Yeovil Town has announced supporter and businessman Stuart Robins has become a shareholder and board member at the club.
The season ticket holder for the past 15 years becomes the first person to join the club’s board after chairman Scott Priestnall announced his intention to bring in new directors more than a month ago.
In a statement, Mr Robins, whose uncle is former club chairman Gerry Lock, and daughter is BBC Somerset commentator Sheridan Robins, said he had “significant experience in growing and developing successful businesses” predominantly in the telecommunications business.
He added: “I want to use that experience to help provide the resources necessary for (manager) Chris Hargreaves to return us to the Football league as soon as we can, and in a sustainable way.
“I have a lot to learn about the football business and I am really looking forward to doing that and working with everyone at Huish Park.”
The cub’s statement confirms that he will become a director and shareholder of the club which presumably means Mr Robins has invested in the club, although no details are given around the level of that investment.
Chairman Priestnall said: “Bringing Stuart in to the club can only be a positive move for us. Not only is he a lifelong supporter, but he brings with him a wealth of business experience.
“When I said I wanted to formulate a board that could bring about a shared vision for the club’s future, I could not have wished for anyone more passionate and dedicated to seeing the club succeed as Stuart.”
Who is Stuart Robins?
Born in Yeovil, he was educated at Buckler’s Mead and worked for Post Office Telecommunications, now BT, having left school.
During his school days, he trained with Yeovil Town under manager Stan Harland which he had supported since his parents first took him to the club’s former Huish stadium from the age of ten, and later went on to play for Ilminster Town.
Following that, he moved to Australia in 1980 working in the telecommunications industry in Australia which ended with a role as Managing Director of a joint venture between UK-based Systems Reliability and Telecom Australia, returning to join the UK arm in 1992 following the merger.
During his time Down Under, his mother would send him cuttings from the Western Gazette newspaper to keep him in touch with the club.
After Systems Reliability was acquired by Canadian firm TSB International three years later, he transferred to Toronto in 1995 and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.
Four years later, he returned to the UK and later was involved in a management buy-out of what was then TSB’s European division which was rebranded, Nu Holdings Group, becoming the largest distributor IT products from a major US firm.
Robins’ appointment to the board follows the departure of Glenn Collis as a director last month, a move which coincided with Priestnall declaring his plan to assemble a new board.
Speaking last week after he club sold its Huish Park stadium and land around it in a £2.8m deal with South Somerset District Council, Priestnall said he would be “announcing appointments” to the board over the next week.
He added: “The new board will have a combination of specialist football operations, a voice for supporters and a wealth of experience in business, that will come together and help shape the future of Yeovil Town.”
Former chief executive Martyn Starnes has become a regular fixture at Huish Park in recent weeks and therefore seems likely to be an announcement at some point.
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