A new Yeovil Town manager will be appointed before the end of the season with “40 or 50 applications” received for the vacant role, according to chairman Scott Priestnall.
The owner added that he would be talking to caretaker manager Charlie Lee about the job and added that applications had been received from “some big profile names” including those with Football League experience.
Speaking to a group of supporters in the Alec Stock Lounge ahead of the weekend’s 2-1 home win over Stockport County, Priestnall said: “We’ve had 40 or 50 applications for the manager’s job, we’ve had some big profile names, names that have been in the top division, managers who have worked in the EFL in the last two years have applied, managers from this league and managers who have been out of work for the last few years, as you would expect.
“I have been open with Charlie (Lee) that I have spoken to some (of the applicants), I have not formally sat down with any at this stage but I intend to do that over the next couple of weeks, including Charlie.
“I will make a decision before the end of the season, maybe sooner.”
In a statement issued on Sunday – see more here – the chairman said he had “scheduled interviews” with a shortlist of managerial candidates.
The news came in a video filmed at the address on Saturday which we assume is the first of a number which will come out with some other parts of the talk available to read about – here.
— Yeovil Town F.C. (@YTFC) April 25, 2022
Priestnall also revealed that he released former boss Darren Sarll from his contract after he was approached by National League rivals Woking citing the club’s mid-table finish last season and (predicted) similar finish this season.
He described the decision as “mutual” between chairman and manager adding that “Darren and I are friends, as well as employer and employee.”
Priestnall said: “Darren had an enquiry from another club earlier in the season and approached me to ask if I was going to give him another contract and I told him we would address it at the end of the season.
“To which he said: ‘Would it be okay to look at what other options were out there?’ and I said ‘Yes’.
“When Woking came calling, I released Darren from his contract, not because I think he is a not a good manager, but I think three years in the performance over the last two seasons I thought a change in my position as chairman or owner and a change in the manager’s position as well (was necessary).
“That is why I wanted to review it at the end of the season and that is why Darren went off to Woking.”
He added: “I think Darren has done a good job. I was on the fence as to whether we continued with Darren or went in a different direction.
“I have been very open and honest with Darren about where we have been with regards rumours of takeovers and what that meant for his position and his staff’s positions.”
Asked about the takeover situation on January 21, Sarll said he knew “less than anyone” about the future of the club’s ownership.
The chairman added that he was approached by Sarll and his representatives on New Year’s Day, when Yeovil lost 2-1 at home to Torquay United, asking for a contract extension. At that point, the Glovers were tenth in the National League table, five points of the play-off places.
He said that “because of ongoing rumours” around a takeover of the club, he was unable to offer a new contract.
Priestnall added: “Darren, like he always does every year, or like he has done this year and as we had last year, went on a bad run and won one (game) in 16 and my inbox was full of people asking me to fire Darren or telling me to fire Darren.
“I would not have fired a manager during the season if I thought we had something to play for and I still believed that we had an outside chance of making the play-offs (at that point) and I wanted to see things through with Darren.”
On January 21, the club sold top-scorer Joe Quigley to promotion-chasing Chesterfield with the chairman saying the sale would “help improve cash resources” due to falling gates.
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