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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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