David Coates (Page 2)

As many of you know, the Gloverscast podcast had to find a few things to talk about on Friday after the last-minute withdrawal of Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall from an interview with us.

Now normally, we would take in the view of an opposition fan and, because we thought we’d have something we to talk about, we didn’t line up an FC Halifax Town fan to speak with.

So, we’ve asked Luke Walsh, who runs Shaymen Talks YouTube channel, to answer us a few questions about our opponents this weekend.

How would you summarise FC Halifax Town’s season so far?
It’s been a surprising season based on the fans thoughts  going into this season with the lack of recruitment seen by a selection of our fans.
As a fan I was expecting a mid table finish at best, but Pete Wild and his backroom staff have brought in a good group of lads who have certainly over-achieved this season.

What has been the highlight of the season?
I think the highlight of our season has to be the 3-2 victory over Notts County at The Shay in October.
We were 2-0 down with a man down and 10 minutes to go and we somehow managed to not only come back but take all 3 points off the ‘pies after a 90+10 winner by Matty Warburton. I think that’s when the fans really started to believe something special is happening this season.

Who have been your stand out players this season?

Ex-Glovers’ midfielder Matt Warburton jumps for a ball with former Halifax favourite Josh Staunton in the reverse fixture at Huish Park in September.

Going forward, based off current form Matty Warburton is a threat, playing in the attacking midfield role, he doesn’t just bring goals to the team but plenty of assists too. Something I am sure the fellow Glovers are aware of. Billy Waters needs no introduction, he has scored 21 goals this season in all competitions.
He always works hard and is a handful to mark. Jordan Slew can be a match winner on his day, he is a very unique attacking player that can play in a range of positions going forward.

What can we expect from The Shaymen this weekend?
So luckily for us they are no really damaging injuries going into Saturdays game, however former Glover and current centre half, Tom Bradbury will not be fit for Saturday’s game. Niall Maher the centre half is also doubtful after picking up a knock at Southend last Saturday. Formation wise, I would be expecting us to play in our usual 4-2-3-1 with Waters been the out and out striker.

A big thanks to Luke for taking the time to give us his thoughts on his team and if you want to check out our very own Coatesie on the Shaymen Talks podcast this week – see here.

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild insists his side is not feeling the pressure as they bid to secure a play-off place when Yeovil Town come to The Shay this weekend.

The manager, who saw red (and went a bit red) when his side lost the reverse fixture in September, saw the gap from fourth-placed Solihull Moors cut to just two points last weekend.

The Shaymen went down 1-0 at Southend United whilst Solihull picked up a win with third place offering home advantage in a one-off play-off semi-final.

A win for Wild’s team on Saturday would guarantee a play-off place, a win or a draw would set a new record for the highest points total the club has recorded in the fifth tier since reforming, while a win would equal their best points tally in the previous ten seasons.

Speaking to the Halifax Courier, the boss said: “I honestly don’t feel that there’s any pressure on us, I feel that we’ve just got to keep going,” Wild said.

“The only pressure is what people try to create outside to try and put us under pressure, I don’t feel a pressure and the players hopefully don’t feel a pressure.

“All they need to do is play the game and not the result, just worry about Yeovil on Saturday, don’t worry about what happens on Monday, don’t worry about what happens next Saturday, just play the game.

Having lost at home to Maidenhead United on the opening day of the season, only promotion-chasing Wrexham and Boreham Wood (before their FA Cup run scuppered them) have won at The Shay in National League action this season.

Last time out in front of their own fans they picked up a 2-0 win over fellow promotion chasers Chesterfield with one Matt Warburton on target.

 


FROM THE MANAGER

Shaymen boss Pete Wild is expecting more of what he and his side experienced when Yeovil came out on top at Huish Park back in September, despite the change of manager from Darren Sarll to Charlie Lee.

He told the Halifax Courier: “Yeovil are off the back of an excellent win on Saturday, I know Charlie tried to keep a lot of the same traits Darren  had and keep a lot of things going.

“I’d expect a team that’s like Charlie as a player, full of tenacity, full of energy, full of drive, wants to get in your faces and make it difficult for us, exactly what they did to Stockport last Saturday.

I’d expect a lot of that on Saturday because that’s a reflection of Charlie as a person and a footballer, so I’d expect more of what Southend gave us last Saturday.


TEAM NEWS

Former Glovers’ defender Tom Bradbury will be missing this weekend after picking up a knee injury on Easter Monday.

The centre half, who moved to West Yorkshire following his release from Huish Park in the summer of 2020, had been expected to be out for six weeks but may be back in time for the club’s play-off campaign.

Fellow defender Niall Maher, whose foul on Tom Knowles gave the Glovers a penalty in the reverse fixture, is also a doubt after suffering a hip injury in the loss at Southend.

On loan Pierce Bird, who joined from National League strugglers King’s Lynn last month, could be an option at the back.

Winger Jamie Allen is expected to be missing with a hamstring strain, but midfielder Martin Woods, who had a three game loan spell at Yeovil in 2008, returns after suspension.

 


A FOOT IN BOTH CAMPS

Matt Warburton is the obvious link between these two sides and is showing the class which Yeovil Town supporters saw far too little of during his time at Huish Park.

Ex-Glovers’ midfielder Matt Warburton jumps for a ball with former Halifax favourite Josh Staunton in the reverse fixture at Huish Park in September.

The midfielder has formed an impressive partnership alongside Jordan Slew and Billy Waters in the Halifax front line and will be looking to show his old employers what they missed this weekend.

The 29-year-old joined on loan from Northampton Town in October 2020 and was with Yeovil until the end of last season, but only made 19 appearances. Following his return to Northampton he was released and returned to the North joining Halifax in the summer.

Tom Bradbury is another familiar face having spent the 2019-20 season at Yeovil but he seems likely to miss out with a knee injury this weekend, but Shaymen midfielder Martin Woods, who had a spell on loan at Yeovil in 2008, could feature having returned from suspension.

In the Glovers’ squad, injured midfielder Josh Staunton was a popular figure in West Yorkshire before moving to South Somerset last season. He will be missing having just undergone surgery on a groin hernia.

Caretaker manager Charlie Lee has not ruled himself out of the running to be Yeovil Town’s permanent manager.

With chairman and owner Scott Priestnall saying he has received up to 50 applications for the position, the interim boss was asked whether he would be putting his CV in the pile.

Charlie Lee.

In true football manager style, Lee said his focus was on the weekend’s trip to third-placed FC Halifax Town.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, he said: “I have had conversations with the owner and that side of things will get dealt with when he feels are necessary, but I just have to focus on the next game.

I have loved being manager, it’s been a real honour. I will do it as long as the club needs me and what happens after that will be up to the owner.”

He added: “People want to know where things are at, including the owner, he is desperate to get things sorted.

“This is a great club, I am not surprised so many people want the job, the three years I have had here have been some of the best I have had through some of the hardest times I have been through.

“This club will do well next year, whoever is in charge.


The boss hopes to have injured midfielder Josh Staunton back before the end of the season after he underwent surgery on a groin hernia this week.

He will have on-loan Stockport County defender Ben Barclay back for the trip to Halifax after he missed last weekend’s win for the Glovers over his parent club, however, forward Charlie Wakefield seems likely to miss out.

On Staunton, the interim boss said: “We would like to have him available before the end of the season, it’s one of those operations when you can recover really quickly but we won’t rush him back.

“There’s a chance he may be available before the end of the season.”


Lee said his side’s ability to balance defensive solidity with attacking threat was the secret to the 2-1 home win over Stockport County last weekend.

He expects his players to take confidence from that performance going in to the weekend, but admits it will be tough for the squad to play two games in as many days with Wealdstone the visitors to Huish Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

He said: “We pieced both sides of the game together (against Stockport). In recent weeks we have either been attacking with real authority and letting in sloppy goals and when we have set up to be defensive we have struggled to break teams down.

“Now we are going to another best teams in the league and not many teams have got that much (at Halifax) but we will go there with confidence from the last result.

“Almost certainly the team that starts on Saturday will not be the one that plays on Monday which will almost certainly be the case for most teams, especially at our level.

“We have some people back and available but we don’t have 22 starting people, so some are going to have to play in both games and this is a group that is willing to do it.

“They will expect to win and everyone will expect them to win but we will go there and make it very hard for them, we’re a confident team and we feel we can get something.”



Jody Brown
was alongside Lee for the first time last weekend and he has spoken about his arrival at the club following his sacking by National League South strugglers Billericay Town.

Lee said: “I met Jody this year when he became manager at Billericay when I was a player there and I thought he did an excellent job with the club in a very bad place when he took over.

“When he left Billericay at the start of last week, I spoke to him on the off-chance and he said he was able to come in and help me and he’s an excellent person to have in.

“He’s got a lot more experience than me and he’s been a big help to me, we see the game in a similar way and his first game saw us beat Stockport.

“He stays very calm. As a coach I am quite calm, I try and stay even, but he gives me a straight answer when I ask a question, I don’t need people to just agree with me.”

Plans to improve the matchday experience at Huish Park are “in the pipeline“, according to Yeovil Town commercial manager Mark Robinson.

Speaking alongside chairman Scott Priestnall in an address to a group of fans last weekend, he asked supporters to continue to support the club as it seeks to rebuild in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chairman also stated that he was still in control at the club insisting he spoke with with stadium manager James Hillier five or six times a day” despite not attending matches.

On the subject of matchday experience, Robinson said: “Working with the Supporters’ Alliance to improve the matchday experience is key for us, I know we haven’t got it perfect but we are a non-League club and we are providing much better than a lot of other non-League clubs.

It is good the corporate floor (on the first floor at Huish Park) is dramatically improved, we are having lots of happy experiences up here and the fans out on the terraces deserve that experience as well.

We have a lot of things in the pipeline coming, but it’s not done overnight and, like any other business, we have just come out of one of the toughest times anyone has experienced, so we ask for your patience and persevere with us.

“We are invested and have a passion and a dream for what Yeovil Town Football Club should look like, we know fans and businesses have an expectation and they deserve to have that expectation met.

“We are the premier venue and sporting place in Somerset and we want to be back there in the Football League, but we can’t do that on our own. We are working hard, so please support us and stick with us because it is going to be an exciting time.

Scott Priestnall speaking to the club’s YouTube channel in July 2022.

Speaking back in July, Priestnall said he expected Huish Park to offer a “more inviting and entertaining” matchday experience. You can listen to this on the club’s official YouTube channel – here – the section, quoted below, begins at 13 minutes and 8 seconds in.

The chairman said: “With new bars and different areas people can go to, de-boarding the boardroom and trying to make it more fan-orientated and making it an exciting place to come.

“That has to be done off the pitch as well as on it because we want people to enjoy their experience again.

“A lot of changes are coming in bit by bit, but as we see the season start you will see a very different Huish Park, more inviting and more entertaining.”

Returning to last weekend’s address, Priestnall said he had spoken with the “potential partners” he is looking to bring on to the club’s board about the day-to-day running of the club. He described Hillier as “my right-hand man” and pointed to Robinson for running the club’s commercial operations.

He said: “James and I speak five or six times a day, I may not be here on a day to day basis but I was never going to be that type of chairman.

“That is one of the discussions I have had with potential partners, should a chairman do that? Or are we comfortable with the set up we have. The way the staff have come back in to the office, they have done a brilliant job.

“My main focus was coming through the pandemic, having a good season this season. It’s been a horrible season with the rumours of takeovers, the performances have not been good enough at times but we have had a young and exciting squad, it’s not been fun.

“I appreciate supporters want to feel more connected with their club, whether that is with me at the top or somebody else, or a complete new owner, all that will be ironed out over the next few weeks.

“Be under no illusion, I am still committed to the club and I have been this whole year, regardless of what some might say. We have made sure everyone has been paid and had a competitive playing squad.

“We have to make changes, I have to make changes and what I am doing is not sitting and waiting. The only thing I can commit to is that there will be a new board in place in some guise and I will be able to tell you what that looks like over the next few weeks.

Ahead of Yeovil Town‘s 2-1 win over Stockport County last weekend, a number of the club’s supporters received an invitation to come to the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park to speak with chairman Scott Priestnall.

It was the first time the owner had been seen at the club on a matchday since the BBC television cameras were in town for the FA Cup third round tie with AFC Bournemouth in January, and he was providing an update on the on and off-the-field situation.

This followed a tumultuous 24 hours including the resignation of fellow director Glenn Collis and a statement from the club saying the chairman was seeking to assemble a new board including “local business people.

Owner Scott Priestnall, flanked by Commercial Manager Mark Robinson, right, and matchday announcer Ian Welch, left, speaks to fans in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park.
Picture: @YTFC Twitter

From Monday, the club has released a series of video clips showing the chairman speaking with matchday stadium announcer Ian Welch on a series of topics and, to try and summarise, we have put them together in to a Gloversblog – so here goes:

 

Video 1: Managerial Update: Priestnall updated around the long-term situation around the club’s vacant manager’s job, saying:

  • There have been “40 or 50 applications” submitted for the club’s vacant manager’s job and interviews are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
  • Charlie Lee will be spoken to as part of the club’s selection process for a new manager.
  • Darren Sarll was released from his contract following an offer from National League rivals, Woking.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

 

Video 2: Player contracts and recruitment

In the second video, the chairman spoke about the situation with the club’s current crop of players and gave his thoughts on future recruitment, saying:

  • He has spoken with a number of the club’s current playing squad and made offers to some to extend their stays at Huish Park.
  • The club is targeting a play-off finish in the National League next season, and the chairman believes changes in the playing staff are required to achieve that.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

 

Video 3 – Financial situation: With the club having lost almost £400,000 last year, the chairman spoke about the club’s financial situation and his plans to bring new investment in, saying:

  • He believes the club’s financial position is “pretty healthy” considering the challenges it has faced with COVID-19 in the past couple of years.
  • He has had conversations with a number of people about investment in the club, including people joining the board at Huish Park.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

 

Video 4 – The long-term vision: Released on Tuesday morning, the chairman spoke about nearly £1m in loans the club has taken from Sport England and his plans to create a long-term vision for the club, saying:

  • He is still hoping that the Sports Minister will write off loans taken by non-League clubs which initially it was believed would be available in the form of non-repayable grants.
  • He is hoping that a long-term vision for the club will be in place over the summer.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.


Video 5 
– Communication with supporters: In the last (gripping?) instalment of The Priestnall Tapes, the chairman spoke about his relationship with the Supporters’ Alliance, a group which represents the main fans’ groups at the club, saying:

  • He felt the club was “put up for sale without my knowledge” when the Glovers’ Trust activated its Asset of Community Value and backed a takeover offer from Simul Sports.
  • He hoped to be able to rejoin Alliance meetings but said he believed the group needed to set out some objectives.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.


Video 6 – Matchday experience:
In this video, Commercial Manager Mark Robinson discusses the work which has been ongoing to improve the matchday experience, saying:

  • Work is ongoing with the Supporters’ Alliance to improve the matchday experience and plans for further improvements are “in the pipeline.”
  • Scott Priestnall adds that he continues to “run the club on a day-to-day basis” saying he speaks with Stadium Manager, James Hillier, “five or six times a day.

Find out more in our news article on this update – here.
Watch the video on the club’s Twitter feed – here.

And the one that wasn’t a video: The chairman spoke about the situation with a takeover of the club by the Simul Sports consortium and insisted he could not speak about South Somerset District Council’s proposed purchase and lease back of Huish Park and land around it, the headlines were:

  • He accepted an offer to takeover the club from Simul Sports, but said the consortium “never put money on the table.“
  • The deal to sell Huish Park and surrounding land to South Somerset District Council “remains an option.“
  • A new manager, players and a board of directors will be appointed by Priestnall before he releases details of season tickets.

You can read about this one – here

 

Yeovil Town chairman and owner Scott Priestnall has said the club had been “put up for sale without my knowledge” whilst talking about his relationship with supporters’ groups.

In the fifth (and final?) video update from an address he gave in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park ahead of Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Stockport County, he spoke about his absence from meetings held by club’s Supporters’ Alliance.

Chairman Scott Priestnall speaking ahead of the 2-1 home win over Stockport County.

The Alliance, also known as the Achieve by Unity Supporters Consortium, is made up of the Green & Whites Supporters Club, Disabled Supporters Association (DSA), Glovers Trust, Cary Glovers, Junior Glovers, Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust and the Bridport Glovers.

Priestnall said he had attended meetings following his takeover of the club from Norman Hayward and John Fry, the latter who established the Alliance in 2016 and attended meetings.

But, it appears the decision of the the Glovers’ Trust to activate its Asset of Community Value – see more here if you’ve forgotten what that is – and backing an offer from the Simul Sports consortium led to him not longer attending.

The chairman said: “I wanted to be in touch with supporters’ groups, I wanted them to be aware of things that were happening and I quite liked the people on the board.

“When it got to the club being put up for sale without my knowledge, that was the first issue I had, and then the second issue was one of that group was supporting a bid without knowing if they had any money and I had a real problem with that.

“When Alliance meetings are being misled, I felt like I was having to correct everything that happened in the meeting.

“I had a conversation with Rich (Rendell, chairman of the Alliance) but let’s send by next two (in command), Mark (Robinson, Commercial Manager) or James (Hillier, Stadium Manager) to attend meetings. That is where it’s been.

Asked whether he would like to attend Alliance meetings again, the owner said he felt that it needed to come up with “some objectives” to enable him to engage.

He added: “I have spoken to Rich about trying to bring the Alliance together as one supporters’ group. It’s very unusual to have so many supporters’ groups coming in to one meeting and all having different views.

“It’s very difficult to speak to so many different groups at any one time, when they have so many different aims and objectives and I find that difficult.

“It would be great if the Alliance could be more inclusive for me or try and set out some objectives about how it wants to be communicated with by the football club rather than being sat in a meeting.

You can read more about the Supporters’ Alliance on the club’s official website – here.

Yeovil Town owner Scott Priestnall has said he will hopes that Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone will cancel the almost £1m of loans the club has taken out from Sport England.

The club presently owes £998,538 after taking a series of loans from a fund created to support non-League clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic when the chairman said the club “lost £1.25m in revenue overnight.

Initially the National League, of which Priestnall is a board member, told clubs the money was in the form of grants which did not need to be paid back, but the Government’s Department of Culture, Media & Sport disagreed.

Owner Scott Priestnall, flanked by Commercial Manager Mark Robinson, right, and matchday announcer Ian Welch, left, speaks to fans in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park.
Picture: @YTFC Twitter

In the fourth (or is it fifth?!) instalment of video updates from an address the chairman made to supporters in the Alec Stock Lounge ahead of Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Stockport, he said: “We have taken Government funds, I have been criticised for that, I have no shame in that, nearly all National League clubs have taken grants and loans from the Government and I sit here and go – show me a different way. Quite frankly there was not another way.

We’ve taken not as much as some other clubs and only what we needed and we have been promised as a league by the Sports Minister that over the next four years, he is working towards getting those loans written off.

So, in hindsight, we could have done what other clubs did and took a much as we could and used it for playing squads, but I didn’t want to do that in case we get to the point where we do get to the point where we have to start paying it back over the next 20 years. Money still had to be put in to fund last season.

Other clubs in the National League have also taken significant sums of money from Sport England with promotion-chasing Chesterfield taking £1m in loans last March, whereas others including now-relegated Dover Athletic decided not to fulfil their fixtures.

Speaking about the future plans, the chairman returned to his point about trying to secure further investment with “local business people” reportedly being lined up to join the club’s board – see more here.

He said he understood fans’ frustration him “for not being more transparent, for not talking about takeover rumours” but said he believed a takeover of the club would have been finalised by Christmas.

In Saturday’s address to fans, the chairman said that no group seeking to complete a takeover had every “put money on the table.”

He said: “Putting my cards on the table I thought there would be a new owner in place by Christmas.

“That’s not been the case, so when you look at our accounts, we have lost money again and that has had to be found and put in to the club and that will be an ongoing situation.

“The balance I need to find over the next few weeks and months with other partners to see where we are going to be in terms of a playing budget. I know now that our playing budget is going to be similar to what it has been this season.

“I would like it to be more, but that will need further investment or a way of generating revenue by increasing attendances. No-one wants to put prices up.

“I am not going to sit here and say that our long-term vision is to have a new ground with a hotel in it, our goal is short-term to stabilise a new board, so it’s not just one voice, it’s a collective approach, bringing investment to the club.

“Between us we will work on what that plan looks like; we could have that plan in a month, it could be two months, but I would like to think this summer we do have a long-term vision in place.”

Midfielder Josh Staunton appears to have undergone surgery on a hernia injury which has kept him off the pitch for the past month.

The 26-year-old has not featured since coming off as a 75th minute substitute in the 2-1 home win over Bromley having been fighting through the pain barrier with the issue affecting his groin.

However, a post on his Instagram shows him at a private hospital in Leicestershire with the comment: ‘RACE AGAINST TIME BEGINS COMEBACK.’ The post has been retweeted by the club’s official Twitter account wishing the player a “speedy recovery“.

Up until a month ago, Staunton was openly playing with the injury and, when he appeared on 3 Valleys Radio‘s ‘Football, Bloody Hell!’ show at the start of the month, he was awaiting a scan on the injury.

Josh Staunton.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Speaking then, he said the ongoing uncertainty around the future of the club and players’ contracts was troubling him.

He said: “I had a long conversation with one of the boys at the weekend who was saying to me ‘you are putting yourself at risk, you don’t know if the club want you’ because I am playing with injury.

“I’m getting through until the end of the season and someone might not want to pay for my operation at the end of the season, so I could be trying to find a new club whilst I am requiring surgery.

“All these things, even if they do not directly affect you, they take your toll.

This week, chairman Scott Priestnall said he had made contract offers to the club’s out of contract players, see more – here.

Since the Bromley victory, Staunton has donned his training kit and been supporting caretaker manager Charlie Lee from the touchline.

Good luck to Staunts from all of us here at Gloverscast !

Central defender Max Hunt. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Yeovil Town defender Max Hunt has been named in the Vanarama Team of the Week for his man of the match performance in the 2-1 home win over National League leaders Stockport County on Saturday.

The central defender was returning after three-and-a-half months out with an ankle injury, but looked like he had never been away alongside skipper Luke Wilkinson.

He lined up as part of a back three alongside Woking’s Moussa Diarra and King’s Lynn Town’s Josh Coulson in the team of the week.

Well played, Max!

Yeovil Town owner Scott Priestnall has said the the club’s financial position is “pretty healthy” and he is looking at bringing new investors in to the club.

In the third video update from an address the chairman gave a group of supporters in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park on Friday – see in full here – he dismissed speculation the club could go out of business.

He said: “As well as people taking to task and criticising me, which you are entitled too because I am the decision maker, but I think you have to bring other people to task when they make statements.

How are they backing it up? I had the accounts sent to me saying we have lost money again and blah, blah, blah.

Yes, my goal is to get the club in to a sustainable position, it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s been losing money, but if you look at our accounts they are pretty healthy.”

Owner Scott Priestnall, flanked by Commercial Manager Mark Robinson, right, and matchday announcer Ian Welch, left, speaks to fans in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park.
Picture: @YTFC Twitter

The most recent accounts for Yeovil Football & Athletic Club covering the 12 months to June 30, 2021, showed that during the 12 months to June 30, 2021, the club lost just under £400,000 which takes the overall losses of £2.22m.

In the nine months which have passed since the end of last June, we know the club has taken on an additional £309,000 of loans from Sport England, bringing the total it owes that lender up to £998,538 – see more here.

In an attempt to provide an impartial view on the balance sheets, the Gloverscast spoke with football finance expert Kieran Maguire earlier this month and he said its future is secure – if the owner has a long-term interest.

He pointed out that a large part of the club’s debt is to its parent company Yeovil Town Holdings, which Priestnall also owns, and therefore if it did not call in its debts, the future was secure. You can read more about our chat with Kieran – here , or listen to him – here.

Over the weekend, the club announced the chairman was looking to “assemble a new board” with “local business people” among those interested which he reiterated in this latest video update.

He said: “I have had a number of conversations with people to join the board, from an investment point of view, to invest in the football club going forward.

“Both from a sponsorship point of view and to make funds available for the playing budget.

“I am pleased to say there has been some positive conversations on that part and I’m hoping to have a concrete framework around the board by the end of the season, so we are not in limbo during the summer. I do appreciate there has been a lot of limbo during the next few months.

“How that looks is still under discussion. Whether that means I am chairman next season has been a discussion point, how the board is formulated and how many people has been another discussion, and that is a wider discussion depending on whether they are putting money in.

“From my point of view, I am trying to relinquish control and bring others in, so it is not just one person accountable, there are others that share a common goal to work on getting this club out of this league.

“That is the main focus because there is no money in this league from a commercial point of view. I sit on the National League board and revenues are improving, but it’s a million pound per club difference in League Two.

“That just shows the difference and, in terms of playing squad budget, there’s not that much difference.”

One assumes that the discussions with these potential new directors must be at an advanced stage to enable the required fit and proper person checks to be undertaken by the National League to confirm their appointments.

However, it sounds like we will be an update on this at some point in the near future.

Contract extension offers have been made to members of the Yeovil Town squad to keep them at the club beyond the end of this season.

In the latest instalment of an update by Scott Priestnall from the Alec Stock Lounge on Saturday (unless you were lucky enough to be there), the chairman spoke about the situation with players’ contracts. Watch the update in full – here.

He said that “people forget we have players in the squad that we have options in their contracts” to extend for next season; a fact which has never been communicated by the club – but nevertheless it is reassuring to know Morgan Williams won’t have to fill all 11 positions come August.

Morgan Williams. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Priestnall added: “Over the last two weeks I have met with certain players discuss the manager’s position and their position and how they feel it has gone this season and how development of the younger players has been.

“I have made contract extension (offers) to a lot of the squad that we are looking to retain and those negotiations I would expect to go on until the end of the season.

“It is not unusual to wait until the end of the season, players rarely commit before the end of the season anyway unless they are really settled, like we did with (Luke Wilkinson) when he and Lee (Collins) both signed extensions to carry on. When you have a settled way of playing, it is very important to get that commitment.”

Having added that he has “no problem with criticism“, the owner added that he felt there was improvement needed in the playing squad with a second mid-table finish on the cards in the National League.

He said: “It is my decision when it comes to player and managers, I decided with having a squad that has been exciting at times this season, we have had many plus points but it’s still not competed for promotion.

“It was also for me to see what players were potentially available and compare that to what we have got.

“I have made contract offers to a lot of players over the last couple of weeks and now I can only update when we start to announce them, but a lot of that depends on who the manager is.

“That has been a lot of conversation about who the manager is going to be and I have even asked a few of them for their advice in terms of recommendations and those who have applied.

Priestnall denied rumours that the club was going part-time next season, insisting the offers he had made to players were for full-time contracts.

He is targeting a team capable of challenging for promotion in the National League next season, but added that we will not be able to draw on the financial riches of the likes of Wrexham, Stockport County or Chesterfield.

The chairman added: “There’s been a lot of money spent in this league and no team can compete with that and has an owner that has a lot more money than I do.

Joe Quigley, still our top-scorer with seven goals for Yeovil this season.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz,

“What this league has proven is it’s not always about money, it’s about having a way that works in this league. Halifax are doing unbelievably and spend substantially less than a lot of other teams and still compete.

“We have beaten big teams but we have let ourselves down against teams we should have beaten.

“That is where I have to make improvements in the squad. We haven’t had one or two that will put the ball in the back of the net and that’s been apparent all season.

“Joe (Quigley) had a good start to the season, got injured and we then sold him to Chesterfield for a lot of money and he has struggled there.

“You just don’t know at this level, but I want to keep what has been good about this year – the youth and athleticism has been great, but we’ve still missed experience and goals.”

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.

Chairman Scott Priestnall speaking ahead of the 2-1 home win over Stockport County. Picture: @YTFC Twitter.

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.

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.

Darren Sarll. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

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.

A shortlist of candidates to be the next Yeovil Town manager are scheduled to be interviewed, owner Scott Priestnall has said.

He has also confirmed that he has spoken with the club’s players about their futures, and said his plans to put a new board of directors would “not necessarily” see him remain as chairman.

A statement – see in full here – issued on Sunday afternoon follows protests during and following the 2-1 home win over National League leaders Stockport County with the chairman adding it was “completely untrue” that he had dismissed supporters’ concerns.

Scott Priestnall.

On Saturday evening, videos on social media showed the chairman waving at fans who were chanting against him inside the ground after the match.

In the statement, Priestnall said: “It is being reported that I am dismissing supporter unrest and not prepared to discuss the club’s current position and future. This is completely untrue.
 
My public silence and lack of attendances at games over the last few months has been to respect the process of a proposed takeover, a takeover that has been made very public by the Glovers Trust.  I have given the process nine months to allow parties to get themselves in a position to complete, without success.”

The statement added: “While I understand the frustrations of those unhappy at yesterday’s game, there is a lot of misinformation on social media. I hope supporters can understand that I am not always in a position to refute online claims.

Historically I have found my attempt to correct those claims has often led to further negativity and not as productive as I would have liked, which is my prime reason for silence.”

Ahead of yesterday’s game, the chairman spoke to a group of supporters in the Alec Stock Lounge in an address which was videoed and will be released “in the next few days“, according to the chairman. Some elements of the address can be read – here – however, we have been told a further three questions were put to and answered by the chairman.

Of the address, Priestnall said: “I discussed how I am putting a new board together, a board where I would not necessarily be Chairman going into next season. That the ownership structure of the club would change to create a more collective and shared thinking approach. Those discussions have included key supporters of the club and prominent business people who want to be involved in delivering a long term plan for YTFC.

I also confirmed to supporters that I have been communicating with players and their representatives regarding player contract extensions. I have also scheduled interviews with our shortlist for the first team manager position, as it is crucial to have the right person in place going into the close season to fully maximise our player recruitment.

In recent weeks, a number of the club’s players have spoken publicly about the uncertainty around the off-the-field situation at Huish Park, with the owner not having been seen at a match since January before his appearance this weekend.

Midfielder Josh Staunton called for clarity over the future of the club’s players which is understood to leave only defender Morgan Williams contracted to the club beyond the end of the current season.

In an interview broadcast on BBC Radio Somerset ahead of the Stockport game, defender Mark Little also spoke out about the soap opera surrounding the club.

Mark Little. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

He said: “For us trying to put performances on the pitch is like a battle, then there’s things going on and around that makes it difficult to perform.

“For some players it doesn’t matter, but for other players have lost their mentor, they don’t know if they’re here next year, with a team game whether one or 11 players are affected, it would be easier if everyone knew what was going on and the club could move forward.

“No-one here says that’s not what we want. It would be much better if there was no Coronation Street and Emmerdale situation.

Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall spoke to an audience of supporters ahead of the 2-1 win over Stockport County at Huish Park today.

The owner was asked three questions by stadium matchday announcer Ian Welch in front of an audience of around 100 supporters in the Alec Stock Lounge.

The headlines of his talk were:

  • He accepted an offer to takeover the club from Simul Sports, but said the consortium “never put money on the table.
  • The deal to sell Huish Park and surrounding land to South Somerset District Council “remains an option.
  • A new manager, players and a board of directors will be appointed by Priestnall before he releases details of season tickets.

Following his appearance in front of supporters, the chairman was in the crowd for the match, his first since the FA Cup third round tie with AFC Bournemouth which was televised on BBC in January, and chants against him were clearly heard with a number of ‘Priestnall Out’ banners on display.

Following the game, a number of supporters gathered outside Huish Park to continue their protest against the owner.



SSDC Deal

Asked about a possible deal with South Somerset District Council to sell Huish Park and surrounding land, Priestnall told the audience:

There’s no real closed shop, it’s very simple that because of what the council are going through, I am not allowed to give you (any further details).

Owner Scott Priestnall, flanked by Commercial Manager Mark Robinson, right, and matchday announcer Ian Welch, left, speaks to fans in the Alec Stock Lounge at Huish Park.
Picture: @YTFC Twitter

“Obviously I did public consultation on that 18 months ago, it remains an option for the club. It is on public record, the council has put the money in to their budget this year, so it remains an option and that is kind of it really.”

On the rule, known as ‘purdah’, the Local Government Association says: “Essentially councils should ‘not publish any material which, in whole or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party.

It is important to note, these restrictions are governed by Section 2 of the Local Government Act 1986, as amended by 1988, but importantly they relate to councils – not football club owners.

The reason for the rule of purdah is to avoid any “publicity which seeks to influence voters” and with SSDC hosting elections on May 5, their councillors are officials are restricted from talking.



Takeover talks

The owner said he had accepted a bid to buy the club from Simul Sports, a consortium fronted by former Cardiff City commercial director Julian Jenkins, nine months ago.

But, he insisted that consortium “never put any money on the table” to finalise the deal and that nobody else has stumped up any cash to seal the deal.

Priestnall said: “A deal was brought to me about nine months ago, facilitated through the Glovers’ Trust, it was made to me and I accepted.

I discussed with the Supporters’ Alliance that an approach had been made and the supporters groups were looking for some sort of change and I think I have been on record enough times saying if there was a better option for the football club or something which was in the best interests of the football club, I would look at it and that is what I did.

I did not negotiate a deal, I did not hold out, they never put any money on the table and that is the truth. So there has never been a deal in place to sign, it’s just been ongoing discussions and that goes for any takeover (offer) you have heard about. Nobody has put any money on the table to buy the football club.

It’s been difficult to not come out and talk about it, but I never put the club up for sale. I know that is a cheap thing to say when you accept an offer for the football club which I openly did, but I never wanted to sell the football club.”

As well as Simul, it is believed there have been other bidders for the club with former director Glenn Collis, who resigned from his position on Friday night, understood to have been in talks with Priestnall.

Glenn Collis YTFC Director
Glenn Collis

His departure came at the same time the club said the chairman was “assembling a new board of directors” which he confirmed on Saturday that he was doing:

We have no offer on the table, there is no deal in place, there is no white knight coming in to take this club forward and as a custodian of the club it is my duty to take it forward and put the right team together to take it forward.

That is from the ground upwards from the manager and coaching staff through to a board. There will be a new board in place in some guise, I can’t tell you when that will be at the moment, but I certainly will over the next few weeks.”



The future on and off the pitch

The chairman was asked about why no details had been released regarding season tickets for next season, he replied they would be forthcoming when the on and off the pitch situation was finalised:

We have to show you the commitment for you to buy season tickets. We will put a new manager in place and show commitment signing players and then we will put a deal together for season tickets.

I intend to show you where this club is going to go in terms of existing players renewing contracts, a new manager you can get behind and a new board.”

Anyone want to guess how long that will be?!

He also spoke about his disappointment at the club preparing for a second mid-table finish in as many seasons, adding:

I was extremely disappointed with the league position last season and I went in to it with a completely new strategy with Darren (Sarll) trying to recruit younger players.

We have had a very experienced squad with not much legs and we’ve never really had a Plan B. So the plan this year was to create a new Plan A and that is the way we went.

That was the way we went last season and went about our recruitment and there’s been a lot of successes in that, but not in terms of league position. Mid-table two years on the trot is not good enough for me and I’m sure it’s not good enough for you guys.

That is why I have become disengaged. I watch every game because I have a little camera here and watch every game from home live ,but because of the ongoing rumours I thought it would be inappropriate for me to be about lauding it as my football clubs when I had agreed a deal with somebody to take it over.

Charlie Lee praised his Yeovil Town side for rediscovering their “killer instinct” to complete a double over leaders Stockport County today.

The Glovers’ caretaker boss admitted he had been critical of his side after they failed to put lowly Aldershot Town and W*ymouth to the sword over the Easter period.

Having soaked up pressure for much of the first half, Tom Knowles struck just before the break before Josh Neufville added a second on 55 minutes and then Yeovil managed to hold on for a 2-1 victory.

Charlie Lee.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, Lee said: “It did not look like (Stockport) had ten men at the end, they were brave, direct and played good football but we dug in and got the win.

I have criticised the boys for not having that killer instinct you need to win games, we have looked like doing it loads of times but not quite done it, but they got the result today.

He added: “This is the best team in the league and one that would do well in the league above, so they are going to pin you back and they are going to have chances.

“We had to be a bit more defensive and look for counter attacks which we know we are good at and we made them count and could have got a few more.

“They will be disappointed they did not score more, Grant (Smith) made some good saves but we definitely deserved something out of the game, so I was really pleased.”

The boss had special praise for centre-half Max Hunt on his return after more than three months on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

He put in a commanding performance against the visitors’ strike force of ex-Glover Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley, having been brought in to replace Ben Barclay who was unavailable against his parent club.

Lee said: “I’ve got to give a shout out to Hunty who has come back after injury, you are always worried about somebody who has been out for a while, but he headed everything back.

“At this level you are going to do that, especially against a team like Stockport.

“His fitness is good. He’s worked so hard as he always does, so I just hoped he would make it through the 90 minutes because we did not have a natural replacement for him.

“Robbo was the only other option we had on the bench and he’s not had much time either, but they are both ready to play now. Hunty was exceptional.”

Of Luton Town loanee Neufville, he added: “When I see Josh Neufville at his best I am so glad I am retired because I have no interest in playing or training against that guy, he scares the life out of me!

I am just so glad he is playing for me and I don’t have to play against him. He went through and he looked composed, it was a great finish, but they all did their bit today.

The boss also revealed that midfielder Lawson D’Ath, who played 86 minutes before being replaced by Alex Bradley, had not trained all week due to illness.

Charlie Wakefield was missing through illness having missed training, but Lee said: “He will be with the medical staff this week and we are confident he will be back.

It was Lee’s first game with caretaker assistant manager Jody Brown alongside him after he was brought in following his sacking by National League South bottom club, Billericay Town, this week.

Lee added: “It was good to have Jody alongside me. He’s not going to be able to do any help doing any kicking, is he? He is more experienced on matchdays than me, so it is good to have him alongside us.

“He doesn’t know the plays as well as me and (Josh Staunton) and make decisions for me, and he made some today and we’ve got the win.

“I am enjoying it and embracing the opportunity. There’s lots going on, but there’s more opportunities to learn and hopefully we can win whilst I am learning.

Venue: Huish Park
Saturday, 24th April, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: A beautiful sunny Spring day.

Pitch: The groundsmen deserves huge credit for the quality of the surface this season.

Attendance: 2,786 (779 away supporters)

Scorers: Tom Knowles 39 (1-0), Josh Neufville 55 (2-0), Myles Hippolyte 70 (2-1)

Bookings:

Yeovil: Barnett 11, Knowles 90+2
Stockport: 
Ryan Johnson 45,

Sendings off:

Stockport: Will Collar 72.

Referee: Greg Rollason

 


Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)

Grant Smith

Mark Little, Luke Wilkinson, Max Hunt, Morgan Williams

Dale Gorman, Lawson D’Ath (for Alex Bradley, 87), Jordan Barnett

Tom Knowles, Reuben Reid (for Adi Yussuf, 78), Josh Neufville

Substitutes: Max Evans, Jack Robinson, Alex Bradley, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton.


Stockport County: 
Hinchcliffe, Minihan, Hogan (for Hippolyte, 46), Palmer, Cannon (for Crankshaw, 46), Madden, Collar, Johnson, Rydel, Croasdale, Quigley (for Jennings, ). Substitutes: Ashby-Hammond, Francis-Angol.


Match Report

Yeovil Town completed a double over champions elect Stockport County as goals from Tom Knowles and Josh Neufville earned Charlie Lee his first win as caretaker manager.

Having won in Greater Manchester back in September, the visitors arrived in Somerset having lost just once in the league since mid-December but came up against a Yeovil side in inspired form.

Having had to show enormous concentration against a free-flowing Stockport side, Knowles opened the scoring on 39 minutes and then, as the visitors adapted to a change of formation at the break, Neufville doubled the advantage.

Ex-Yeovil winger Myles Hippolyte pulled one back in the second half only for The Hatters to have midfielder Will Collar red carded for high tackle on Dale Gorman soon after.

Here’s the story of the afternoon………..

First half

Charlie Lee, assisted for the first time by his new caretaker assistant Jody Brown, made two changes with Max Hunt returning in the heart of defence in place of Ben Barclay, who was unavailable against his parent club, and Josh Neufville coming in for Charlie Wakefield, who was missing through illness.
Grant Smith saves well from Paddy Madden. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The opening chance of the match came from the right side with a cross finding the familiar face in Stockport striker (and former Huish Park favourite) Paddy Madden at the back post. His header was well stopped by Grant Smith in the hosts’ goal.

Six minutes later, Will Collar‘s superb cross-field ball found wing back Sam Minihan found himself in pace and got in behind Morgan Williams and found Madden on the edge of the box, but his shot went over. Thanks, Paddy, we appreciate it.

The opening 20 minutes saw possession almost entirely dominated by the visitors with the home side doing well to hold their shape.

On 33 minutes, Luke Wilkinson had a free-kick easily saved by Ben Hinchcliffe in the Stockport goal, but two minutes later Neufville had a strong penalty shout having been dragged down in the box.

Put that in the ‘seen them given’ category, but the ball then broke to Reid who slipped at the crucial moment with the goal at his mercy.

That seemed to sting the visitors who upped the ante and a venomous free-kick struck by Ryan Rydel dipped over the wall and was well turned over by Smith.

Then, just when you thought it was the visitors who were more likely to take the lead, Yeovil took the lead and it was no surprise that it was Tom KNOWLES who got it.

If there’s one thing which has been unquestionable from this team, it is the forward’s incredible commitment and after 43 minutes be burst down  the right, he cut inside, the Stockport defenders let him run and he finished it brilliantly. Well, that wasn’t in the script.

Despite being ahead, when the fourth official’s board went up to indicate three minutes of injury time, chants of “We want Priestnall Out!” were clearly heard around Huish Park. The chairman was in attendance for the first time since the televised FA Cup match with AFC Bournemouth back in January.

Half time: Yeovil Town 1 Stockport County 0


Second Half

Stockport manager Dave Challinor made his intentions perfectly clear from the start of the second period introduction ex-Glovers’ winger Myles Hippolyte and Ollie Crankshaw at the break.

The changes saw a reorganisation in formation by the visitors which they did not immediately settle in to and, with ten minutes of the second half gone, it was this disorganisation in midfield that led to Yeovil doubling the lead.

Josh Neufville wheels away after scoring Yeovil’s second.

A great combination by combination by Lawson D’Ath and Dale Gorman sent Josh NEUFVILLE away and the Luton Town loanee ran through, holding off Minihan and coolly slotted home the second.

Challinor responded again with another change the of shape again as Connor Jennings came on for Scott Quigley after 58 minutes later. Seconds after, a teasing cross by Crankshaw was heading towards Jennings who was positioned to poke it home at the far post, only for Mark Little to get just enough on it.

Max Hunt, who played superbly on his return after injury, deflected a volleyed shot from Madden wide four minutes later.

But, after 70 minutes, Stockport halved the Glovers’ advantage. Another ball in from the right came to Madden who sliced his effort, but it broke nicely to Myles HIPPOLYTE and the former Glover came back to haunt his old employers.

A blue flare was lit and thrown from the away fans, leading to a delay and, when play did restart, the first action saw Stockport midfielder Will Collar was red carded for high foot challenge on Gorman. The Northern Irishman jumped for the ball and still managed to connect with the foot of his midfield opponent.

Stockport’s Will Collar goes in high on Dale Gorman. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

On 78 minutes, Neufville left his marker behind and was clear through on goal, but dragged his shot wide.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Stockport continued to press and as seven minutes of injury time were shown by the fourth official a half-volley from Hippolyte went just wide and then soon after Madden had the ball in the net. The ex-Glovers’ hero could not beat the offside flag.

As the sixth minute of stoppage time ticked over, there was incessant pressure from the visitors with corners from the box stopped by heroic defending and the game

Full time: Yeovil Town 2 Stockport County 1

Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall is attending the club’s home match with Stockport County at Huish Park.

The club’s official Twitter account has posted that he was “addressing supporters” in the Alec Stock Lounge ahead of the game with the Glovers’ Trust calling for fans to protest at the game and outside Huish Park after the final whistle

It is the first time the owner has been seen at the ground on a matchday since the FA Cup third round match, televised on BBC, in January, and comes after the club said last night that the chairman was “assembling a new board” for next season.

In the past 24 hours, it has also been revealed a deal to sell the club’s Huish Park stadium and land surrounding it to South Somerset District Council is close to completion, and director Glenn Collis resigned saying he had “questions about the club’s direction.

We understand around 100 people were present to listen to the chairman talk, although there’s no indication is the event was open access. The video of his address to supporters will be made available on the club’s YouTube channel this weekend, it said.

In a statement posted on social media ahead of the game with the National League leaders, the Glovers’ Trust called on fans to “protest peacefully, but vocally” outside Huish Park immediately after the match.

It said: “We encourage all fans to make their voices heard during the game in a peaceful manner. We would also encourage fans to gather outside the club’s entrance to continue to make our voices heard after the final whistle.

“Let’s protest peacefully, but vocally. It has never been more important for fans to make their feelings known.

“This is bigger than any game or any season. This is about fighting for the future of the club we love.

The Trust has also launched a petition calling on South Somerset District Council to reverse its decision to buy the stadium. By 1pm on Saturday, it had attracted more than 300 signatures.

You can sign and share the petition – here.

Glenn Collis YTFC Director

Glenn Collis has said he decided to quit his role as director of Yeovil Town after “months of soul searching and questions on the club’s direction.”

The club confirmed his departure from the board on Friday evening in a statement which revealed that chairman Scott Priestnall was “currently assembling a new board of directors.”

In a post on his LinkedIn profile, Collis speaks of his frustration at not being able to put his plans in to action.

He said: “This decision has not been taken lightly, however following months of soul searching and questions on the clubs direction, I have decided that the time was right to explore other opportunities within the footballing community and actually be able to put the relevant community based plans into action for the benefit of the club I am involved in.

He added that he was “devastated to have not been able to deliver my plan to them first hand.”

The post concluded describing the club’s staff and players as “some of the strongest and most inspirational people I have ever met.

He added: “Their strength of character and family unity has been something I am proud to have been a part of for over two years.

Whilst it is questionable exactly what impact Collis had during his time at the club, he was a regular in the directors’ box at Huish Park and selected away games at a time his fellow director, Priestnall, was not.

Collis, 41, joined the board in February 2020 and was described as leading “one of Europe’s fastest growing sports management agencies and has also worked as a consultant to several of Europe’s most prestigious football clubs.”

He is registered as a director of Glenn Collis Limited, a company which lists  the nature of the business as “Other service activities not elsewhere classified.”

Announcing the departure of Collis, the club said the new board of directors being assembled by Priestnall would “include prominent local business people.”

It added: “We will issue a further update on board appointments in due course.”

Collis’ resignation epitaph ended a busy day of off-the-field news after it was revealed that South Somerset District Council is closing in on a deal to complete the purchase of the Huish Park site. Find out more – here.

That was swiftly followed by a petition launched by the Glovers’ Trust calling on the council to reverse the decision. To sign and share the petition – click here.

 

Glenn Collis has left Yeovil Town as a director with chairman Scott Priestnall “assembling a new board of directors”, the club has said.

In a statement, the club confirmed the board would include “prominent local business people” ready for next season.

Glenn Collis YTFC Director
Glenn Collis

The statement said: “Yeovil Town can confirm the departure of Glenn Collis as a club director with immediate effect.

“Collis, who has been a board member since February 2020, departs with our best wishes. All at Yeovil Town thank Glenn for his hard work during his time at the football club.

“Chairman Scott Priestnall is currently assembling a new board of directors ready for the 2022/23 season which include prominent local business people.

“We will issue a further update on board appointments in due course.

It concluded confirming the chairman will appear on the Gloverscast next week to “discuss club matters” and we can confirm we are scheduled to speak with him on Thursday evening with the recording released on Friday morning.

Collis, 41, joined as a director in February 2020 and was appointed a director of Yeovil Town Football & Athletic Club and Yeovil Town Holdings, the companies which own the club’s football operations and Huish Park stadium and the land surrounding the stadium respectively.

The announcement came hours after news broke that South Somerset District Council is close to completing a deal to buy the assets of both businesses and lease them back to the club. Find out more about that deal – here.

The Glovers’ Trust has launched a petition calling for the council to drop the deal which it describes as “a potentially catastrophic decision“. The petition is available to sign and share – here.

Mark Little has warned his younger Yeovil Town team-mates against letting themselves down after having a good season.

Mark Little. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The 33-year-old said that players were now playing for their futures with five National League matches remaining and many understood to be without contracts beyond the end of this season.

He said: “It’s important to me to put in a good performance and for all of us to put in a good performance

“So the owner, the scout or the new manager, they will be watching the players and it would be a shame for lads who have played so well to be letting themselves down.”

He was speaking ahead of the visit of league leaders Stockport County to Huish Park for the weekend as they look to move another step closer to the Football League.

The former Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers player said he believed the team has been doing enough to win matches, but failed to capitalise on the pressure they put on relegation battlers Aldershot Town and local rivals W*ymouth over the Easter period.

Little added: “I think it’s down to experience. On Monday, I had a sense of urgency to go and get the goal but then seeing players around me who do not have that experience not having the urgency to do it.

“If I need to do something myself, I can go and do it but ushering other players to do it, it is difficult, and I do feel it is part of my job (as an experienced player) to do that.

“The two games we played over the Easter period, those two players are playing for their lives. Sorry, W*ymouth are gone [not quite, Mark, but well done for the sentiment!] but they are scrapping as it’s a derby and this weekend Stockport are up for promotion.

!It’s all about personal pride, pride in your performance, representing the club and the fans properly because they gave us unbelievable support on Easter Monday. It is about putting in a performance for them.