, Kenneth (Shepherd), was there.

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“I get on quite well with him anyway. When I was at Wigan we signed Harry McGuire on loan from Hull through him, which was another good one.

“Matty's agent got engaged the same evening as me and Ellie did and I sent over a nice bottle of champagne – four or five weeks later we ended up with Matty Longstaff!”

He added: “Newcastle were very fair with us. I won't go into detail but very fair. They just wanted to get him playing.

“We dealt with Shola Ameobi there, their ex-striker.

“I think they've obviously come into so much cash and signed so many players recently that they just needed to get players out playing which worked in our favour.

“Matty was possibly moving somewhere else. But that didn't quite happen.

“Signing him was quite a statement. But we didn't want to give the impression that Mansfield were splashing the cash which is what's happened in the past here.

“We definitely aren't splashing the cash on that deal.”

“It was one that came completely out of the blue,” agreed manager Clough. “We hadn't really planned for it.

“Jamie Murphy came up almost at the last minute and then Matty Longstaff came out of absolutely nowhere. It was just one of those we were very fortunate with.

“I think it's fair to say that we got him and Jamie Murphy when Harry Charsley left and Richard Nartey went back to Burnley, though he's still available to us, and we made money on those two deals. We're paying less now than we were before.

“That tells you, as David says, we're not splashing the cash.”Clough continued: “Credit to Matty Longstaff. Our biggest fear when someone comes from the Premier League is that he's a 'big time Charlie' coming to 'little Mansfield'.

“But he is a brilliant lad. The fact he wanted to come straight away speaks volumes for him as well.

“He was straight in with the players and has no sort of arrogance about him. He has fitted straight in and I think he is enjoying it.”

Stags fans can watch Part One of the fans’ forum on iFollow and it is expected to be available later today (Thursday).