Homeless Stags optimistic on Field Mill return
HOMELESS Mansfield Town are optimistic they can return to Field Mill in time for their Boxing Day clash with Grimsby Town – but the club's chief executive, Steve Barker, today insisted there are no guarantees.
The Stags were kicked out of their long-established home last week by former owner and landlord Keith Haslam after a dispute over unpaid rent.
That did not affect the Stags last weekend as their scheduled home Blue Square Bet Premier game with Barrow was postponed due to bad weather.
Since then, Mansfield have been busy trying to find an alternative venue to play home games on a temporary basis, with Ilkeston Town's New Manor Ground the preferred choice and Alfreton Town's Impact Arena another option.
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Events have taken a fresh turn with Haslam's Stags Limited – which owns Field Mill – issuing a statement calling for the two parties to hold fresh talks to resolve the issue.
That move has been welcomed by Barker, albeit cautiously, in a meeting that could be overseen by Mansfield's mayor, Tony Egginton.
"We would obviously dearly like to be playing at Field Mill come Boxing Day, we are very much interesting in talking," he said.
"From the discussions I had with (chairman and owner) John Radford there could possibly be a meeting next week.
"It is a nice gesture by Keith Haslam, but that's all it is at the moment. We need to see a bit more substance and be told if we do X, Y and Z we can get back on the ground.
"It may be made available, but there are no guarantees and with that in mind, we are still working on securing another venue.
"The last thing we want to do after the ground was re-possessed without warning is to presume we can get back on it and then find we can't."
Mansfield's FA Trophy first round tie against Worksop Town, due to have been played at Ilkeston today, has been postponed because of a frozen pitch.
The match has been rescheduled for this Tuesday, 7.45pm kick-off, at the same venue.