May 2022

Brendon Owen has stepped down as chairman of the Glovers’ Trust, the supporters’ group has announced.

He has been replaced by Roger Pipe, who previously served as vice-chairman, with Barrie David stepping up to the second in command role.

The announcement comes just days after it was revealed Simul Sports, the group the Trust had publicly backed to take over the club, announced it has ended its interest.

In an update to members, the Trust said: “There has been some changes to the make up of our board.

“Our chairman for many years, Brendon Owen, has decided to step down. We are incredibly thankful to him for his fantastic work and dedication over many years, both for the Trust and the wider fanbase.

“Brendon is committed to giving fans a voice, and that work continues now he has left us.”

The update also confirmed that Ian Perkins had left the board to focus his time on a podcast and website called Gloverscast – sounds like a waste of time to us!

Former Trust board member Steve Seaby has returned to the group to replace Ian until it holds its AGM in October.

The update concludes: “We wanted to let you know that we have reached out to Scott Priestnall for a meeting with the Trust board, so that me might be able to ask some important questions at a crucial time for our club.

“We hope that he will be willing to meet with us and answer those questions. If you have questions or concerns as a member, then please reply to this email and we will be sure to include as many as we can.”

We have a strict(ish) set of rules at the Gloverscast. One is followed a lot more than others, and that one is Rule #2: Sleep on it. When a result goes against us, we try not to jump to a reaction of conclusion without reflecting on it.

Having slept on the statement released by Damien Singh on Sunday afternoon, I’ve got an overwhelming feeling of frustration.

Frustration that we were told there was ‘no money on the table’ only to read: “We unfortunately could not conclude our negotiations despite a series of recent offers with funds placed on our solicitors account.” 

Frustration that we were told the deal was dead in December, but that also we didn’t offer Darren Sarll a new contract in January because of the ongoing takeover. Which is it?

Frustration that someone of this magnitude was waiting in the wings while the relentless rumourmill caused turmoil amongst supporters.

Frustration that, three years after we missed a golden opportunity with Rob Couhig, we’re going to miss out on another.

It’s not every day someone the likes of the CFO of Canva (valued at $40bn in September 2021) decides to get involved in a small community club in Somerset. To have someone with very evident business and financial acumen and with very evident means knocking at the door, to find out they’ve decided to stop knocking is beyond frustrating.

So, how to channel that frustration? Boycott season tickets? Stop spending at the ground on a matchday? Stop matches? I can’t argue for that, because it would be hypocritical of me because I don’t have a season ticket, I will buy a drink at the ground and I want to watch matches. Other people will have their ideas and others will just want that to be that, and move on. We all want the best for the football club, we all have differing views of what would be best for the football club, but ask yourself: ‘would the CFO of one of the largest tech companies on the planet being part of the ownership at Yeovil Town be best for Yeovil Town?’ If your answer is no, I don’t know what you want for the football club.

I am happy that we’ve got a supporter on the board now, I’m happy we’ve got a manager and some certainty around which players we’ll have – even though the majority of the remainers could have been clarified months ago. But, after Sunday, we’ve got another ‘what could have been?’ situation.

The club’s most valuable (monetarily anyway) assets have been sold, albeit with a route to getting them back but one which sees us ultimately losing out because the value of that development could have gone on our bottom line rather than repaying debts the debt to SSDC.

Our recent polls have shown that opinion has turned. Out of 313 voters, 93% felt our future wasn’t bright under Scott Priestnall’s ownership. 65% of 234 people said they wouldn’t buy or were undecided on season tickets. This is not a vocal minority of internet hoodies. The sentiment has changed, the mood has swung and I don’t believe it will go back. We can polish as many triggered extensions as ‘new signings’ as we want.

I genuinely hope that Mr Singh’s statement is not the end. As a supporter, I think we have a duty to the club to ensure it isn’t the end. We’ve missed out on something in our very recent history, I think this opportunity has the potential to be something even brighter. Let’s not allow this to be over yet.

Do you have a view on this? If you’re happy for it to be shared on the website, please send it to us at

Yeovil Town have added a further two fixtures to their pre-season schedule with visits to Dorchester Town and Weston-super-Mare planned for the end of July.

Chris Hargreaves’ men will visit the Avenue Stadium on Tuesday 26th July with a trip to north Somerset and Optima Stadium on July 30th.

In full, the pre-season schedule as it stands now is

  • Tuesday 12th July – Taunton Town (away) – 7.45pm kick-off
  • Saturday 16th July – Exeter City (home) – 3pm kick-off
  • Saturday 23rd July – Plymouth Argyle (home) – 3pm kick-off
  • Tuesday 26th July – Dorchester Town (away) – 7pm kick-off
  • Saturday 30th July – Weston-super-Mare (away) – 3pm kick-off

Oddly tickets for the final fixture on this list at Weston-super-Mare will go on sale at 10am on Friday 3rd June – here.

Tickets are priced as follows:

Adult – £9.00
Concession – £6.00
Under 16 – £2.50
Family – £17.00
Under 8 – FREE

The bid to take over Yeovil Town led by former Cardiff  City director Julian Jenkins is off, the group has confirmed.

In a series of tweets posted on Sunday by Damien Singh, Chief Financial Officer of a online graphic design tool Canva, confirmed the bid by Simul Sports Group was off saying it had made “a series of offers” to chairman Scott Priestnall.

The Australia-based businessman is not a name which has been publicly linked to the group led by Jenkins and involving former Glovers’ midfielder Marc Bircham and finance specialist Darren DeLandro.

The statement read: “Regrettably after a protracted period of due diligence during which we have expended significant time, energy and financial resources, we have had to cease our efforts to secure ownership of Yeovil Town Football Club.

We unfortunately could not conclude our negotiations despite a series of recent offers with funds placed on our solicitors account.

Yeovil Town is a special club, I’ve visited Huish Park on a number of occasions and have family in the area. We had big plans to restore the glory days and footballing pride to the community. But disappointingly that has come to an end for us today.

Myself and the other members of the group, Darren DeLandro and Marc Bircham, acknowledge that this is a difficult period for the fans and we want to wish the Glovers all the best for the future. No further comment will be made at this time.

The statement from Singh that the group had made offers to buy the club backed by funds contradicts statements made by Priestnall a month ago. Speaking to a group of fans at Huish Park, he said had accepted a deal but claimed the group never put money on the table, read more – here.

The news comes after months of speculation around the potential deal to buy the club from Priestnall which began last June when he confirmed he had been approached by a group to buy the club. In December, Jenkins went public and confirmed his group was in talks which was followed in January by a statement saying said the deal was in the “final stages of due diligence.”

Who is Damien Singh?

Julian Jenkins’ name is the one which most Yeovil Town fans will think of when it comes to Simul Sports, the group which has been seeking to buy the club.

However, it was a name not previously connected to the group, Damien Singh, who made the announcement that the bid is over.

Singh is Chief Executive Officer of Canva, an online graphic design tool which is the product of one of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies, valued at Australian $40 billion.

A chartered accountant whose career began working in Bristol where he spent six years at Smith and Williamson before moving to Australia in 2011 where he worked for a number of firms, including Grant Thornton and PKF in Sydney, before joining Canva in 2016.

If you needed an idea as to his personal wealth, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, in February he bought a terraced house in Sydney’s exclusive Paddington district for A$12m.

As for his connection with Yeovil Town and football – well, his statement makes it clear he has family living in the Yeovil area and has visited Huish Park on occasion.

Couple that with the fact he appears to have been based in Bristol at the start of his accountancy career and you at least get a connection with the Westcountry.


The news that the Jenkins-led takeover comes just a week after it was confirmed that Priestnall had agreed a deal to sell the club’s Huish Park stadium and land surrounding it to South Somerset District Council for £2.8m.

On Friday, supporter and retired businessman Stuart Robins was appointed to the club’s board of directors after appearing to have bought in to the club as a shareholder.


The never-ending saga – a timeline of takeover talks

  • June 28, 2021: Chairman Scott Priestnall announces he has “been approached by a group to buy the club” – see more here.
  • July 30, 2021: In a statement alongside manager Darren Sarll, Priestnall said he was continuing to “talk to interested parties, including development partners” – see more here.
  • September 6, 2021 – The Glovers’ Trust says it believes two groups are in advanced negotiations to buy the club – see more here.
  • October 12, 2021 – The Supporters’ Alliance Group issues a statement calling on Priestnall to invest or sell – see more here.
  • October 13, 2021 – A new filing on Companies House shows Yeovil & Athletic Football Club has taken on the club’s £800,000 loan to Sport England – see more here.
  • October 13, 2021 – The Gloverscast echoes calls for clarity as rumours grow of consortiums led by Director Glenn Collis and former Cardiff City commercial director Julian Jenkins – see more here.
  • November 22, 2021 – The Glovers’ Trust calls on Collis to talk with them about his offer for the club – see more here.
  • December 3, 2021 – Manager Darren Sarll says he would love to remain at the club adding that “until the hierarchy is set in stone, nothing is set in stone” – see more here.
  • December 5, 2021 (a.m.) – The Glovers’ Trust issues a second  statement calling for all parties involved in takeover talks to clarify the situation – see more here.
  • December 6, 2021 (p.m.) – Scott Priestnall issues a statement give groups looking to buy the club seven days to complete a deal – see more here.
  • January 18: Julian Jenkins said Simul Sports was “engaged in the final stage of due diligence” – see more here.
  • March 1 – Finance expert Greg Baker was revealed as being part of the group – see more here.
  • April 22 – Director Glenn Collis, who was thought to have been interested in bidding for the club alongside Simul, quit the club saying he had “questions on the club’s direction” – see more here.
  • April 23 – Priestnall claimed that he had accepted an offer, understood to be from Simul, but claimed: “Nobody has put any money on the table to buy the football club.” – see more here.
  • May 20 – South Somerset District Council confirms it had completed a £2.8m deal to buy Huish Park and land surrounding it – see more here.
  • May 29 – A series of tweets by Damien Singh, CFO of tech start-up Canva, confirmed the bid by Simul was over – see more here.

Yeovil Town has announced supporter and businessman Stuart Robins has become a shareholder and board member at the club.

The season ticket holder for the past 15 years becomes the first person to join the club’s board after chairman Scott Priestnall announced his intention to bring in new directors more than a month ago.

Stuart Robins, who has been appointed to the board at Huish Park.

In a statement, Mr Robins, whose uncle is former club chairman Gerry Lock, and daughter is BBC Somerset commentator Sheridan Robins, said he had “significant experience in growing and developing successful businesses” predominantly in the telecommunications business.

He added: “I want to use that experience to help provide the resources necessary for (manager) Chris Hargreaves to return us to the Football league as soon as we can, and in a sustainable way.

I have a lot to learn about the football business and I am really looking forward to doing that and working with everyone at Huish Park.

The cub’s statement confirms that he will become a director and shareholder of the club which presumably means Mr Robins has invested in the club, although no details are given around the level of that investment.

Chairman Priestnall said: “Bringing Stuart in to the club can only be a positive move for us. Not only is he a lifelong supporter, but he brings with him a wealth of business experience.

When I said I wanted to formulate a board that could bring about a shared vision for the club’s future, I could not have wished for anyone more passionate and dedicated to seeing the club succeed as Stuart.”

Who is Stuart Robins?

Born in Yeovil, he was educated at Buckler’s Mead and worked for Post Office Telecommunications, now BT, having left school.

During his school days, he trained with Yeovil Town under manager Stan Harland which he had supported since his parents first took him to the club’s former Huish stadium from the age of ten, and later went on to play for Ilminster Town.

Following that, he moved to Australia in 1980 working in the telecommunications industry in Australia which ended with a role as Managing Director of a joint venture between UK-based Systems Reliability and Telecom Australia, returning to join the UK arm in 1992 following the merger.

During his time Down Under, his mother would send him cuttings from the Western Gazette newspaper to keep him in touch with the club.

After Systems Reliability was acquired by Canadian firm TSB International three years later, he transferred to Toronto in 1995 and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Four years later, he returned to the UK and later was involved in a management buy-out of what was then TSB’s European division which was rebranded, Nu Holdings Group, becoming the largest distributor IT products from a major US firm.

Robins’ appointment to the board follows the departure of Glenn Collis as a director last month, a move which coincided with Priestnall declaring his plan to assemble a new board.

Speaking last week after he club sold its Huish Park stadium and land around it in a £2.8m deal with South Somerset District Council, Priestnall said he would be “announcing appointments” to the board over the next week.

He added: “The new board will have a combination of specialist football operations, a voice for supporters and a wealth of experience in business, that will come together and help shape the future of Yeovil Town.”

Former chief executive Martyn Starnes has become a regular fixture at Huish Park in recent weeks and therefore seems likely to be an announcement at some point.


Prior to recording our interview with Councillor John Clark for episode #172 of the Gloverscast, he shared the below detail with us regarding SSDC’s purchase and leaseback of Huish Park and the surrounding land.

Below you will find a summary of the situation and answers to questions put to SSDC by The Glovers Trust.

The purchase and leaseback by South Somerset District Council of the ground at Yeovil Town FC – summary and questions answered

  • In late 2020, after serious financial losses due to Covid, YTFC approached South Somerset District Council (SSDC) for help. At this point, the owners had made substantial borrowings to survive, but danger of liquidation was threatening continued operation
  • As SSDC considers the football club to be of great economic and community value, it agreed to look for ways it could help
  • SSDC considered the request alongside other constraints such as 
    • A solution of maximum benefit to the club in the short term, with good prospects of emerging from any obligation in the medium term.
    • A fair return on taxpayers’ money, in line with the Council’s Commercial Strategy.
    • Risk to taxpayers’ money adequately protected. In particular, if the football club were to fail completely, then the leases would become null and void and the Council would assume vacant possession.
    • SSDC did not wish to take any part in the operational running of the football club.
  • SSDC therefore made a purchase and leaseback offer to release funds to the club. This offer followed the transparent route of approval in a public District Executive meeting, and was scrutinised by the Scrutiny Committee (also a public meeting). Features of this offer were: –
    • Separate leases for the core footballing area and the ‘non-core area’
    • Annual rental to be paid for the footballing area, but with no payment in the first year
    • A financial allowance to buy out restrictive covenants
    • A route for the club to take back the freehold as soon as possible, by development on the non-core land with the assistance of SSDC (within planning policy constraints)
    • The property titles that passed to SSDC must be free from any charges related to lending (thus some of the loans would have to be redeemed).
  • Many months followed during which attempts were made to seek other buyers for the club. According to the Chairman, one such offer was accepted but the money was not forthcoming. During this period, the SSDC offer remained on the table
  • Earlier this month legal agreements were completed to finalise acceptance of the SSDC offer and the titles of the land and assets passed to SSDC

Answers to questions

  1. What is the name of the leaseholder?
    Both leases are in the name of the Yeovil Football & Athletic Club Limited (YFAC). 
  2. How much money from the deal will be used to cover debts that have been taken on to purchase and run the football club?
    The money to purchase the club is from the Capital Budget of SSDC, approved in a public meeting of the Council. How much of the money is used to cover debts that were taken to keep the club afloat is a matter for the owner, although as mentioned, any debts that have a charge on the land have to be paid off under the terms of the purchase and leaseback deal.
  3. After the first rent free year, what are the annual rental payments? What percentage of the annual budget will this represent?  What is the long term plan for making these payments sustainable?
    These are matters for the owner to respond if he wishes. As stated above, if developments on the non-core land successfully raise sufficient capital to repay the SSDC investment, then the rent is cancelled and the core area freehold returns to YFAC.
  4. What safeguards or guarantees (if any) are there within this agreement to ensure the club benefits from this deal, both in the immediacy and the long term?
    The agreement releases capital to the owner to help with financial viability, but as SSDC has been clear from the start that it does not wish to play any part in the operational running of the football club, the agreement does not control how the owner runs the club. However one may observe that it would not be in the interest of the present owner or any successor to default unnecessarily on the deal as any chance of upside on the developments would be lost.

Cygnet Stadium, Taunton

Yeovil Town have added another pre-season friendly to the schedule with a trip to Taunton Town in the books for Tuesday 12th of July.

The game will kick off at 7:45pm against the newly promoted National League South side.

The two sides met last pre-season with Yeovil winning 1-0.

The Full Pre-Season schedule so far looks like this;

Tues 12th July – Taunton – Away – 7:45pm

Sat July 16th – Exeter – Home – 3pm

Sat July 23rd – Plymouth- Home – 3pm

Tues Jule 26th – Dorchester- Away – 7:45*


Lincoln City 2 Yeovil Town 3 – Saturday 8th May 2004

In May 2004, Yeovil ended their first Football League season away at Lincoln, with an outside shot of getting into the playoffs. Regardless of the result, it had been a successful first ever campaign at League level, with the team always in the top half, attendances averaging over 6,000 and a televised FA Cup run which resulted in a creditable performance against Liverpool on the BBC.

It had clearly been Gary Johnson’s plan to persevere with the majority of his Conference squad and see how far they could go. There were not a huge number of summer signings, and most of those also were known mostly for their performances against the Glovers – Paul Terry (Dagenham), Simon Weatherstone (Boston), Lee Elam (Southport) and Jake Edwards (Telford), there was also Jamie Gosling from Bath. The only major signing who did not have mainly non-league experience was Hugo Rodrigues, continuing Gary Johnson’s love affair with exceptionally tall centre halves (arguably starting with Jimmy Aggrey, continuing with Luke Oliver and taken with him to Jamie McCombe at Bristol City).

Results were mixed. Opening wins against Rochdale and Carlisle raised hopes, as Kevin Gall opened with four goals from the first two games, but reality then set in with three consecutive defeats culminating in a 4-1 stuffing at Macclesfield. Yeovil found that the 3-4-1-2 that had served them in the Conference was not working so well in League Two because it left them too open at the back and there was no naturally left sided player following the departure of McIndoe to Doncaster. After Macclesfield, Gary Johnson brought in left back Ronnie Bull on loan from Millwall, which started a run of four consecutive wins with no goals conceded, including wins away at eventual champions Doncaster and at home to early leaders Swansea. It was clear that 4-4-2 worked much better with the personnel he had available, and it would be used for most of the 03/04 and 04/05 seasons.

The Glovers did well to establish themselves around the play-off places in the first half of the season, peaking in 3rd with a win over Scunthorpe just before Christmas, but their form fell away after that with only four points from the next seven games. They fought on though, and even though they had dropped to 9th with just a few games to go, the arrival of Dani Rodrigues in April sparked a late revival, as his spectacular overhead kick against Bury helped to turn that game around, as the Glovers won the next two to take them to the brink of the play-offs. A sell-out crowd saw Yeovil face 2nd-place Hull in their last home game, and narrowly lose 2-1 despite Hugo Rodrigues’ equaliser giving some hope.

We travelled to Lincoln on the last day with a slight hope of playoffs – we needed to beat the Imps who themselves occupied a play-off place, and also hope that Northampton dropped points at Mansfield. The two sides would finish 5th and 6th, but if Mansfield won, Yeovil could sneak above Northampton. In theory, we could also overtake Lincoln but only by overturning a -10 goal difference, and the chances of going away to a team who had conceded less than one goal per game all season was to say the very least, unlikely. Our best bet was to ensure we won, and hope Mansfield could do us a favour.

What followed was an encapsulation of Yeovil’s entire season in one game. Starting with Gall and Weatherstone up front (Dani Rodrigues was injured), Yeovil struggled to create any chances against Lincoln’s giant defence. Under Keith Alexander, Lincoln employed a 5-2-3 with two holding midfielders (or 3-4-3 if you’re being generous), they generally played on the counter-attack and lumped it up to their admittedly very effective front three of Simon Yeo, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Francis Green. They were very physical and giant at the back, including 6’5” Jamie McCombe and 6’7” Ben Futcher. This was the type of side that Yeovil often struggled against and in the first half, continued to do so.

Gary Johnson took off both strikers at half time and replaced them with Stansfield and Edwards, which had an immediate impact. It took Stansfield less than two minutes to get on the scoresheet, and Edwards added a second to put Yeovil 2-0 up but some absolutely suicidal defending in search of more goals almost lost the game altogether as two goals on the counter-attack let Lincoln back in at 2-2. There was a point when the Mansfield v Northampton game was 1-1, and with Yeovil winning we were in the play-off places, but Northampton got a winner in the second half and hung on. As the game threatened to fizzle out, again characteristic of the season, up popped Gavin Williams to at least win on the day with an 89th minute free kick.

On a side note, one player who really stood out that day was one Kevin Ellison, a wide left player who could defend but could also put a very decent cross in. Yeovil had been without a decent left sided player since McIndoe, and would go on to sign Adrian Caceres to replace him. Ellison was out of contract that summer and could have been a capable replacement, but signed for Chester where he scored 11 goals in 29 games. He would go on to play as a winger for most of his career, most notably at Morecambe where he played until he was 41, scoring 88 goals in almost 400 appearances.

Although the Glovers missed out on the playoffs, the season was a success and we hadn’t missed out by much. Our total of 74 points would be enough for play-offs in virtually any other season so we were unlucky to miss out. Conversely, the following season the Glovers would win League 2 with only nine points more, on 83 – the lowest total to win that division up until that point.

Our first League season had been a learning experience, as we were perhaps a bit too gung-ho in search of goals and were often caught on the counter attack, especially away from home. There are times when a point away from home is a good result, but Yeovil didn’t do draws – literally, as we did not draw a single game until December and only five all season. If a couple of those 12 away defeats had been converted into draws, we would not have needed Mansfield to do us a favour.

The season had also given Gary Johnson an idea of who could thrive at League level and where the squad needed to be improved, with up front being the obvious example. Although the Glovers had scored 70 goals which was not far off the leaders (Torquay went up automatically with only 68), there was no obvious focal point for goals and Gavin Williams was top scorer from midfield with 13 including penalties, with Edwards and Gall both getting 10. This was addressed with the two biggest signings of the summer being Phil Jevons and Bartosz Tarachulski, in addition to Scott Guyett at the back, Michael Rose as a specialist left back and Adrian Caceres in the troublesome left midfield position.

One player who could perhaps feel hard done by was Adam Stansfield who only started when Gall was injured or on international duty and never got a sustained run in the team. His first start of the season was at home to Swansea, when Yeovil won 2-0 and Stansfield got a goal and an assist. Arguably a striker cannot do more than that against the top team, and yet he was dropped for the next game. He scored as a substitute in his next game, but this was not enough and he was benched for the next three months. Every time he was recalled he scored, but he was only given seven starts all season, ending on six goals. That last game at Lincoln proved his value, taking less than a minute to score, but it would be his last game for the club. He had proven himself in the Conference and would go on to establish himself up to League One level with Exeter, scoring against us when the two teams met in 2010. We also know from his performances that he offered much more than just goals with his endless enthusiasm and work rate, so it is sad that a legend like Stansfield was not really given the opportunity for Yeovil at League level.

Team that day: Steve Collis, Andy Lindegaard, Adam Lockwood (sub. Nick Crittenden 59), Terry Skiverton, Hugo Rodrigues, Darren Way, Lee Johnson, Paul Terry, Gavin Williams, Simon Weatherstone (Jake Edwards, 46), Kevin Gall (sub. Adam Stansfield, 46). Subs not used: Ryan Northmore, Steven Reed.

Tom Knowles will be a Yeovil Town player next season after the club triggered a clause in his contract.

Tom Knowles in action for Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The forward finished the season as the Glovers’ top-scorer with 11 goals after finding the net in the final day win at Altrincham earlier this month.

He joins first-team regulars goalkeeper Grant Smith, defenders Max Hunt and Morgan Williams and midfielder Josh Staunton as players confirmed at Huish Park for next season, with youngsters Toby Stephens and Ollie Haste also contracted to the club.

The 23-year-old joined on undisclosed terms from Cambridge United in November 2020 and has been a regular in the starting line-up ever since, scoring 18 times in 82 games across all competitions.

We can all fall in love for at least one more season!