MANSFIELD TOWN AGM: Stags so close to breaking even

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Mansfield Town came very close to their ambition of turning a profit last year when they posted just a £10,077 loss for the year ending June 2016.

The impressive figures were revealed at the club’s annual meeting today and were a big improvement on the previous year’s loss of £74,510.

The meeting offered shareholders good news all round with the club’s ambitions outlined in detail.

Stags’ financial director Jim Beachill said the club’s outgoings would be higher for the second part of last year when Steve Evans took over as manager and brought in new players.

He also said the club’s spending this summer and through the season ahead would obviously hugely increase with the push for promotion.

But he said Mansfield would still fall within the EFL’s Financial Fair Play policy thanks to extra sponsorship from John Radford/One Call Group and an added cash injection from the issue of new preference shares.

“This is a year of change. These figures today are from last season when we came close to the play-offs but didn’t quite make it,” said Beachill.

“John Radford and Steve Evans are determined to achieve promotion this year and have brought in a better class of player - and more expensive players.

“The total investment involved this season is £2.5m which is coming from John Radford and his companies.

“The determination John is showing is incredible. I think the football club is at his heart. It’s totally different being the owner of a football club and not being a supporter.

“John is both. He has supported them since childhood and it’s probably one of his main ambitions in life to do something like this. He is determined to get it as far as he can without being daft about it.”

At the meeting the Radfords also revealed they plan to build terracing on the derelict Bishop Street side of the stadium having seen the new ‘safe standing’ was far too expensive to put in.

Chief executive Carolyn Radford said: “There is only one company doing it in the UK at the moment and it’s a ridiculous cost per seat. We just thought keep it simple, keep it basic and let’s get it open.”

John Radford said it would be installed as soon as he felt the demand was there with increased crowds but Carolyn Radford said work could begin as early as Christmas if things were going well.

The terracing could be split to enable away fans to use it as well if needed with access at both ends.

John Radford said the club had spent around £200,000 in the summer on upgrading the main pitch, work on the stadium, a new physio’s room, and new offices plus the adjacent ‘top pitch’ training area.

He also said the club’s new training ground on Woburn Lane, Pleasley, would see the two pitches already installed there in use by the end of next month and a new 3G pitch available by the end of the year while work continues on the changing room/office facilities down there too.

The new Hilton Hotel project on the Quarry Lane stand car park build will start at the end of the season.

“My long term aim is still the same – to get us promoted into the position of being reasonably self-sufficient so if I’m not here someone else can hold it,” he said.

“To help that self-sufficiency I don’t want to be in League Two.

“We’ve got to be in League One or the Championship which gives us chance to get promoted and go down and catch our breath. I would hate to get demoted out of this league back into the Conference.”

Asked why he was funding overnight stays for away games like Crewe and Accrington, he replied: “As we have said – this season we are going for it and I am not going to give my players or manager any excuse to blame it on us.

“They have to put the work in and get the points.”