Local businessman Martin Hellier has released a statement confirming that he has completed the takeover of majority shareholding of Yeovil Town Football Club and Yeovil Town Holdings Ltd securing the buy-back rights to the stadium and land around Huish Park.

The new Yeovil Town chairman has pledged to reunite the land with the trading business, Yeovil Football & Athletic Club, in the months to come and called for supporters to unite around ‘our truly locally-owned, community asset.’

In his statement issued on his Twitter on Saturday morning, Hellier said: “Please allow us to catch our breath, steady the ship, and bring stability, we have a very arduous task ahead of us, but one which we whole-heartedly embrace. I look forward to working closely with Mark Cooper and Josh Staunton who I know share my belief that Yeovil Town can return to brighter times.”

The deal was confirmed by a statement issued by the club from now former owner and chairman Scott Priestnall, who said: “It has been a difficult journey and I appreciate it has been hardest on you, the fans, most of all. I am confident that this transaction is one in the best interests of the club.”

He has also stated his intention to work closely with the Glovers’ Trust and the potential ‘Save Our Club’ Group which was pledged at a fans’ meeting held on Thursday.

Hellier’s announcement follows the SU Glovers confirmation of an ‘unsuccessful acquisition’ on Friday night and sees the sponsor of the Main Stand at Huish Park take over the 72% shareholding of chairman Scott Priestnall, who one assumes has now left the Yeovil Town history books.

What the future now means for the club’s other shareholder, Stuart Robins, appears uncertain. He holds a 20% stake in Yeovil Football and Athletic Club.

 

Hellier Group – statement in full:

To the fans, players, and staff of Yeovil Town Football Club, and to the wider Yeovil community:

Rejoice. The long winter of discord is over.

It is my greatest honour to announce that Hellier Group have secured the majority shareholding of Yeovil Town Football Club, Yeovil Town Holdings, and the buy-back rights to the stadium and surrounding land, which we intend to reunite with the trading business in the months to come.

As local owners, our hearts are rooted in the wellbeing and progression of our community, and we pledge to every fan, our intentions to form one entity, one club, one community, and to finally, ‘Achieve by Unity’.

This has been a long and stressful process, I have been passionate about my beliefs and feelings because I deeply care about this club.

This has not been a transaction for financial gain, it has involved a vast amount of time and effort to arrange, it is because I have the very best interests of this football club at heart.

I would like to thank the endless patience of the fans, players and the loving support of my family, as well as the tireless efforts of professionals around me, that have dedicated their time and efforts to securing what has been an exhausting process, the outcome of which is immeasurable in terms of unifying the hearts and minds of all that love this club.

Please allow us to catch our breath, steady the ship, and bring stability, we have a very arduous task ahead of us, but one which we whole-heartedly embrace. I look forward to working closely with Mark Cooper and Josh Staunton who I know share my belief that Yeovil Town can return to brighter times.

We ask that you invest your hearts and minds in supporting what is now our truly locally-owned, community asset, and lets collectively focus our ambitions in the progression of Yeovil Town Football Club. For too long, our fan-base has been divided, I would ask that this comes to an end.

Following this week’s Glovers’ Trust Meeting, I look forward to working closely with the trust / the newly formed ‘Save Our Club’ group and show that the club has, as of today, been saved.

I look forward to a bright and successful future for the club. I am very excited for us all to take this journey together.

Regards

Martin Hellier
CHAIRMAN

Up the Glovers!

 

Statement from Scott Priestnall – in full:

I confirm that I have completed the sale of Yeovil Town Football Club to the Hellier Group.

It has been a difficult journey and I appreciate it has been hardest on you, the fans, most of all.

We have not been able to share updates where we have wanted to, as you will appreciate negotiations take place under strict rules and disclosure arrangements. Given previous transactions have fallen through, I was particularly concerned about giving updates that may not materialise.

I am confident that this transaction is one in the best interests of the club.

Yeovil Town Football Club is a club that is, and always will be, very close to my heart. I wish the manager, the players, Martin and the fans all the best for the future.


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Gavin Trott
11 months ago

Fingers crossed, the words of the new owner sound great and it will be excellent if our greatest asset the stadium is reunited with the football club. Let’s hope positive outcomes emerge and the fans experience improves considerably. I will now definitely start buying tickets again – living a long way away made it difficult to summon any enthusiasm to support the previous owners sinking ship. Here’s to better, more hopeful times and some attractive footy to watch, please.

Rob S
11 months ago

Hallelujah! – perhaps there is a football God!?. Hopefully this will be the best outcome for the club especially as the ground and the surrounding land/car park etc is likely to be reunited. All I have heard from Martin seems to put the supporters and club at the centre of any business plan and his support and passion for YTFC cannot be questioned. I am sure he knows this venture/journey is likely to be expensive and will need support through his other businesses – especially during the first year or so. What ever you feel about Martin – I know he sometimes divides opinion – he deserves the best support from the fans we can give. As supporters the best we can do is give him every opportunity to succeed by increased attendance, increase season tickets sales, buying merchandise etc etc. Fans will always act as a ‘critical friend’ but lets do that constructively with the clubs directorship through the various fans groups – which as mentioned perhaps need to become one mouthpiece – with perhaps a fans rep on the board? Good luck Martin – your success is the clubs success which in turn becomes the supporters success!

Chris G
11 months ago

Its an odd anniversary. 20 years since winning the Conference, 10 years since getting to the Championship. Is this another year we can all look back upon and say, this was the start point for this wonderful football club to rebuild and get back on the road to at least the Football League. Martin H has a massive job ahead of him. Lets give him the time and the backing to get it right. He will make mistakes no doubt but if he surrounds himself with the right staff, players, and manager he will win the fans appreciation and support. Its a new beginning. A crucial time for this football club, there is not a minute to lose. I welcome MH as what has gone before him has taken us to the brink.

M Cook
11 months ago

Let’s hope the plans to develop the football pitches and car park for housing are dropped…..This space will be needed when Yeovil start rising up the league’s again

Steve
11 months ago
Reply to  M Cook

I have no issue with developing the land to benefit the football club, and if that involves losing some of the barely used pitches or rubble parking area then so be it. Even if we do buy the stadium and land back, there is a considerable spend required to get things up to standard.

Graham
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Half the car park was always owned by the council

Glow
11 months ago

Hurray… At long last we can be recognized as a club, all we need to do now is get a good manager and help Martin to trust the supporters… Get back to how (Gary Johnson) did, not move so quickly, just to get back and bring in the crowds, we need to fill the stadium to make money for the club… Let’s help Martin to help our players and start winning…. Good luck Martin…

Steve
11 months ago

I’ll very much sit in the middle on this one! It’s probably the lesser of 2 evils when compared to SP, but feels a world away from what we thought the future might have been under SU Glovers.

Whilst MH may have purchased the club and holding company for an as yet undisclosed sum, the future financing doesn’t look as clear to me as others seem to think. I don’t see sufficient income streams across the group to fund a loss making football club, and purchase of the ground, especially when factoring in a closed hotel being extensively refurbished which in itself is a drain on capital. And any business ‘valuation’ which jumps from £50m to £75m on the back of intangible assets should always be taken with a pinch of salt.

I hope my fears are misplaced and in 3-5 years time Yeovil town are celebrating promotion to the league, in a ground that they own with no debts. But after years of mismanagement since the Goddard Watts involvement ended, I reserve the right to be sceptical!

10 months ago

I think it’s alright doing a snap poll asking people if they are happy immediately after change has happened. Do another one in a year or 2 years and see if it’s still positive..that’s the real proof of the pudding.