Mansfield chairman learns from mistakes, achieves promotion . . .
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Mansfield chairman learns from mistakes, achieves promotion success.

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As Mansfield Town celebrates promotion to League One for the first time since 2002, chairman John Radford says he has learned from his mistakes throughout his 14-year career at the club.

Stags finished third in the season and celebrated with an open-top bus tour in front of hundreds of happy supporters last week.

“I blush a little bit sometimes when they sing ‘there’s only one Johnny Radford’ but what fantastic fans we have,” he smiled.

“This is a stepping stone for us and in life you have to try to go for the next stepping stone.

“This feels like a fantastic gold stone I have stepped on and hopefully I can hit another gold stone on the next step.

“If I could rewind time a bit there are things I would have done slightly differently, but I would never have not taken over the club. There have just been lessons I have learned along the way.

“I have been here 14 years and I have made a few mistakes. But each time I am learning from them and improving things.

“Hopefully, when you visit the ground, you will see that, as well as the efficiencies that have been implemented, as well as the way we recruit our players, manage our Academy, and the skill sets of the personnel here. Everything’s improved.

“That is all I can do as a chairman – send it in the right direction. Everything is on a green graph on the up.”

Prior to taking over the Stags, Radford’s One Call Insurance company was significantly invested in Doncaster Rovers.

“One of my main companies is in Doncaster and we always took a box there to entertain guests,” he told me.

“I had a lot of staff there – and still do – and we did advertise there for a while.

“But when the club I love came on the market and I realised I could get involved, it was a no-brainer for me.

“I do like Doncaster Rovers but, I’m sorry, I am from Mansfield and Mansfield Town is where my heart is.”

Radford took over in 2010 from Steve Hymas, Steve Middleton, and chairman Andy Saunders, who had been attempting to resuscitate the faltering club following its downfall under former owner Keith Haslam.

Within three years, Radford had them promoted back into the EFL after five seasons in Conference obscurity.

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