Yeovil Town striker Joe Quigley has joined National League title-chasers Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old, who is joint top scorer with Adi Yussuf having found the net seven times this season, was one of only two players who was signed on a contract beyond the end of the season and therefore commanded a fee.
In a statement issued tonight, club chairman Scott Priestnall said the sale was necessary to “improve cash resources” due to lower attendances, pointing to speculation about the takeover of the club as the reason for dwindling numbers.
He said: “The decision to accept the offer for Joe is one that helps improve our cash resources at a time when our average attendances are much lower than expected and, as a result, we have a shortfall in our budget for the season.
“The ongoing speculation surrounding a takeover is certainly not helping the club recover from the lost revenues of playing behind closed doors and, with the exception of the Bournemouth game, attendances have not met pre-pandemic numbers.”
The owner, who has only been seen once at Huish Park in recent months, said that no party was in a position to complete a takeover of the club.
Earlier this week, Julian Jenkins, the former Cardiff City director behind the Simul Sports Group, issued a statement to say his group was “in the final stages” of buying Yeovil Football & Athletic Club, which owns the football operations and Huish Park stadium.
Priestnall added: “I can tell you that no party up to this point has been in a position or is yet in a position to complete a takeover.
“Although discussions have continued, the club are looking at alternative sources of funding and investment. I shall update you further in due course.”
In a statement on December 5, the owner said, in the event a buyer for the club was not found he would “go back to my plans for building a better Yeovil Town, utilising our infrastructure to be better on and off the field.”
Asked about whether there had been any offers for players at his press conference today (Friday), manager Darren Sarll told confirmed that offers for his players had been received.
But asked whether they had been rejected, he said: “So far. It’s not been necessarily in January, we have it all through the year. The financial outlay in this division shocks me.” It appears the appetite to reject bids lasted less than 11 hours.
Earlier the boss had spoken about looking to build a strong foundation with the young players in his squad, which presumably included Quigley, not exactly a veteran at 25.
The manager said: “In an ideal world it would be great to start forging a foundation that sees a lot of these players have another year with us next year.
“That would be in my ideal world because the good work we are doing with them and the experience they are getting is unrivalled.
“These are the instances when we should be starting to think about building those foundations with these young players.”
Quigley joined in October 2020 on a free transfer from Dagenham & Redbridge and scored 19 times in 61 appearances.
His last appearance came in the 2-1 defeat at Southend United having missed the FA Trophy exit to Needham Market due to illness.
His last goal came against AFC Bournemouth, the club he began his career with, in the FA Cup third round.