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Page last updated at 20:42 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Attendance doubles as Mansfield fans pay what they want


Fan scheme pays off for Mansfield

By Catherine Etoe

Mansfield Town
Mansfield's home attendance is usually around the 3,200 mark

Mansfield Town's decision to allow fans to pay what they liked to watch their team saw the average home attendance more than double on Saturday.

Kick-off against Gateshead was delayed by 10 minutes as more than 7,000 supporters took up the club's offer.

The bumper crowd failed to inspire the Stags as they lost 2-0, but spokesman Mark Stevenson told BBC Sport the club was delighted with the fans' support.

"The scenes in the first-half brought back memories of the 1980s," he said.

"The players appreciated the huge crowd. Unfortunately they had an off-day but they would love to play in front of that many people every week.

"We hope that people, despite the result, had an enjoyable day and will return - we are becoming a hub of the community again."

Extra police and a full quota of staff were brought in on the day to marshal the crowd at the Field Mill ground, which has a capacity of 9,400.

With fans paying as little as three pence and as much as £50 on the day - usual ticket prices are £16 -Stevenson said he expected gate receipts to be up.

Believed to be the first of its kind in English football, the club will evaluate the day before they decide whether to run the scheme again.


Stevenson added: "We are just delighted to know for certain that there are more people out there."

The Blue Square Premier side is currently owned by fans Andrew Perry, Andrew Saunders and Steve Middleton.

The trio clubbed together to buy out owner Keith Haslam in 2008 and decided to allow fans to pay what they liked to boost the crowd and thank the people of Mansfield.

The resulting crowd of 7,261 was 4,000 more than usually come through the turnstiles at Field Mill.

It also beat the 2007 high of 6,500 for the visit of Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, although demand was even higher with some fans turned away as the ground filled up.

"We had to use the away stand to seat home supporters which has never been heard of in recent times," said Stevenson.

"There was no trouble and both sets of supporters appreciated the fact that everywhere was choc-a-block."

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see also
Mansfield 0-2 Gateshead
06 Feb 10 |  Non League
Pay what you want, say Mansfield
02 Feb 10 |  Mansfield
Forest Green 1-4 Mansfield
30 Jan 10 |  Non League
Mansfield name Holdsworth as boss
29 Dec 08 |  Mansfield
Mansfield takeover deal reached
03 Jul 08 |  Mansfield

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