Gloversblog (Page 5)

Last night, the Glovers drew 0-0 with Maidenhead United at Huish Park, here are our five conclusions.

We’re not creating enough going forward is the blindingly obvious one. Darren Sarll reiterated a need for patience from the fans for the likes of Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, and the young players in the squad but for the final 20 minutes, Yeovil were up against ten-men. (Not that that changes games of course…) Against a semi-professional side who had not won since the 28th of August, we should have created more. Our system is robust and we didn’t give away a lot of chances, but I think it’s fair to expect more from a team who haven’t had a competitive fixture in 10 days.

Ben ‘don’t call me Tom’ Seymour showed signs of a spark. He’s got the pressing and chasing mentality that Gary Johnson’s strikers tended to have. He looked pacy and sharp and I think we can expect some good things from him if he’s served right. His low-effort at the end of the first half was his effort on goal but he worked hard and that’s a good sign.

Jordan Barnett who came on as a second half substitute in the goalless draw with Maidenhead United.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

What has Jordan Barnett done? I think Barnett has started well for us. Dedicated, decent defensively and happy to push forward too. I thought it was an odd circumstance to bring in Jack Robinson for his first game and leave out Barnett who had started every game. Robinson didn’t set the world alight and I think Barnett can feel hard done by to lose his place.

Last night Darren Sarll was asked about the signing of Mitch Rose for the first time since the midfielder signed for the Glovers. Rose, as has been widely reported, is serving a suspended sentence. When asked about the circumstances surrounding the midfielder, Darren Sarll said: “People should understand and know the full extent of any situation before we start beating people down. Mitch is an ex-youth team player of mine, I have known him years and if something untoward has happened in his life I have certainly not got any details about it.” It feels disingenuous to say you’ve signed a player without this information, especially when the player himself indicated the opposite. I would imagine the only reason we’ve signed this player is because of the ‘untoward’ circumstances. The manager had plenty of time to think about how this signing could be communicated in a positive and almost redemptive way, and he chose to plead ignorance. 

Another match where our absentee owner was nowhere to be seen. We’ve not heard any communication from Scott Priestnall since the Glovers Trust informed members that they were aware of two bidders for club. No denial, no acknowledgement. Nothing. In July 2019, when Priestnall met with supporters and the media ahead of his own takeover completion, he said: “I’m not going to put the club in danger, so I want to bring a fresh viewpoint on how the club moves forward.” At the end of the match last night, there were a few boos. I think they were aimed at the performance and the tactics and it seems there is a bubbling frustration amongst supporters, albeit a minority, which stems from the over-promising of the summer. If as an owner of a football club, when you insist that you’re building a squad for promotion and you fail to beat a ten-man semi-professional outfit, fans are well within their rights to vocalise their feelings on the state of affairs.

The land which sits around Yeovil Town’s Huish Park stadium has never really been anything which has probably bothered many supporters.

However, the land is now the centre of attention with speculation around a takeover of the club by one of two unidentified consortiums, according to a statement from the Glovers’ Trust – see here.

It was back in 2010 that then-chairman John Fry and owner Norman Hayward created Yeovil Town Holdings Limited, a company which the pair then transferred the freehold of the land which borders the stadium in to.

That land covers the astroturf, small car park and land where the club’s marquee stands at the front of the stadium, along with the top pitches, a good chunk of the main car park and the area behind the Thatcher’s Gold terrace.

Land owned by Yeovil Town Holdings Limited is bordered in red – except the bit in mint green which is owned by Yeovil Athletic & Football Club Limited.

A slice of land which includes part of the car park and borders Western Avenue is owned by South Somerset District Council.

Today, Yeovil Town Holdings Limited  has two directors, Glovers’ chairman Scott Priestnall and his fellow director Glenn Collis, following the takeover led by Priestnall and is (now former) business partner Errol Pope in 2019.

The land which the stadium sits upon is owned by another company, Yeovil Football & Athletic Club Limited, whose directors are also Priestnall and Collis.

The division of land has been this way since John Fry and Norman Hayward asked the club’s shareholders to vote in favour of the decision to divide the assets and won the vote – unsurprisingly given the pair held 92% of the shares.

The restructuring was sold as a way to enable the development of the land for the benefit of the club and the former owners tried – and failed – to get developments through. Who can forget the proposal with Chris Dawson, the owner of The Range, which promised a 3,500-seater stand where the away end now is back in 2011?

And who would disagree with that principle? The idea of developing land around the stadium to make it generate income seven days a week – as opposed to between midday and 6pm on a Saturday matchday – should be actively encouraged.

The question comes down to who benefits from the sale/development of the land.

Scott Priestnall has spoken of a desire to develop the land around the stadium and he told Somerset Live in December 2019 that he would only make decisions on development which were “right for the football club.”

However, within just a few months of making this statement, the COVID-19 pandemic struck with the jigsaw pieces going up in the air.

The next we heard of plans for ownership of the land was the sale and lease back deal offered by SSDC – if you need reminding about that, see here.

But with that deal seemingly off the table, what do we now about who owns of the land around Huish Park and the land the stadium itself is built on?

The simple answer is somewhat unsurprisingly – Scott Priestnall and Glenn Collis as the directors of the two companies which own the different parcels of land.

The Land Registry documents which confirm the ownership of both pieces of land both include a charge from MSP Capital, a Poole-based property finance firm, which the chairman raised money from at the time of his takeover.

In the recent accounts of CV Leisure, the company set up by Priestnall and his former partner Errol Pope to complete the takeover from Fry and Hayward in 2019, the loan facility from MSP Capital is worth £1.35m.

Back in 2019, Somerset Live described the charges as “effectively mortgaging” Huish Park and its land to complete the deal.

The same article explained that no development of the land can take place without the say so of MSP Capital and that the lender had the right to take control of the land in the event it did not get its money back.

In the article, Priestnall was quoted as saying: “Those charges may well change. They may well come off over the next couple of months depending on what we decide to do.

The presence of the charges more than two years on would suggest that what the chairman decided to do did not involve removing the charges from the club.

In summary, what we know both the land which Huish Park sits on and the land around it are in the ownership of Scott Priestnall and, at least in name, Glenn Collis.

This is where the unanswered questions lie. If there is a takeover, will the deal be the assets held by both companies – Yeovil Town Holdings and Yeovil Athletic & Football Club, in case we’ve lost you by now.

One assumes that such a detail will only become public if and when any takeover is completed and presently the silence on that is deafening.

Yeovil Town suffered a 2-1 defeat on the road to Boreham Wood yesterday. Here are five conclusions from the match.

Adi Yussuf let his team-mates down with his sending off. Two moments of stupidity in the space of five minutes cost Yeovil yesterday. The first was a needless push as the ball was running out of play and the second was another needless foul. Yussuf jumped in for a 50-50 giving the referee no choice. The team gave it their all in the second half with ten-men but it was an entirely avoidable situation to be in. Yussuf has since apologised to fans, recognising it was careless on his part.

Yussuf’s sending off laid bare the lack of game-changing attacking depth we have at our disposal. With only Sonny Blu Lo Everton to bring on we couldn’t change much. Neither Matt Worthington nor Dale Gorman were particularly inclined to get the ball going forward and it’s left to Charlie Wakefield, Tom Knowles and Joe Quigley to produce. Which is challenging when you have ten men.

Knowles came to life in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities, but we need more from him. He was our talisman last season and he hasn’t quite grown on those impressive performances. If we’re to reach the play offs this season, the nearly misses have to turn into goals and assists. We need him to be a killer in the box.


I probably won’t go to Boreham Wood again. Parking’s good, the facilities are nice and an okay cheeseburger. The atmosphere: non-existent. A good travelling contingent
in Green and White made an atmosphere, but the Boreham Wood faithful barely made a peep throughout the 90 minutes.

Yesterday we signed Mitchell Rose, a midfielder with a criminal conviction for an assault on a man and a woman, that left the woman with a fractured cheekbone. It’s a decision that cannot go unquestioned. Months after endorsing the #HerGameToo movement, we’ve signed a player with a questionable past. After the match, Darren Sarll praised Rose’s character. After talking about the quality of player we’re able to recruit, we have to question what pool we’re dipping our toes in if we’re pulling out this type of “character”.

Yeovil Town were downed 2-0 by a very impressive Chesterfield at Huish Park on Saturday. In a new feature for the Gloverscast, here are our Five Conclusions from the National League encounter.

Luke Wilkinson.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

The loss of Luke Wilkinson hit us hard. It’s never easy to lose your captain, but when your captain is your most experienced defender who is surrounded by younger players it’s a big blow. With Mark Little and Reuben Reid out until Christmas, Adi Yussuf is the next most senior player at 29 and still new to the group. We saw that lack of experience exposed for Chesterfield’s second goal after Kabongo Tshimanga capitalised on soft defending from Max Hunt and Wilkinson’s replacement, Morgan Williams. One long ball over the top should be handled comfortably but there was a real lack of conviction in the defending in that moment.  Speaking after the match, Darren Sarll said: “I think that is a hamstring tear, so we will have to dig deep in to the reserves or recruit.” 

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton really struggled to influence the game in the first half. Chesterfield’s back line, Gavin Gunning in particular, were powerful, imposing and dominant. The 19-year-old couldn’t find the pockets of space that $tockport County allowed and it was noticeable. His half time substitution suggest that the manager felt the same and his replacement Yussuf made more of an impact, although Chesterfield with Gunning-less in the second half.

Against Halifax and $tockport, Josh Staunton and Dale Gorman were impressive in containing their attacking players. They didn’t give Matt Warburton or John Rooney a chance to pull strings. Defensively, they are as safe as you can ask in the position and they had little chance to influence the goals that were conceded yesterday. During pre season I felt there was need for us to have centre midfielder who could break lines and make an impact further up the pitch and I felt yesterday was a good example of that. But for a speculative effort from distance by Staunton, the influence they have inside the opponents half isn’t creating clear cut chances. The absence of Lewis Simper is one we could do with an answer on, as a forward thinking midfielder he could have made a difference in the latter stages.

For all of our effort in the second half, it felt like Chesterfield were holding us at arms length. Our half time change of Yussuf for Lo-Everton made a difference but not game-changing. As a squad, we still seem short. Chasing the game at 2-0 and we didn’t feel that bringing on Alex Bradley would make a difference our other outfield option was Jack Robinson. If I’m Darren Sarll, I’m knocking on Scott Priestnall’s door (he was in attendance to see it unfold) and asking if I can have another option in midfield as well as another central defender.

Let’s not discount Chesterfield here. They are an expensively assembled side that fell in the quarter finals of the play offs last season. They’ve got Football League level players in their squad and have spend six-figures on a striker. That level of money in the National League is not uncommon this season with the likes of Wrexham and $tockport. They have Danny Rowe, Jack Clarke and Akwasi Asante to return from injury and if you listened to Friday’s Gloverscast, their fans are pining for seven substitutes. Right now, we are in a different league in terms of competing off the pitch.

I’ve adhered to Gloverscast Rule #2 and ‘slept on it.’
 
A late Tom Knowles (or was it Charlie Wakefield?) goal saw us pick up a 1-0 friendly win at the Cygnet Healthcare Stadium against Taunton Town last night.
 
I don’t think we learned much more than we did on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers. We defended resolutely and weathered a storm at the start of the second half. There was a clear focus on us maintaining a narrow shape without the ball and sticking to a tight defensive unit. With Josh Staunton in front of the back four, we look like we’ll be difficult to break down. Staunton got 90 minutes under his belt for the first time in a long time last night, and Monday’s Gloverscast guest is really looking the part already.
 
The first half was largely forgettable. We tried to keep the ball at points but we we’re lacklustre in the final third and didn’t really create much. There was a lot of passing around the back line before the fullbacks crossed to the Taunton keeper from deep. The trialist, who we are fairly sure is Zeli Ismael, showed glimpses but didn’t stand out.
 
We were set up differently than Saturday’s game, with Lewis Simper in behind Reuben Reid given a bit of license to roam. We looked like we were still trying to figure out this system and learning how to play together, which is normal when you’ve gone through a rebuild.
 
 
We looked better in the second half when Tom Knowles, Joe Quigley and Dale Gorman came on and we reverted to the 4-4-2 shape. We saw more of Jordan Barnett and  Alex Bradley trying to get forward and eventually our pressure and tired Taunton legs saw us get the winner.
 
My key takeaways from last night:
  • We didn’t create a lot
  • We didn’t allow Taunton to create a lot
  • Taunton had a very good left back and their Number 9 gave Luke Wilkinson a battle too
  • We look very fit
  • We’re taking the Sports Science stuff seriously
  • It was nice to be around humans at football again
  • Don’t fall in love with footballers
 

To many supporters today, Huish is just a street dissected by the A30 down near the Tesco supermarket in the centre of Yeovil.

But, up until 1990, it was the home of Yeovil Town which explains why today’s stadium is named Huish Park despite being more than two miles away.

Huish
Huish Athletic Ground, which stood on land that is now a Tesco supermarket in Yeovil town centre, was the club’s home between 1920 and 1990.

The move had actually been more than five years in the making with negotiations between the club and Bartlett Construction beginning around the purchase of the town centre site and the move to a former army camp in Houndstone.

Gerry Lock, who had been chairman since 1982, was the man behind the deal and in 1987 he was overwhelmingly backed by the club’s shareholders to conclude the deal which netted the club nearly £2.5m.

That triggered a Public Inquiry in to the suitability of the site for a football stadium which would take a further 20 months to complete.

In Hendford to Huish Park, a history of the club by historian Kerry Miller, it is recorded there were “additional costings manifesting themselves almost daily” during the construction.

Gerry Lock, right, with manager Brian Hall as they collect the Isthmian League winners’ trophy in April 1988.
Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

It also tells how there was supporter unrest about the lack of covered standing behind the goals – something not righted until a roof was put over the home terrace more than a decade after arriving – and no social facilities. Enough said on that latter point.

By the time the Public Inquiry drew to a close in March 1989, concerns over covered terracing were the least to the club’s worries – the cost of the new development had ballooned to £3.5m.

Hendford to Huish Park adds there was a £400,000 payment from Bartlett as “a gesture of goodwill“, but that still left the club in a financial hole before they’d even got in to the new stadium.

The first match was played on August 4, 1990, a 2-1 defeat against Newcastle United, and followed a couple of weeks later by the first competitive match.

The first match at Huish Park was a friendly against Newcastle United on August 4, 1990.

That ended in a 2-0 win against Colchester United with striker Mickey Spencer scoring the first competitive goal at the new ground.

The first season saw average attendances of 2,639, an increase of 17.6% from those seen at Huish, and the club needed the money.

The problems become clear

By 1991, with the magnitude of the impact of the stadium move becoming apparent, Lock was forced out as chairman and replaced by a new board led by Supporters’ Club chairman, Bryan Moore.

Hendford to Huish Park describes how Moore was “pushed in to the chair” adding: “Moore’s first was to prepare the shareholders and the general public for the bombshell that was to come with the financial situation.”

With speculation that the club were in a financial hole to the tune of anything between £500,000 and £750,000, the clear and present danger of the club going to the wall was very real.

The Mecca bingo hall, today the Club Neo nightclub, hosted a public meeting attended by 1,000 people and there were bucket collections at home matches.

Supporters, board members and even players bought shares in the club, no transfer fees would be paid for players and the reserve team was scrapped to try and keep the club afloat.

FA Cup to the rescue

As was so often the case, the FA Cup came to Yeovil’s rescue when in 1992 they drew another of the competition’s famous giant-killers Hereford United in the second round.

A crowd of more than 8,000 packed in to Huish Park for a goalless draw and by the time the replay rolled around 11 days later, both clubs new a money-spinning third round tie against Arsenal was the prize that awaited them.

Paul Sanderson put the Glovers ahead in the tie before midfielder Paul Batty, who had bagged a hat-trick in the previous round against Torquay, missed a penalty and then Owen Pickard, who would go on to play for Yeovil, equalised for Hereford.

Then, with just seconds remaining, substitute and defender Neil Coates popped up with the winner.

Miller recalls: “It was a goal which was conservatively estimated as being worth £100,000.”

Add to that a shrewd move from the club’s commercial manager and a former Arsenal player, Alan Skirton, to make fans keen to attend the third round tie get vouchers from league matches in the run-up to it, and the club cashed in on the arrival of the Gunners.

It could have been even better had Arsenal agreed to move the game to a Monday night to accommodate the Sky cameras, who were willing to pay a further £100,000.

The Premier League side had a match the following Wednesday and were not willing to make the shift, so Match of the Day highlights it was.

It may be too simplistic to say Neil Coates’ goal at Hereford saved the club, but it certainly went a long way towards it.

 

 

With Rhys Murphy‘s move to National League rivals Southend United now confirmed, there is a job to fill a goal-scoring gap left in the Yeovil Town frontline for next season.

The striker struck 13 times in 31 appearances this season, having got 20 in 33 appearances the year before, with Joe Quigley the Glovers’ next highest scorer with 12 this year.

Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz

It is widely accepted there is a need for another frontman alongside Quigley and Reuben Reid, who has scored three times since rejoining in January, so who could it be?

Here are some possibilities based on no real fact whatsoever……

Andrew Dallas – Cambridge United

The 21-year-old Scotsman has spent the second half of the season down the other end of the A37 (and A354) on loan at W*ymouth and scored 12 times in 25 appearances.

He is a product of the Rangers youth set-up and made the long journey south to Cambridge United in the summer of 2019, but has never managed to find a regular spot in their starting line-up with just two league starts, albeit with many more off the bench.

His parent club will be playing in League One having secured automatic promotion from League Two this season, meaning Dallas may struggle to find a place.

Dallas would have been at Cambridge at the same time as Glovers’ midfielder Tom Knowles, has proven he knows where the goal is at this level – is that enough conjecture to make this seem credible?!

 

Olufela Olomola – free agent

Striker Olufela Olomola in action during his loan spell with Yeovil Town.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It would not be a summer at Yeovil Town if there wasn’t a former player linked with a return to Huish Park, and one option could be former loanee Olufela Olomola.

The former Southampton youngster is a free agent having been released by Scunthorpe United at the end of the season, having made just seven appearances this season.

His goal-scoring record has been healthier during his spells in green and white than anywhere else with seven goals in 28 matches in his first spell in the 2017-18 campaign, and three in 21 appearances when he returned in 2018-19.

So, not prolific at League level, but perhaps a division lower he could do something…..maybe?

 

Donovan Wilson – Bath City

Anyone who has listened to former Glovers’ defender Jerry Gill, now the manager at National League South side Bath City, doing co-commentary on BBC Somerset this season will have heard about Romans’ striker Donovan Wilson.

The 24-year-old  was on trial at Huish Park last summer having not been retained by Macclesfield Town at the end of last season, but was not picked up by Yeovil boss Darren Sarll and joined Bath last September.

His impact was impressive with six goals in nine starts before the National League South side was prematurely brought to an end, and in March he was brought in on loan by Sutton United, scoring seven times in 17 appearances as they won the National League Premier.

It’s fair to say that with his goal-scoring exploits at Sutton, there will plenty of teams looking at the former Wolves player – but we can dream, can’t we? At least until he signs for someone else.

UPDATE: Turns out we can’t dream, Donovan Wilson joined Sutton United on a permanent transfer on June 11 – which makes sense.

 

How I’ve missed that.

The sound of the turnstile as you push your way through the least covid-safe entranceway possible. The murmur of the crowd in anticipation of a match. The thud of a damp football being skidded along a slick surface. The echo of heavy rain driving on the metal roof. The joy of having a shared experience with people, actual people.

This season has been memorable. The disastrous start to the season, the owner attempting to sell the land, the covid breaks, injury after injury and the tragedy of Lee Collins. Last night was memorable for all of the right reasons. To be back at Huish Park, surrounded by familiar faces (a row further forward than normal) was the teaser of normality that many of us have craved.

The performance was good, I think? I mean, I enjoyed the game. I thought we played well and looked comfortable. But it didn’t really matter. The point was 1500 of us got to watch our team in a competitive match for the first time in 444 days.

Last night, I learned that a stream doesn’t do our players justice. The connection between a players genuine effort and drive is totally lost from behind a screen. Charlie Lee could have had that performance two weeks ago and it would have been fine. But to see it in person – his determination, his running, his quality – reminded me what being a supporter is all about.

Carl Dickinson, totally imperious last night, was winding up his winger incessantly. That was one of his final two matches at Huish Park and he absolutely revelled in it.

Josh Neufville got an applause like no other after his substitution. That was an outpouring of gratitude for being our standout performer since joining. He’s a highlight of our season and we’re only just able to give him the genuine appreciation he deserves.

The electricity of Knowles. Darren Sarll has been hyperbolic about Tom Knowles ability and he’s that player who starts to get the seats rumbling as he picks up the ball. He wants to make things happen and he’s going to be great to watch next season.

And the 4th minute. What a moment. If you listed a top ten moments at Huish Park that would have to be in it. The appreciation we’ve been yearning to show. To show each other what Lee Collins meant to us all. We’re still a club in grieving, but for the game to stop for applause across the pitch put a lump in my throat. Seeing Adam Smith wipe away the tears and Lee’s colleagues take a pause to feel that moment was something else.

It was an absolute pleasure to be back at Huish Park last night, supporting a team that’s been going it alone since March 2020. While we might have forgotten what that connection between players and supporters felt like through this torrid time, just a minute inside the stadium brought it all back again.

On May 26, the measure which has stopped the sale and lease back of Huish Park from owner Scott Priestnall and South Somerset District Council (SSDC) comes to an end.

The pause (or moratorium to use the correct term) was brought about by the decision of the Glovers’ Trust to activate an Asset of Community Value (ACV) it holds on the land, which has given it six months to make a counter offer to that proposed by SSDC.

It activated this option about six months ago and in an email to members on May 10, the Trust said it was “serious talks with parties who are keen to form a consortium and put together a credible bid.”

That and a statement from the owner – see here – on February 24 is pretty much all we have heard from either party in recent months. However, with the clock ticking down to the end of the moratorium we can only assume things are happening in the background.

So, here’s a look at what we (think) we know….


THE SSDC DEAL

On November 24,  Scott Priestnall confirmed he had approached SSDC to “buy Huish Park freehold land including the stadium, as well as the long leasehold parcel of land to the east of the site.”

In this statement at the time, the owner laid out the reasons why he felt the deal was necessary “in order to avoid serious financial distress in the coming months”.

On December 3, the council’s Executive District Committee met to approve the deal to “purchase and lease back property owned by Yeovil Town FC” including the Huish Park stadium.

In its press release following the decision, the council confirmed the deal would extinguish a 999-year lease between the council and the club and replace it with a new 30-year lease for the stadium and the land around it.

The full terms of the deal have remained confidential, but the authority confirmed it would be renting the site back to the club for a profit “of around 7%” per year.

It added the deal would also secure “the release of restrictive covenants” on the land which prevent its development of land at Huish Park.

The council added it would not be becoming the owner or a shareholder of the club, but recognised the value of the club to the community.


GLOVERS TRUST – ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE

In 2016, the Glovers’ Trust took out an Asset of Community Value (ACV) on Huish Park which gives it the right to make a counter offer if anyone sought to buy the stadium and surrounding land.

On January 2, the Trust’s board confirmed it would activate this option  and had until May 26 to make an offer counter to that proposed by SSDC.

Importantly, as Scott Priestnall pointed out in his November statement, the ACV only dictates he must consider the bid and he is not under any obligation to accept it.

So, what has happened since activating the ACV? Well, we don’t actually know, but the Trust’s most recent statement suggests it has been having conversations with people interested in backing them to make a counter offer.

In their email to members on May 10, the Trust said:

“We would like to assure you that we are in serious talks with parties who are keen to form a consortium and put together a credible bid. These are early days in the discussions and we will update further in due course.”

If you do want to get in to the detail of the ACV, the Trust has published a document which attempts to make the mind-bogglingly complicated see simple – see here.

 


SO WHO IS INTERESTED?

Well, the only party interested in owning the club that we can talk about with any certainty is the current owner Scott Priestnall and his fellow director Glenn Collis.

As mentioned before, we have not heard much from the owner on this subject since his update statement on February 24 , however, Glenn Collis has been more vocal on his social media – albeit not on the subject of the land deal.

Although his posts did including this cryptic tweet a few days ago though….

So, with SSDC making it clear it has no plans to become owner or even a shareholder, we’re all really guessing about who else might be interested and who the Glovers’ Trust could be speaking with.

Scott Priestnall has poured cold water on some speculation of entrepreneurs interested in a buy-out, and the only person who has made any positive noises about the club is former director Andy Rossiter,

The well-known supporter and local businessman was quite publicly part of a consortium which held talks with then-owners Norman Hayward and John Fry back in May 2019, when the club was sold to Scott Priestnall and his then-business partner Errol Pope.

There’s no suggestion that same consortium is ready to bid again, although on one of the virtual Q&As held by Scott Priestnall has said he “knows where Andy (Rossiter) is” which suggests the door may be open for the possibility – but doesn’t go as far as saying it.


COATESIE’S VIEW OF IT ALL

Hopefully that’s given you something of a summary of what I think we know, so the only thing left to give you is my opinion on what I would like to see come of it all.

Here we go…..

  • a  first team squad and management playing attractive, committed and (hopefully) winning football. We’re all Yeovil Town supporters not because we expect them to win every week, but because we want to see commitment every time the players step on to the pitch and excitement as many times as possible.
  • an off-the-pitch  set up that benefits its community first and foremost with facilities open to that community, and an on-the-pitch set up that recognises the importance of the community. That is the importance not only to generate players for the first team, but to give young people all the benefits we know the game brings.
  • a sustainable business model that washes it’s own face (as much as a lower league football club can) and is not a hostage to fortune.
  • a club that listens and that does not mean bowing to the whim of every fan – including loud mouths like me!
    If there’s a lesson we can learn from the  European Super League debacle, it’s that fans will only accept so much of being held to ransom by greedy, self-interested businessmen. Yes, I’m looking at you at you Mr Glazer, Kroenke, Henry, et al!
    There’s obviously a place for sound business minds in the modern game, we need that knowledge and investment to survive, not least at our level, but there’s limits that will be tolerated.

And that’s about it for my ‘demands’.

So, if Scott Priestnall and Glenn Collis, a consortium aligned to the Glovers’ Trust ACV, or anyone else out there interested in doing what is best for our club, our community and our supporters can deliver that, I’m confident you’ll find the support of almost all of us who call this club ours.

As injuries mount at Huish Park and the end of this dreaded season is in sight, conspicuous by his absence from any matchday squad since 1st of December against Eastleigh is Gabby Rogers.

The midfielder went from scoring a 120th minute winner in the FA Cup (one of the highlights of our season) to persona non grata at Yeovil Town.

In the aftermath of our match against Aldershot in December, Darren Sarll spoke to the press and said the following about Rogers:

“Gabby Rogers has pretty much requested to be on the transfer list, because of his own reasons, which is fine. I only ever utilise players who are desperate to play, and if Gabby’s desperate to play for Yeovil then he’ll always be in contention. Unless you really commit; heart, soul, every emotion, you never get the best out of these people.”

Rogers retorted on Instagram: “Don’t believe everything you hear…”

Why would an academy product, who had his moment at Bromley and showed promising sparks of genuine ability, would suddenly decide he doesn’t want to play for Yeovil? Rumours have swirled on social media regarding a training ground incident that sparked Rogers’ omission from the squad.

Now, with five games left to go and Aldershot to play tonight we find ourselves in the position where we are scraping together a first eleven, with no idea who will fill the bench.

As discussed on the latest episode of the Gloverscast, we might have as few as ten fit, outfield players, with as many as 12 players unavailable for selection.

If ever there was an opportunity to put a situation to bed, for the sake of the football club, this is it. For the sake of a young player who has come through our academy and, more heartlessly, a potentially valuable asset for the club who could provide more money for the club’s coffers over the years.  That is, of course, if Rogers wants to don green and white again.

Whatever the situation, it’s one that many supporters would want to see resolved as our season fizzles into nothing.

Over the last few days, there have been several hints about the future of Reuben Reid. Last week during the press conference ahead of the trip to Wealdstone, Darren Sarll said: “Reuben is a fantastic player for us now, for next season and for plenty of time to come.”  BBC Radio Somerset  alluded to the striker signing a new contract during commentary of the win last weekend. The noise is all very positive coming out of Huish Park regarding Reid, and the indications are that we are extending Reid’s stay at Huish Park.

Reid’s signing on the 5th of January caught many off guard. The experienced forward returned for his second spell ahead of our fixture against W*ymouth and was cited as ‘our top target this season’ by Scott Priestnall as we announced the departure of Courtney Duffus.

Since arriving, Reid has made 21 appearances for Yeovil, scoring three times, twice from the penalty spot. His influence, on the pitch, has been mixed. With Reid’s experience at higher levels, many expected more goals. While Reid was prolific at Plymouth Argyle and Exeter, those spells were a peak in his return in front of goal. On the Gloverscast, Ben regularly makes the point that he “won’t judge Reuben Reid on the number of goals he scores”, and this is fair. Reid’s strength is in bringing other forward players into the game. Rhys Murphy’s hottest period this season came when he was paired up with Reid. Those two seemed to strike up a good relationship together, but he seems to have gelled less well with other strikers.

Reid’s post-match interviews have also drawn attention. Some supporters are appreciative of his honesty. Following defeat at $tockport, he bemoaned the quality of the performance and described some of the play as “nearly football.”

He was also critical of his teammates after Yeovil let a 2-0 lead slip against Notts County. Although his performance on that evening was hardly a four out of seven. This mentality, and character, is a key part of a Darren Sarll dressing room.

Reid is, undoubtedly, a big influence in this dressing room. If he can bring young players along with him and help them grow develop – as Sarll has suggested he has with Quigley lately – then that’s ideal. However, I don’t think it’s unfair to to expect more from him on the pitch, if he’s going to publicly call out his teammates.

We received official confirmation of Joe Quigley’s new contract after his hat-trick against Solihull a week ago. We know Darren Sarll likes having a few strikers and based on Monday’s performance in the 3-0 home defeat to FC Halifax Town, Reid and Quigley have a long way to go to be an effective partnership.

The biggest question come out of the latest updates from Huish Park is, what of the future of Rhys Murphy?

Despite two unsettled seasons which have seen him spend long spells on the sidelines, Murphy’s been the striker we were crying out for during our descent down the Football League, and our most natural finisher since Paddy Madden.

His return of 30 goals in 60 appearances in green and white has been superb and will be very difficult to replace, should he leave. At 30-years-old, and with a couple of disrupted seasons, it would be hard to begrudge Murphy a move to a League club. If he gets a payday from another club in the National League, though, that would be a big disappointment.


It’s promising that we’re hearing noises about contract renewals, you can read the current status of the squad here. As you’ll see, we’ve got a long way to go yet.