It’s been a long, largely unhappy journey, but the reign of Scott Priestnall as owner and chairman of Yeovil Town is over.

There are undoubtedly things we don’t know, or more to the point have not been told, about the whole saga over the past three years, but there is no doubting the club is in a far worse state than when he arrived in 2019.

From a club admittedly on a decline having dropped out of the Football League, we have gone from one which had a relatively stable (in football club terms, at least) balance sheet to one which is a tenant in its own stadium with debts of seven figures and will play next season in regional football.

In short, the reign of Scott Priestnall is a stain on the history books of Yeovil Town and one which cannot be forgiven or forgotten.

But, looking forward, we now have a new chairman, a new owner and a new direction under Martin Hellier. His statement announcing the takeover is wonderfully theatrical and says absolutely everything a Yeovil Town supporter would want to hear about the future on and off the field.

The message to Mr Hellier is the same as it was to SU Glovers – actions, not words, will judge you.

Minutes after the announcement, we issued a poll on our Twitter asking people to give a simple ‘yes or no’ answer to the question – are you happy with the takeover by Martin Hellier?

At the time of writing this, 76% of the 324 people who have voted say they are happy with the takeover – but in the comments there are unquestionably doubts.

The truth is that Martin Hellier’s antics on social media and off it have done nothing to help his cause of winning over the trust of supporters.

There has been language not befitting of a businessman of his stature, there has been open warfare (and blocking) with anyone who disagrees with his opinion,  along with threats to pull out of his sponsorship of the Main Stand, numerous pauses and restarts of his Twitter, and enough ups and downs to need a large glass of red wine to keep up with it.

Just reading the statement he has issued, you get the sense of a love for the theatre of the situation, and, while passion is good, what we need is stability and a solid business head.

In short, if this is going to work out well, Martin Hellier the chairman needs to be VERY different to Martin Hellier the social media user.

We want the businessman who has built up a solid and successful business. We want the passion for the local community. We want the support for the team, the manager (who appears at this time to be Mark Cooper). We want a football club which we all can be proud of.

If we are to achieve by unity, there has to be a willingness to admit and accept wrongdoings in the past and move forward. The reality is, as with Scott Priestnall and Norman Hayward/John Fry before him, we as supporters will have to go along for the ride whatever happens – but if we can create a club where we are listened too, communicated with and one where we can trust those in charge, we will be in a better place.

So, over to you, Martin. If you do what you say you will do – and do it in the right way – you will have the support of us all.


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Phil A
11 months ago

Hoping that fans will get a more consistent message and increased comms (even better with an interview by Gloverscast) or through official channels, and greater interaction with supporters groups.

If MH’s passionate vision for the future is an all in/let’s get rolling, then all for it and a return to the pre-draconian/clandestine/political clap-trap times of NH/JF and he who shall never again darken the skies of Huish Park!

Moderick
11 months ago

It’s a good outcome given what’s happened over the last three years. Time will tell but it won’t be too difficult for the new owner to improve on his predecessors so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and look forward to being promoted back to the national league after one season then promoted again into league 2.

G Lover
11 months ago

Here’s to the future. So glad SP has been sent packing and YTFC can start again.
I do hope Hellier is the right man for the job though? If he can stump up to buy the ground back for Somerset Council then he will be the hero of the club forever more. One nagging doubt though.

He has an incredibly fragile ego (in my opinion) and seems to flip quite quickly into an unpleasant character. He blocks fans on twitter who dare to have different opinions to his!

Time will tell.

SheFellOver
11 months ago

I’d love to be more positive but we didn’t get relegated because of SP. We got relegated because we played terrible football. We had a manager who consistently insisted on a style of play beyond the ability of the majority of the team. He used 44 players during the course of the season. He made poor signings and could not coach them into a winning formation. Nobody cares who the owner is when you’re winning (ask Newcastle). Mark Cooper needs to take responsibility for the worst football I’ve watched at Huish Park in over 30 years. The first thing Hellier needs to do is find somebody better.

Tim
10 months ago

My only question about a very positive interview is about whether Mark Cooper is the right man for the job. We could sign the best players money can buy for this league but still be bottom 4 if Cooper can’t manage them