Four groups of Yeovil Town supporters have issued a set of questions to Yeovil Town owner and chairman Scott Priestnall today.
Led by the Glovers’ Trust and backed by the administrators of the Ciderspace Facebook Group, The Green Army and the Gloverscast, the letter asks for clarity on the future development of Huish Park and calls for the open fan forum which was promised in the last update on October 14th.
Dear Mr Priestnall
As supporters of Yeovil Town FC, we have become increasingly concerned about the state of our club under your ownership.
We have seen our ground and the land that surrounds it sold to South Somerset District Council with no obvious plan on how to buy it back, whilst at the time of writing our team languish just outside the relegation zone.
Moreover, we are worried that matters could get worse. The proposed development of the land around the ground potentially threatens the very existence of our club.
We now write to ask that you urgently provide clarity in respect of the following;
1. Please provide a breakdown of how the money raised by the sale to South Somerset DC has been spent/ allocated.
2. You have informed us that architects have been engaged to draw up plans for the land around the ground, and that supporters will be consulted. We call upon you to start this process immediately and to share the initial plans with supporters and local residents.
3. You have also said that the development of land previously owned by the holding company will benefit the club and provide a revenue stream. Could you now please set out your vision for how this will be achieved and give a firm commitment to this process.
4. You have made a public commitment to holding an open meeting with fans, we ask now that you set a date as soon as possible for that meeting.
We look forward to hearing from you.
In a response posted on the club’s Twitter feed posted at 7.08pm on Monday, it said:
It’s disappointing that after only receiving this letter today from Glovers’ Trust chairman Mr Roger Pipe and after offering Mr Pipe a meeting at the club tomorrow to discuss, that the decision was made to publish this letter anyway.
It’s confusing, considering that these points were discussed at the recent Supporters Alliance meetings, answered by Club Chairman Scott Priestnall and these answers documented in the minutes of the meeting and sent to attendees.
It is therefore questioned why the Glovers’ Trust have not fed back the answers to their members.
The club will confirm an open meeting in due course and will communicate to supporters directly.
Then in response to the club’s response posted by the Glovers’ Trust at 8.38pm, the Trust said…..
The Glovers Trust note the response from the board of Yeovil Town Football club to our joint open letter. We were disappointed, but not surprised that rather than answering the important questions contained within, the owners saw it appropriate to seek to slur our organisation and our chairman.
The Glovers Trust would like to reiterate that this was a joint letter, signed by multiple supporter groups associated with our fanbase, and not just the Glovers Trust. Groups that have no other motive than to safeguard the club we love. When the letter was sent to Scott Priestnall, it was made very clear that it would also be made public. Public letters are not uncommon and we believe fans have the right to know what questions are being asked, and what answers are/aren’t being given.
While the directors are correct that many of these questions have been repeatedly asked at Alliance meetings since the sale of our assets to SSDC, we have yet to receive anything like an adequate response to any of them.
We do not wish to engage further with the owner on social media, but once again extend an invitation for him to join us for our AGM where he can answer these questions and more in the presence of our members and wider fanbase. Failing that, we look forward to a date being confirmed swiftly for the November open forum.
We will continue to support Mark Cooper and the team. But we will also not be distracted from the very important off-field issues that continue to plague our club.
…..we await a response to the response to the letter – is that enough responses? Anyway, you get the idea……don’t you?
Why have we signed it?
The endless cycle of statement, silence for several months, statement, silence for several months is draining. The dialogue between the club and supporters should be shared, transparently and in a timely fashion.
It appears that a Supporters’ Alliance Group meeting has taken place in the recent past, it appears minutes of this meeting exist, it appears these minutes contain some information which would be of value in understanding what is happening with our football club. So where are they?
In the end of season survey which had 499 responses, we received an average score of 2.5 out of 7 to the statement ‘YTFC will benefit from the sale of Huish Park to SSDC’. Our monthly pulse surveys also show supporters still feel things need improving. We, and many supporters, still have around how this deal improves the long-term future of the club and recognise many decisions lie with SSDC and, as a public authority, we have reached out to them for answers. As and when we receive responses, we will let you know.
For the time being, there’s a response from the club to the Trust’s letter and we look forward to the open meeting for supporters in due course.
The above are questions, among others, we wanted answered after more than 1500 supporters put their signature to a letter in April.
We all want the best for the future of the football club. And if you’ve listened to the recent episodes of the podcast, you’ll all know we’re right behind Mark Cooper and willing this team to get us out of trouble.
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