Pay what you want say Mansfield

Blue Square Premier side Mansfield Town are offering fans the chance to pay whatever they want to see their home game against Gateshead on Saturday.The club's owners thought up the scheme to boost the crowd and thank fans and the people of Mansfield for their support since the 2008 takeover.

"Let's pack the ground for this match and roar the team on to victory," said chairman Andrew Perry.

The scheme also applies to away fans at the 10,000-capacity Field Mill ground.

People will be able to turn up on the day and pay any amount to watch the game.

They will be able to sit where they want, except in the seats reserved for season-ticket holders.

The Stags are currently fourth in the table - 10 points behind leaders Stevenage - and their last home game drew an attendance of less than 3,000.

Personally, I think this is a brilliant thing for the owners to do and they can't be accused of not trying to get the locals involved with the club


"This is a gesture to the whole town and outlying districts," added Perry, who clubbed together with fellow fans Andrew Saunders and Steve Middleton to buy out controversial owner Keith Haslam.

"The town has supported us since the takeover of the club and we are now giving something back to the community by allowing people to come to the match for a price which they decide.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the people of Mansfield to get behind the manager and players in our bid for promotion."

Manager David Holdsworth added: "I think that it is important for the fans to give the players their support - win, lose or draw.

"We've only lost one game at home in a year so let's hope the town comes out to support the boys.

"Playing in front of a large crowd would be brilliant for the team."

The scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in English football, has even caught the attention of South America, with Brazilian newspaper O Globo carrying the story.

The initiative has drawn comparisons with a similar scheme from rock band Radiohead, who allowed punters to pay what they wanted to download their 2007 album In Rainbows.

Mansfield are keen their fans will not be left High and Dry on Saturday afternoon.

Source: BBC Sport