Sometimes you just couldn’t make it up. People would look at you strangely, men in white coats would form an orderly queue to take you away, you might even wonder whether your cup of tea had been spiked with a hallucinogenic substance. However, it well and truly appears as though the owner of Mansfield Town wants to do away with the club’s name, history, heritage, you name it and instead call the club Harchester United.
The fabulous Mansfield Chad report that power-hungry John Batchelor is intent on mixing things up at Field Mill in a big way. The team currently occupy 23rd place in League Two and seem destined to drop down to the Blue Square Premier next season. However, if the ‘massive Burnley fan’ is to have his way, the club will become virtually irrecognisable from the ones that the fans know and love right now.
He told Chad: “Do we want professional football in Mansfield or not?
“Speculation as to how we could do it is rife.
“I can’t confirm or deny anything, but this can only be a positive for the club.
“Harchester is a virtual club – Mansfield as a town and club would benefit from that name.
“Fans have to accept that to have a professional club, it has to be done on a commercial basis and be profitable – Harchester is easier to promote than Mansfield. It is as simple as that.
“This would help to make Mansfield more attractive to national concerns, rather than local business. This would help me.
“I don’t mind if the fans don’t like it or call me mad. I have been called worse and I am not in this to be popular to everyone – I tried that at York and it did not work.”
It gets better. Batchelor apparently has contacts with Red Star Belgrade after working in Serbia and has mooted the idea of an Anglo-European Cup, featuring footballing giants such as Partizan Belgrade and, wait for it, Chesterfield. Should be a crowd-puller and no mistake.
He told Chad: “”It would be great to have an Anglo-European Cup in pre-season and Chesterfield would be my first choice as the other English team involved.
“There could be two semi-finals and then a final played at Mansfield.
“Why can’t we bring Europe to Field Mill. It would fill the ground.”
At least the current stadium name is safe then! Are the above ideas that of a madman or does something drastic need to be done if smaller clubs such as Mansfield are to avoid going out of business? What would you choose to re-name your team or is the mere thought of this enough to make real football fans sick?