A ‘weekus horribilis’ at Field Mill


ANYONE who thought life would be less complicated and less frustrating with Keith Haslam gone can think again!

Stags’ ‘annus horribilis’ continued with an amazing ‘weekus horribilis’ this week.

Within the space of a few days we had back to back defeats, two controversial penalty decisions against us, four points deducted by the ‘holier than thou’ suits at the Conference, manager Billy McEwan fined for not wearing the correct shirt (‘snitched on’ by a fellow BSP club too) at Salisbury and the deadline for answering an FA charge against the Stags for a separate alleged transfer misdemeanour.

No wonder Billy was getting maudlin on Tuesday night and asking what he was doing working at this level of the beautiful game.

For Stags to lose four points that were so hard won on the field of play at Ebbsfleet and at home to Histon is a downright disgrace.

Where the hell has common sense gone? Sure, punish those who try to cheat – but that was never the case in this instance.

The Conference suits know exactly how bad the situation was at Mansfield Town in the summer and it was dire. There was certainly a point where there may have been no Stags this season.

Instead a number of dedicated people threw together a new club at the 11th hour and eternally deserve praise for it.

But instead of getting behind them as a new member club, the BSP seem to be happy to beat them with a big stick and put them in their place.

Those people know perfectly well that Stags did not cheat and that all the players were signed on time and the fax sent to them on time. All that is indisputable. But the fact the fax did not spew out of their machine at the other end suddenly makes your efforts tantamount to cheating. Ridiculous.

It makes you fear what is coming from the other case where Stags striker Aaron O’Connor is supposed to have been signed by Grays before joining Stags.

The BSP say the matter is in the hands of the FA and they won’t look at it until the FA findings are handed to them and they can see if Stags have broken any other BSP rules. You can’t help thinking they will probably be told they have no matter what.

The only hope is that can all spur the players into an angry reaction which will give them something extra on the field.

Sadly the misery over the four point deduction could not lift them enough to nail down Stevenage in a poor first half for the TV cameras on Tuesday night.

The second half was a different story and I have no doubt we deserved a point and would have had one but for keeper Paddy Gamble’s latest blooper.

He is an immensely talented young man with a potential future in the game but, like many players in the current starting XI, he has no real pressure on his place with such a limited squad.

I am not sure what constitutes an ‘emergency loan’ these days but some new faces in that dressing room would give everyone a spur and a boost.

On a brighter note at least the club’s new adminstration has been seen to be going the right way this week with the Safety Advisory Group allowing Field Mill full capacity again after long standing problems under Keith Haslam were resolved simply, quickly and amicably! Didn’t take much really did it?

And on a very bright note, my book – End of an Era: Mansfield Town, The Football League Years, has finally landed here after a delay at the printers.

For those who don’t know, this is a full colour 144-page book which looks at Stags’ proud 77 years as a League club, right from their formation and election and through their glories and miseries to the final, painful season.

What it offers that no other Stags books before it have done is a comprehensive look at the fans’ battle to rid the club of Keith Haslam and the takeover farce plus huge contributions of memories, pictures and memorabilia from fans, making it a real ‘people’s book’ which is what I always wanted it to be.

Those awaiting pre-ordered copies should check their letterboxes this week and anyone else wanting one can buy one from Chad, either over the phone, at our receptions or from our web site at www.chad.co.uk.

It’s been 77 years in the making, let’s hope my follow-up book – End of an Era: Mansfield Town, The Conference Year – is ready to write next summer as we reclaim our place in the League. We can but hope!


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