Mansfield Town chairman John Radford has assured manager Steve Evans of his full backing this summer in the club’s bid for promotion.
Evans had hinted this week he could walk away if the Radford family didn’t make good on promises made to provide a promotion-challenging budget for next season.
But ahead of a meeting with Evans, Radford said at the club’s annual awards dinner last night: “Steve will have my full backing as we set about our work towards one clear and primary goal: promotion.
“That will be our priority next season. And we will leave no stone unturned as we embark on our journey to fulfil the dreams of a town and its people.
Click HERE to read Steve Evans’ hopes on his summer budget
“If I cast my mind back to mid-November, the thought of me now standing at this podium talking about us narrowly missing out on the play-offs would have been an unlikely prospect.
“But our on-field progress is largely thanks to one man - the manager Steve Evans.
“Along with improving the team’s fortunes, Steve has revitalised life at One Call Stadium with his infectious personality, his passion for the game and a limitless will to succeed.
“He has also made matchdays much more interesting… even though I sometimes find myself watching the dug-outs more than the match!
“Thank you Steve, to you and all of your staff. Where there is unity, there is victory, and we are unified behind you heading into next season.”
Radford said he was delighted with how far the club has come under his tenure as owner.
“It may be easy to forget how far our club has come in such a short space of time,” he said.
“Our crowds are increasing, the One Call Stadium has never looked or felt as good, our media and public relations is at an all-time high, our community department is flourishing, our commercial activity is thriving and One Call Stadium is now a hive of activity every single day. We are, again, the hub of the community, a pillar of Mansfield.
“As a club, we are moving forward and we are progressing. And with a sincere heart I can say that I continue to feel a sense of overwhelming privilege and pride in being the club’s chairman.”
Radford added: “I may have many businesses, but I will always be honoured to carry the role of owner of the Stags – a title that means more to me than any other.
“Of course, I may be the benefactor, But I am simply the custodian – the fans are the lifeblood.
“The club was here long before me, and with the foundations which are now in place, it should be here long after me.
“I’ve always said that the best way to predict the future is to create it, and that is what we are doing here. Step by step, day by day, this club is growing bigger, better and stronger in every area.
“Our supporters have been through some tough times in years gone by. But while adversity causes some to break, it causes others to break through. And how we have broken through as a club.
“We are stronger than we ever have been in recent memory. We have good, talented people in the right positions at the football club, and running through the club’s arteries are the best football supporters in the country.”
Looking towards season 2017/18, he said: “Though the new season now seems a long way off, we all know that it will be before us within the blink of an eye.
“And during the next campaign, there will be obstacles, there will be doubters, there will be mistakes, but with discipline and desire there are no limits to what we can ultimately achieve.
“We will win together. We will lose together. We will fight together. After all, we are Mansfield Town.”