New Chairman Announced

Last updated : 21 January 2007 By Editor
Newark businessman James Derry (54) was unveiled over this past weekend as the new chairman of Mansfield Town Football Club.

If I get involved with something then I do it 100 per cent and I will be at all the games, home and away," he told the Mansfield CHAD following his appoitment.

"It is no secret that Keith Haslam is under pressure here and supporters are not happy.

"I have seen all the 'Haslam out' banners all over this morning (Saturday).

"I think it is all very sad and I hope supporters will give me the opportunity to draw a line under it.

"I know some people will ask what can I bring to the club and point out that I am not a Mansfield man.

"I am a businessman and I think a football club should be run as a business, though I appreciate there is a lot of passion involved.

"I am very keen for this club to succeed and I will be looking to bring in new sponsors as I have a lot of contacts in local business.

"But that is very difficult right now with the hate campaigns going on.

"I can understand their frustrations which always happen when a football club is not successful.

"I know they were unhappy over the sale of Richie Barker, but my friends in the North-East have told me that Barry Conlon is a fantastic player."

He added: "I am quite prepared to meet the fans and discuss their concerns about the way the club is being run and improve the relationship.

"If fans boycott matches they are only doing the club damage. I would urge them to come back down here, support the club and see what I can do. Just give me the chance.

"Let us address all the issues, talk about their concerns and see if we can reach some compromises."

Derry is chairman of Derry Building Services in Newark, and explained how he first came to know Keith Haslam.

"I was introduced to Keith by Alan Meale to discuss the ground redevelopment. My company is part of Bowmer Kirkland and we built the retail park which facilitated the ground redevelopment.

"Keith just rang me out of the blue a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I wanted to be chairman.

"The chairman role here is part time. But it is unsalaried unlike my predecessor, which is important from the fans' point of view.