Marcus Fysh, Yeovil’s MP, has released a statement congratulating the club’s new owner Martin Hellier on his acquisition of Yeovil Town, and say he is ‘seeking a meeting’ and provided a list of questions he would like answers to. I’m left wondering where was this public list of questions was to our previous owner when all this started happening?

The MP arrived at Johnson Park during the Supporters’ Meeting on Thursday as it was wrapping up and stayed around to speak to some of his constituents and the media.

Here’s his full statement:

Congratulations to the new owners of YTFC who have the chance and responsibility to build a football club that can progress up the leagues, provide great football to follow and inspire youth football across our area.

It has been a difficult few years as results going the wrong way have meant falling revenues in the lower leagues. Emergency help for National League clubs was required when fans were not able to attend during the pandemic and I was instrumental in securing that national government loan scheme to stop the club from going under.

Without owner subsidies it has always been the case that business aspects of Yeovil Town have been required to support the club’s football. This was true in the Championship and it is true now.

Development of the ground is controversial for some but an opportunity to garner the income required to sustain a proper footballing structure as the club rebuilds. The club sought development for this purpose since 2014 but was continually knocked back by the Council until the Council got involved financially through the stadium sale and leaseback.

Football clubs are private businesses and the deals they do are for the parties to be responsible. However the arrangements since the end of last year ended up complicating the football at a crucial time and it is a shame the financing flexibility the Club got from its involvement with public bodies didn’t translate into on field success.

I am seeking a meeting with the new owners of the Club, and the questions I will be asking – similar to those I have been asking all the previous owners and parties they have looked at dealing with – include:

  • What is the footballing structure that you will be seeking to implement and who will you be working with to help deliver that?
  • What are the shares of operational and capital income from development that will accrue to the football club for the purposes of maintaining the footballing structure and the stadium and ground and staff? Will the Council or any related parties have any income share?
  • What is the nature of the income from development or operation of developed properties that will accrue to Yeovil town for its footballing purposes?
  • Will there be conference and entertainment facilities that can maximise income from the ground itself including for large scale events?
  • What accommodation facilities if any will be made available for visitors on site and what hospitality revenue might accrue for footballing purposes as a result?
  • What revenue is expected from these sources in each of the next five years, and what is the plan if they don’t materialise?
  • Have any sale and lease back liabilities or options been fully discharged and or exercised on completion of the purchase of Yeovil Town?
  • Have the pandemic loans been discharged as part of the purchase and is there any other debt outstanding?
  • Have any assurances been given by South Somerset District or Somerset Council as to different types or schemes of development being allowed?
  • Has Yeovil town Holdings Ltd itself been purchased or is there another structure that those interested in the future of the football club should be aware of?
  • What is the plan to develop youth football in Yeovil now that the club has lost Academy status and will you work with me to find ways of ensuring a thriving youth football scene in Yeovil?
  • What assurances can you give to the staff and team at Yeovil town about their security of employment?
  • What arrangements will you make to ensure that there is a high quality board of directors which can plan and execute for high quality football and high quality business off the pitch?
  • Will you commit to having at least one board director to represent the fans and at least one board director whose role is to work with that other director and fans to increase positive fan engagement using all available modern techniques?
  • Will you investigate and report on whether there have been any questionable practices in the past in respect of the Club’s dealings and will you ensure that there is full transparency of all dealings with Councils, third parties and other public bodies in the future?
  • Will you commit to regular Board reports that give information about the footballing and non-footballing business of the Club so that fans can be engaged on the basis of fact rather than rumour?

I very much hope that today turns the page on a successful new chapter for Yeovil Town Football Club and that we will all be able to get behind them.

If you want to the reaction to his post, head to his facebook page here.

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Phil A
1 year ago

Rather full of himself, isn’t he?! All good and well meaning but surely as the elected representative of the Yeovil public, could he or should he have been more vocal earlier on, i.e., with so much uncertainty amongst paying fans, troubled by the lack of comms coming out of the community asset? Still, nice to know he showed up at all…but as Del Boy once said: “where there’s crowds – there’s business”.

1 year ago

It’s worth remembering that Marcus Fysh is being investigated by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for income and expenditure statements. Perhaps not the best person to be seeking financial transparency from the new owner?

G Lover
1 year ago

Quite a comprehensive list of questions isn’t it? So what happens if he doesn’t like an answer, is he going to insist on a another course of action?
This business arrangement has sweet fa (excuse to pun) with him.

He’s probably coming to blag a couple of free season tickets for him and his cronies.

Andy Pandy
1 year ago

I hope the “footballing structure” will be a 4-3-3. 🙂

I’ll get my coat…. 

1 year ago

Needs to conduct an investigation into the sale of Huish Park.

1 year ago

To fact check what the MP has stated: yes he may have put great effort into securing funding, but (have to put allegedly here) that money during October to December 2020 ( I think) was then unfairly distributed among National League, NLS, NLN clubs. Members of the NL board (not including Priestnall) basically fiddled the grants in such a way that some clubs benefitted more. YTFC lost something in the region of £40,000 (three months income) because the money was not given out based out gate receipts. A noble effort by Mr Fysh but this did not help.

I think he has all the right intentions, but don’t go claiming you helped when infact factors outside of your control resulting in the honest folks at YTFC losing out.

1 year ago
Reply to  Anon

So just realised there is a small inaccuracy in what I wrote originally. It was around a £40k hit on the clubs income from Oct to Dec 2020. The actual amounts coming in are six figure £xxx,xxx.

1 year ago

Him and Priest all go well together, both a pair of useless twats