The minutes of a meeting of the Yeovil Town Supporters’ Alliance have been published today.
The minutes are not yet agreed by all parties, as the Glovers’ Trust has requested an amendment to include a commitment by chairman Scott Priestnall to host an open forum for supporters which he made at the meeting on October 13th as well in a recent update he gave to fans.
For this reason, these minutes are better described as ‘draft’, but given their content seems to have caused a stir they have been published and we are pleased to re-publish them for your viewing pleasure…..
Minutes of the YTFC Alliance Meeting at Huish Park on Thursday 13 October 2022 at 13.00
- Rich Rendall (RR) – Chairman of the Alliance/Green & White Supporters’ Club,
- Scott Priestnall (SP) – Chairman and Owner (by Zoom)
- Stuart Robins (SR) – Director,
- Martyn Starnes (MS) – Chief Executive Officer,
- James Hillier (JH) – Stadium Manager,
- Mark Robinson (MR) – Commercial Manager,
- Sam Collard (SC) – Media Department,
- Roger Pipe (RP) – Chairman of the Glovers’ Trust
- Terri Burt (TB) – Glovers’ Trust
- Rob Newport (RN) – Cary Glovers
- Emma Jarvis (EJ) – Commercial Assistant
- Marilyn Cottle (MC) – Commercial Assistant/Junior Glovers
Apologies: Paul Hadlow (Green & White Supporters’ Club), Sharon Swain (Disabled Supporters’ Alliance – DSA), Simon Woodland (DSA).
RR opened the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves and their roles.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. RR spoke about the new season and remarked that the team are playing well and this needs to continue and draws to become wins. We would like to wish all the coaching and backroom staff success and our best wishes are with Marcus Stewart on the diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
RP asked about the racism incident at the York game.
JH explained that the police and the club have now closed their investigations. Supporters, stewards and officials were spoken to, but no-one heard anything. Nothing was reported on the day, it was only when the recording was shown on Monday. JH also spoke to Kick It Out for advice.
SC explained the position of the camera. The press box including BBC Somerset did not hear anything.
RP thanked the club for their investigation.
JH and MR then spoke about the impact the incident had brought on the club. The club have spoken to a number of key sponsors. SR reiterated that the club takes incidents like these very seriously, will not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form and operates a zero tolerance policy. The reputation of the club is at risk and social media comments were not helpful.
Updates from the previous meeting were discussed. RP said that communications had not improved.
JH updated the meeting on other projects. Planning for the marquee to be moved to the corner between the Screwfix and Thatcher’s stands is awaiting approval. The club are disappointed in the delay. The new scoreboard will be fitted shortly. Access control is working well. There are now Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) terminals in all areas and cards can now be used in all areas of the ground.
The new lift has been ordered and we are waiting for the installation date. The Football Foundation provided 70% of the cost, the G&WSC donated £2000, the DSA gave £2000 and £7000 was donated from the lottery department at the club.
The DSA are painting the barriers on the home terrace. We would like to thank the DSA for all their work.
RP asked why there was only going to be three sides open for the FA Cup match with Taunton.
JH said that there was a cost implication to open the Screwfix Stand. The expected crowd is 2500 and they can be accommodated in the other stands. There would be a bar behind the away terrace and the tea bars were opening early.
RP asked about the issues with entry to the Screwfix Stand for league games.
JH explained that the new scanners have now arrived and there will be 2 gates open in the future. RR asked if it could be advertised which gates are open.
RP asked why the lights were on at the Boreham Wood match.
JH said that the referee insisted that they stay on. There have been discussions in the EFL to change KO times to 1pm to conserve energy. However, this could mean teams staying overnight and problems for fans to arrive by 1pm. The club will continue to save money, but there are no plans to close the Screwfix Stand for league games.
MC explained that the Junior Glovers are no longer a separate section. All young people under 16 who purchase a season ticket receive a free shirt. We are including children more on match days. Mascots are now allowed, and we have local teams as guard of honour and flag bearers. We have introduced a penalty shootout at half time for youth teams.
SP joined the meeting by Zoom.
He updated the meeting on the proposed developments during the last few months. He has been working with architects, consultancy firms and the council to produce drawings and to find out what developments are possible. The plans will go to public consultation before being submitted. There has been a lot of activity with the council during the past year. The details of the preferred scheme should be available before Christmas, but no formal application will take place this year. SP explained that he is not looking to just develop the land but to re-develop the stadium.
RP asked for more details.
SP answered that there could be small retail establishments, with renting or leasing some buildings. There could be sports clinic and health provision. Also, player accommodation could be on site. There were no plans for office blocks or commercial premises.
SP then explained the Sport England Loans. Sport England have not requested re-imbursement. The National League have regular meetings about the loans and all clubs have a four-year holiday period and are still working to have the loans written off.
RP asked if the National League are trying to convert them to grants.
SP said that the loans are directly with the clubs. He explained the loan system and why they were brought in. He asked for the supporters to be patient.
RP invited SP and SR to the Glovers Trust AGM. SP said that he had been approached in an aggressive manner by two members of the Glovers’ Trust at the Dorking game and he would have to speak to SR before giving a response. MS also witnessed the incident and said it was out of order. SP asked if this had been dealt with by the .
RR asked if there was any more investment in the club.
SP said there is ongoing discussions but for new investors the finances have to look decent, performances on the pitch need to inspire them and the environment needs to be friendly. Protesting is having a negative effect on the club. All supporters are welcome to attend the Alliance meetings.
Discussions then took place between TB and SP regarding the take-over by Simul Sports. TB believed that they had the money and that new investors are not willing to invest because of SP.
SP confirmed that there was a contract for Simul Sports to buy the club but they didn’t sign it. He advised that if the group wanted to buy a football club then there are a few for sale, but they haven’t bought anything.
SP explained that the council deal did not stop the Simul Sports deal. RP said that some people are disenchanted with the club.
SP asked if it matters who owns the club. The important factor is to be competitive. SP will be issuing a statement of future plans. The club needs a long term sustainable future.
RR thanked SP for his update.
The meeting finished at 15:00.
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