23rd January 2015

Yeovil Town Chairman has been praising the club staff for the way the club handled the recent Manchester United FA Cup tie.

Speaking as the club started the public consultation process for its revised plans for the Huish Park site the Chairman said:

“Playing host to the biggest football club in the world puts a massive strain on the resources of a club the size of Yeovil but I am delighted to say the club came through with flying colours.

“As soon as the draw was made the phones started ringing and it went on like that until the referee started the game and all our backroom staff are to be commended for all the effort and extra hours that were put in.

“Kirsty Baker and her ticket office team worked miracles with the tickets and we feel the system we used for distribution was as fair as we could get.

“James Hillier and his stadium staff had huge obstacles to overcome to get the stadium ready for a full house 9,500 plus crowd including the erection of some extra seats.

“Clive Robinson in the hospitality suites up stairs were stretched like they had never been stretched before, with nearly 130 supporters and businesses being accommodated.

“The ground staff under the supervision of  head groundsman Richard Allsworth produced a superb playing surface

“The Media team of Adrian Hopper and James Healey had over 120 press to fit into facilities that normally hold just 20 with reporters coming from all over the world to the match.

“Reporters from Holland, Germany, Sweden, Australia and the United States reported on the games with a feature on the club in The New York Times and broadcast on RSN Sports Radio Melbourne.

“Apart from BT Sport broadcasting the match in the UK pictures were beamed out to Fox Sports TV in the United States, Al Jazeria in the middle East, Vidstat in Denmark and Scandinavia and over 1 Billion people had access to the match on January 4th.

“The programme produced specially for the match proved a huge hit with praise coming from the crème de la crème of English journalists including the following comments:

Phil McNulty, Chief Football Writer for BBC Sport said:“Yeovil Town may not have got the result they dreamed about in the FA Cup third round tie with Manchester United on Sunday – but the match programme was the perfect souvenir of a wonderful occasion that did the whole club proud.

”Not so much a programme as a short novel, it was superbly informative, newsy and captured the mood perfectly with vast swathes of copy for both sets of fans to pore over and rich in photographs of past FA Cup big days for both sides.

”It’s hard to imagine any more could have been crammed into this superb publication, clearly a labour of love for all involved – and what a brilliant idea to reserve four pages at the back for autograph hunters. That could catch on. Great work.”

Daniel Taylor, Chief Football Writer for The Guardian newspaper was also impressed and said:"So often, football programmes these days can be skimmed through within a couple of minutes. Yet not this one. A great read and, as a programme collector, it was a nice surprise too to find a football ground with its own programme shop. Great work all round."

There was also praise on the Green&White twitter account (@YTFCprogramme) with Oliver Kay, Chief Football Correspondent for The Times newspaper, saying: “Really good. Best match programme I’ve read for ages. Brilliant job.”

Phil Kinsella from BBC Radio Manchester also added: “Just wading through the one off special prog from @YTFC v @ManUtd yesterday, quite a read but some lovely stuff in it,” and former Manchester United favourite and MUTV pundit, Lou Macari, simply said: “Yeovil match programme BRILLIANT.”

“So huge credit must go to the programme team of Jonathan Hopper, Adrian Hopper, Martin McConachie and Pat Custard and not forgetting our printers Wincanton Print for a superb job turned around in record time, along with league match programmes for the Colchester and Leyton Orient matches, with Christmas right in the middle to further complicate matters.

“Our club secretary Jean Cotton and Commercial manager Dave Linney  had their normal everyday workload, which is considerable, to cope with plus numerous requests for sponsorship, tickets and of course a busy board room to organise.

“Oh and I nearly forgot (only joking!) about Gary Johnson his staff and the team, who for over 63 minutes more than matched one of the biggest teams in world football and were only beaten by a wonder goal from Ander Herrera and a sublime finish from Angel Di Maria, who by the way only cost £59M!

“The staff of this great Football club not only put the club on the world stage but they put the town of Yeovil on the world map as well.

“Along with our board I would like to offer them ours sincere thanks for a job well done.

“They proved we have the ambition and expertise to handle an occasion like this, but the whole exercise also showed how necessary it is for this club to move forward and improve, something which we feel our new proposals will help it do.

“We can only hope and pray that the people of the town and SSDC will get behind our proposals as well …and quickly.”