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Club News

CEO's monthly column

9 October 2019

In her first monthly column for and the Chad newspaper, chief executive officer Carolyn Radford delivers an insight into the running of the Stags, beginning with her observations since the middle of May...

I've heard that many families have had blazing rows over their differing decisions over Brexit. But if a once-in-a-lifetime referendum can set ablaze a family dispute, it can be nothing compared to the weekly running of a professional football club with your husband.

John and I are often in agreement on strategy and the big decisions which shape our club but in a rare exception to this trend, May 2019 was a month in which we clashed and our decisions differed.

It was the month in which David Flitcroft, our then manager, was released from his contract.

In recent times, I have made it known on social media that I was against the decision to sack David. After a difficult start to life as manager of our club, he had soon put together a strong squad. We then enjoyed a good season, were playing attractive football and missed out narrowly on promotion. John, however, saw things with a different lens: David had had two attempts to achieve promotion and had ultimately not fulfilled our expectations.

John was of the belief that a change in manager was required. I was of the opposite opinion. John put the decision to the board of directors, and in a democratic fashion, my decision to keep David was within the minority.
As majority shareholder, the ultimate decision always lies with John, however. He had made up his mind and I was furious. We had a blazing row. But I wasn't getting anywhere.

John is very strong-minded,  who expects high standards and expects people to deliver. I remember saying 'just do what you want,' before leaving the house to clear my head. When a woman says, 'do what you want', she doesn't mean 'do what you want!' I was fuming. It caused a lot of issues. We run businesses together, have a young family, are with each other almost every moment of the day. You don't want too many of these moments but making big decisions about the club you love can shake the closest of relationships.


In the calm after the storm, John and I, along with the rest of the Board, were in clear agreement of our next appointment. John Dempster was held in high regard by everyone at One Call Stadium for what he had achieved as a player with us - in the Conference winning season of 2013 - and had worked wonders in launching our youth academy and is subsequent success.

He was, and is, well-respected, and we felt the time was right to promote from within. In all of our businesses, we prefer to recruit from within our own ranks. We take pride in developing people, especially those who we hold in high regard and trust. John had earned his stripes and deserved a chance at the top job.

John - my husband - has a real eye for appointing people in the right positions. We were the first employers, for instance, to launch Adam Murray's managerial career and his time at Mansfield will have been an unpurchaseable experience for a young coach, who we still think much of.

We wish him great success in his caretaker spell at Barnsley and would offer our highest recommendation of Adam to Barnsley, if he is considered for the permanent post.


Any new job takes time to adjust to. Unfortunately, in football, you often don't have time.

It has been a really challenging start to our season, overall. Since my time at the club, we've had a lot of excitement in the opening months, but this seems to be the hardest first few months of a campaign that I've encountered.

As the old adage goes, football is a funny old game, and whilst in recent seasons we have begun like an Olympic sprinter, we have ended by limping towards the finishing line. Who is to say that this season cannot be a reverse of recent campaigns, and at its conclusion, finally earning promotion glory?

The medals and trophies are never handed out in October. We have a top three budget and by the end of the season, we expect to be in the top three. There are 102 points to play for and much to be excited about at One Call Stadium.

Saturday's victory at Grimsby can now be a turning point in our season. We were ecstatic when Krystian netted the winner, none more so than for our manager; John is a good man who is so determined to bring our club success.

I call upon the people of Mansfield to turn up in their numbers this Saturday at home to Oldham and support John and the players. We have turned the Stags into a real family club and like every family, disagreements are sometimes encountered when you hold the best of intentions and care about something so much.

We love Mansfield Town Football Club and all we want, ultimately, is for this family club of ours to have the success and prosperity which it, and our supporters, deserve.

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