Mansfield Town chairman John Radford backing under-fire manager John Dempster ahead of tough month
Mansfield Town chairman John Radford has spoken of his disappointment at the club's season so far, but reiterated his backing of under-pressure manager John Dempster in today's programme notes.
Ahead of the big home clash with Cheltenham, Radford said: “Every one of us who has Mansfield Town Football Club at their heart knows that this has so far been an underwhelming season.
“As we enter a significant month, with five games against teams who too have ambitions of a top seven finish, results must be improved both radically and quickly.
“In my nine years as owner of our club, I have always maintained a transparent line of communication with our supporters, as best as I possibly can.
“It is important, therefore, that I share with you my open and honest considerations on the season so far and the longer-term outlook for our club.
“As noted above, results this season have been poor and to say I have been disappointed would be a mild term to describe the campaign to date.
“It is also unfortunate that the progression we have made in every area of our club off-the-field is being shaded this season by performances on it.
“I know, however, that in football, a club’s perceived success is largely measured by results and the team’s standing in the table.
“I have always listened to supporters’ views on all matters concerning the club, views which are overwhelming made known in the best interests of Mansfield Town. And I am fully aware that there are calls for a new direction to be sought in the leadership of the football structure.
“Let me state that I have faith in John Dempster as manager. This is not a dreaded vote of confidence, but a measured judgement.
“Firstly, John is a good man who is learning his trade and has all the qualities of a man who deserves to do well in professional football management.
“In today’s football culture of pulling open the trap door after a sequence of poor results, I am of the opinion that people sometimes need a little longer in their roles to perform to their maximum potential. In all my years in business, this truth has resounded.”
He continued: “Additionally, the cost of changing a management and bringing in a new one would cost me close to a seven-figure sum.
“Whilst I have funded over £20m into our beloved club in the past nine years, and will continue to invest, the purse strings cannot become looser at a whim and it is the long-term sustainability of Mansfield Town Football Club which is, and should always be, my overriding duty.
“It is high-time, also, for our squad to show more of what we know they are capable. We, as one united club, must support our players at every opportunity, through challenging times such as now as well as brighter days, and they too must go the extra mile with a higher level of performance on the pitch.
“Make no mistake, we remain ambitious this season. The turnaround in results must be considerable, but it is not impossible.
“As the ultimate leader of our club, I have to make the big decisions and when I do, always be mindful that I do so with the best long-term interests of Mansfield Town Football Club.
“I was born a Stag and will die a Stag, and in between that time I trust that my judgements will ensure that this club prospers for future generations.”