Chairman John Radford has issued a rallying cry to the people of the town to back their local professional league club.
Mr Radford’s plea comes on the back of a statement issued by supporters’ group Stags Fans United last week, who revealed that the chairman had been advised to reduce the loans from One Call Insurance [Mr Radford’s company] to the football club from £100,000 per month to £34,000 per month.
The Stags’ chief has since confirmed that his financial support will now come from his personal wealth, instead of One Call Insurance.
It can also be confirmed that the club is close to reaching its limit for fulfilling Financial Fair Play criteria, where clubs in League Two can spend a maximum of 55% of turnover on players' wages.
“I’ve had to cut my cloth accordingly,” said Mr Radford. “The club’s finances are okay at the moment. Wages and bills are being paid as normal but it would now be helpful for a fellow investor to come on board to help share the burden, especially with another court case on the horizon which the club will have to battle with. I thank my fellow directors Steve Middleton and Andy Sutton for their support, and we could do with another new face on the board who also has the club’s best interests at heart.
“What we need more than anything though, is for people to come through the gates on a home matchday. It doesn’t help when people are staying away. I feel I have done my part by rescuing the club from its knees over three years ago, putting the stadium back into the club’s hands and financing the club to help us achieve promotion after five years in non-league.”
Home gates are currently averaging at around 3,400, but 4,500 is needed to stand a chance of breaking even.
“I said at the start of the season that we needed over 4,000 people through the turnstiles at home, on average, for the club to break even. That hasn’t materialised,” Mr Radford continued. “It is crucial that we get more people coming to home games. I applaud the fans who watch us on a regular basis. Their support of the club is sincerely appreciated, but I know there are fans out there, for whatever reason, who aren’t coming to matches and we need them back. The football club needs them to come to the games, and so does the Town.”
Meanwhile, former directors Steve Hymas and Andy Saunders, who are demanding repayments of almost £1m in directors loans, last week offered the club to make repayments of £48,000 per year, which will be payable monthly, and payouts to commence at the start of the 2014/2015 season.
Responding to the offer Mr Radford said: “I have £4million in loans at the football club and would like to get them back at the rate of £48,000 a year. That would be great, but it isn’t going to happen is it? It has now reached the stage where I will have to see them in court.”