Yeovil Town chairman John Fry has defended Yeovil Town’s success and financial viability record and issued a stark warning for the future following the disappointing defeat at Colchester last night.
"Over the past 20 years, and to their credit, unlike a vast number of clubs in the football pyramid, the directors of YTFC have run the club extremely successfully, including four promotions, two Wembley play off finals and a FA Trophy final at Villa Park, and without going into administration. This has made YTFC one of the best run and most successful clubs in the lower leagues, said Mr.Fry.
“Football has got to realise that the whole game is going to have to change with the introduction of SCMP. Small clubs like Yeovil will struggle to provide sufficient revenues to build a squad capable of being amongst the top echelon of clubs in the division. Attendance figures, and football related revenues, will now take centre stage and as Glovers Chairman,I need to stress the huge implications of SCMP for smaller clubs like Yeovil and the drop in the size of the player budget, if as expected, gate receipts fall.
"Under the current situation at Huish Park, we need average crowds of at least 5000 plus, to generate sufficient income to compete in League One. With crowds averaging around 4000 per game at League One level, the emphasis has to go onto off the field activity like corporate hospitality and sponsorship to boost turnover.
"Our supporters and sponsors need to be aware of these fundamental changes. This is one of the main reasons why it is so important for the future of YTFC to increase the club’s secondary revenue streams through the development of the Huish Park Stadium and site for our supporters.
“When FIFA, the world football ruling body, imposed Financial Fair Play and the Football League implemented Salary Cap Management Protocol (SCMP) on League One & Two Football Clubs, it is quite clear they didn’t consider the implications for a club like Yeovil Town.
“SCMP dictates that club’s can only spend 55% of their football related turnover on their player budgets. Sadly, no account was taken of existing figures and potential revenue, so for clubs the size of Yeovil it has huge implications.
“For many years unrealistic players wages have been a major factor in sending football clubs into administration, which has prompted the intervention by the Football Authorities and the British Government.
"At the start of this season the YTFC board allowed Gary Johnson to roll the dice for a top six finish in League One. With inadequate parachute payments from the Football League following our relegation last season and with a loss of £5 million in our operating revenues, it was always going to be an awesome task just to compete in League One this season.
"With a big overspend on the player budget, the revenues from the Manchester United FA Cup match had to be used to make up the combined budget overspend and the loss of revenues through a lower than forecasted match attendance.
"This strategy has clearly failed as we have since found to our cost, past performance is is no guarantee of future results and we find ourselves at the bottom of League One.
"These are difficult times for everyone at our club, for which we need to find the right solutions that threaten our survival in League One and our future in the Football League. The proposed changes to the Short Term Loan rules, will only add to our problems.
"The doom and gloom approach will not help our cause. We need to formulate a new football strategy and build a team around affordable ‘home grown’ young quality players. We need to start planning immediately for these changes, however, we are not in the best position to be facing these sort of changes right now.
“Some supporters have turned on the board during our recent poor run of form, but, what they don’t realise that ours is a working board made up of long standing Green and White supporters. Members of our board have provided their executive expertise to the club free of charge, saving the club thousands of pounds.
"My directors have taken no dividends or fees from the surplus funds that was made through the efficient management of the Club resources during our Championship season, instead, the directors approved the injection of £1.4 million of funds into our 2014/2015 football budget, giving our Football Manager, Gary Johnson, the Club’s biggest League One player budget in our recent history.
"This increase provided Gary with the 14th biggest player budget in League One, which, if it had been used effectively, would have at least kept the Glovers in League One for next season.
"It cannot be a coincidence that other West country clubs have already started to feel the effects of SCMP such as Cheltenham, Torquay, Hereford and Bristol Rovers. If supporters want to continue to see top class football at Yeovil and other football clubs in the West Country they are going to have to understand what the directors are facing with that of the increase in player costs in this part of the country and the effects of SCMP on squad budgets.
"We all need to embrace these changes and be realistic in our expectations. We are between a rock and hard place. We need supporters to understand these stark realities.
“Football has brought this town success and national coverage. Before it’s too late it is time for a reality check and for the whole town to get behind the club so football can continue to provide the passion our national game generates on a local level.”