The Glovers Trust has warned the future of Yeovil Town is “in jeopardy” if a deal to sell Huish Park to South Somerset District Council goes ahead.

In a statement to members, sent on Monday night, the Trust said it had been contacted by “several groups” and was “aware parties have reached out to intermediaries at the club” about buying the club.

On Wednesday, May 26, a  six-month moratorium preventing the deal approved by the council’s executive last December expires, leaving the authority apparently free to conclude the deal confirmed by Chairman Scott Priestnall.

The moratorium has been in place since the Trust activated an Asset of Community Value (ACV) which it holds, giving it six months to make a bid for Huish Park and surrounding lands.

In its statement to members, the Trust claimed the pause had “given others the chance to reflect on the scheme and for the cultivation of a belief that a better route can be found to secure the long-term security of our club.”

It added: “The provisional plans shared with us by the SSDC may bring a limited short term financial boost, however there is no legal framework to guarantee that YTFC benefits from the scheme over the longer term. We believe that under this proposal the future of YTFC is in jeopardy.”

It added: “We acknowledge that from Wednesday 26th, the owners are free to continue with the proposal from SSDC or to affect a sale to whomsoever they choose.
“The Glovers Trust Board’s stance remains unaltered with regard to the SSDC proposal in that we retain major concerns. This proposal was championed as ‘the only option’ but this has been proved to have been only one of the options available.
“The Glovers Trust Board hold serious reservations as to whether the monetary figures involved add up. Will a tenant YTFC ever be in a financial position to own Huish Park again?”

In the minutes of the council’s District Executive Committee on December 3, Mr Priestnall said “the finance would help the club to survive and thrive in the future to retain football league status and have a club which the local community could be proud of. “
The minutes added: “He (Priestnall) confirmed that he was not seeking to recoup any of his personal investment in the club through the transaction.”

In his last public statement published on February 24, Mr Priestnall said he was “still exploring” the deal and had “kept dialogue open” with the council.
In that statement, he added: “We also have offers to sell the land when the moratorium period ends. A decision will be made once the Sport England loan position is finalised as to our next step with regards a full planning application.”

For more details on the history of the SSDC deal and the Glovers Trust’s ACV, read our Gloversblog here.

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