Over the past 12 months, both Scott Priestnall and I have been actively engaged with opportunities to develop Yeovil Town F.C. In March, a month after joining the club’s board we hit with these new unprecedented times, and due to COVID-19, our commercial funding avenues and business alignments were shaken to the core.
During the last nine months, since being forced to close the gates to Huish Park, we have gratefully welcomed the financial support offered to all clubs throughout the National League as well as the fantastic sums raised by our loyal fans through the crowdfunding activities, streaming services, sponsorship opportunities and initiatives such as ‘Face in the Crowd’. Unfortunately, the allotted amount provided to us and the fundraising efforts do not cover the financial requirements to enable our club to operate sustainably as per our forecasts for the 2020/21 season.
With this, we are currently exploring several options, one of which is the potential discussion with SSDC to establish a long-term plan to financially sustain the future of Yeovil Town Football Club for generations under Scott’s leadership. We also have other options that are being discussed, reviewed, and evaluated to ensure that whatever the final outcome, it is with the best interests of the club and its supporters, ensuring football continues to be played by YTFC at Huish Park.
The SSDC opportunity, would come with a 12 month ‘Rent Break’, along with a ‘Buy Back’ option that can be activated by the club and allows us a 30-year lease ensuring that we have the appropriate time in place for recovery from the hardship that has been caused this year.
Please be assured, no decisions have been made to how this process shall move forward, and we welcome interaction with supporters via the associated groups and the Supporters Trust to ensure that there is complete transparency from within.
This is an opportunity to reinvest into the club and push forward. The ‘Buy Back’ option will enable the ownership of the club to regain control of the Stadium when the position to do so is available.
This club is the lifeblood of the community, for me, the YTFC Board are caretakers of the club for you, the fans, and I fully understand and appreciate that this is a concerning time. I for one have not only become someone with a vested interest in the club’s day to day business, but also personally as a fan, a parent whose children love the club, and as someone who actively cares and supports interaction with the community as a whole.
More details will be forthcoming from Scott over the coming days, but please be assured that this is far from completed and we aim to be as transparent with you as possible through the process, and everything being discussed is done so with the club’s longevity and best interests only.