We hope everybody is safe and well and we trust you have all enjoyed the promising start of the season. Two wins from three is a solid start and we congratulate Darren and the team on the renewed optimism this has bought. We also express our delight at being back at Huish Park, and what a great atmosphere it was on Saturday, despite the worryingly low attendance.

Whilst we have enjoyed the on-field action, sadly, we remain desperately concerned with the off-field situation at Huish Park. We feel that the time is right to update the supporters on the situation, and to offer a summary of what the Glovers Trust board have been doing over the past few months, including some detail into the current state of affairs surrounding Yeovil Town FC.

As you may be aware, at the beginning of 2021, the Glovers Trust board made the decision to invoke the ACV on the Huish Park site, and in doing so, halt any pending deal by Mr Priestnall to sell the stadium and/or land to South Somerset District Council. We would like to emphasise that this decision was not taken lightly and was made over the course of several intense meetings. However, we felt we had little alternative, and were justified in this choice by the retrospective backing of our members following a vote. A vote that instructed the board to seek alternative buyers to the Huish Park site, as well as exploring options for potential new ownership of Yeovil Town Football Club.

Leaving no stone unturned, the Glovers Trust board began the lengthy process of contacting potential buyers, to discuss appetite, suitability, and ultimately a buyer/buyers that would have only the clubs best interests at heart. In doing so, we held many meetings, both face to face, and via Zoom with a number of potential investors. This included one of the most high-profile names in English football, alongside wealthy businessmen, and fellow Yeovil Town Supporters who had the passion and financial backing to support a bid for both club and site.

We are now able to confirm, that a consortium who have held, and continue to hold regular meetings with the Glovers Trust board, is now in the latter part of negotiations to take over the football club. Due to Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), we are not able to offer any detail on exactly what this entails, however we would like to assure supporters, that our preference is that the whole Huish Park site and football club is sold together.

We are also aware of a second bid to purchase the football club, and we believe this bid is also at an advanced stage. We held conversations with the head of this second consortium early in 2021 and have reconnected this week after not hearing anything for some time. We have requested a meeting with this group so that we can gather a greater understanding of the detail. We await their response.

Regarding the current ownership, our position remains that of concern. Our belief is that Mr Priestnall is willing to sell the football club, and we hope that the entire site is available as part of any pending deal for an appropriate value. We also express our concern regarding the mounting debt being acquired by the club and we continue to seek assurances that this debt remains manageable and does not leave our club in danger.

We have also been made aware of potential protest plans by an ever-increasing number of supporters. We absolutely understand and share the frustration of fans, and we call upon the current ownership to communicate and offer some clarity on the situation. Nobody wants this to escalate to that stage, especially after such a promising start on the pitch.

The Glovers Trust has one interest, and one interest only, and that is the long-term security and wellbeing of our football club. Our position on the current situation is clear. We will support and back any party who is willing to engage transparently with supporters about their intentions, finances, provides a credible long-term plan for the football club and offers fans an opportunity to purchase a stake in their club as per our aims and objectives. We believe there is a credible group who share our goal of making Yeovil Town FC the pride of our community, with a modern and revolutionary view to how football clubs should operate.

The Glovers Trust Board nomination process for 2021 is now open. It has been a tremendously busy year for the current board of 10, who have been working tirelessly and under high pressure to help instigate change at our beloved football club. There is now an opportunity for you to help continue with our hard work and be a part of genuine change at Huish Park.

Under our constitution we have an allocation for up to ten Board members each sitting for a period of two years before seeking re-election should they wish to do so. Two of the current board have decided to step down, with three randomly selected for re-election. This means that there are potentially five spaces on the board should you wish to nominate yourself. As we return to normal times and a regular match day experience, we are seeking to increase our activities and have already made steps to improve our membership offering.

Of course, a Supporters Trust should not just rely upon the Board members to organise and run every event, activity and initiative and for many Trusts at many clubs up and down the country the volunteer is the life blood of the organisation. We thank those that have kindly volunteered and we’d gratefully receive volunteers going forward.

If you are interested and would like to step forward, then simply complete the Trust Board Nomination Form and return it by Monday 20th September, preferably by email to secretary@glovers-trust.co.uk. In previous years we have required candidates to be nominated by two other adult Trust members, however we are forgoing this requirement in 2021. Please provide a complete a statement outlining as to why you wish to get involved with the Board. Eligible forms will be included in our Election manifesto to be sent to all current Trust members, who will then vote for their preferred candidates. Results will be announced on Monday 25th October 2021.

Full details of the process can be found in polices 7, 8 and 9 here and should be fully read and understood ahead of nominating but a summary the timeline of events are as follows:

  • Monday 30th August – The nomination form is published online here. Trust members wishing to stand for election must submit a form which must include a manifesto of no more than 450 words.
  • Monday 20th September – Deadline for completed nominations. All nomination forms must be received by the Trust Secretary, either by email (secretary@glovers-trust.co.uk) or post (FAO Trust Secretary, Glovers Trust, 11 Home Drive, Yeovil, BA21 3AP) by the end of the day and will not be accepted after this date.
  • Monday 27th September– Members will receive voting packs containing manifestos of those standing for nomination.
  • Monday 18th October – Deadline for completed votes to be received by the Trust Secretary. Votes will not be accepted after this date.
  • Monday 25th October – Election results are announced.

We have received the below response to our letter from South Somerset District Council.  

Dear Mr. Owen,

We have now had an opportunity to study your letter in detail, and it would seem that your points come under three subject areas, which I now address.

  1. It is not the council’s intention nor desire to play any part in the running of the football club, which is a matter for the shareholders. Our interest is to help with the club’s survival while protecting our ratepayers from loss or excessive risk. This extends to exactly how the club uses any capital receipts, its car parking plans (subject to acceptable planning policies) and the rental it agrees.
  2. We understand that short term financial survival as a cultural asset is critical, and more important (at least at present and for the immediate future) than longer term issues or schemes which can be considered once survival is assured. Any planning proposal will need to be considered through the statutory process at that time and the council can not pre-judge what the detailed proposal may be, nor how it will be determined, until it is submitted. Please also note that the proposal the council has made to the owners allows and encourages them to buy back the freehold from SSDC when funds allow.
  3. On matters where you have expressed concern whether we have taken everything into account when making the proposal, we have confidence in our property team and other officers, and believe that the right due diligence has been exercised in constructing the proposal, which has been interrogated and scrutinised prior to proceeding with any formal decision to acquire.

We understand that the 6 month moratorium period is almost at an end and under the regulations there can be no extension. The owner is then of course free to sell to whomever they choose and at whatever price they agree.

We do not believe there is a case for us to review the offer that the council has made, and it remains available if the owners wish to take it up. Ultimately, the final decision is with the owners. We believe that the council has taken the best approach possible in everyone’s interests.

I hope this answers your queries,

Best regards,
John Clark
Yeovil-Summerlands
Portfolio Holder for Economic Development including Commercial Strategy

As an interested party in the two Assets of Community Value (ACV) on Huish Park and the surrounding land, the Glovers Trust Board exercised its right, by majority vote to delay the sale of Huish Park to South Somerset District Council (SSDC).

The Glovers Trust Board recognised that the proposed sale of Huish Park and the surrounding land to SSDC was a pivotal moment in the history of Yeovil Town Football Club (YTFC).  The activation of the ACV’s has allowed the Board time and space to fully investigate the proposal from SSDC and to give consideration to the partnering with other interested parties, with a view to making a bid to purchase.

Members of the Glovers Trust overwhelmingly supported our actions following the release of our findings on the 1st March 2021.

As early as December 2020 potential investors and consortia reached out to the Glovers Trust Board to declare an interest in the club and the land based on significant supporter involvement. This supporter involvement was at the heart of every proposal the Glovers Trust Board entertained.

Over the six-month period several groups have made contact with the Glovers Trust Board and we are aware parties have reached out to intermediaries at the club.

The statutory period of six months moratorium expires on 26th May 2021. We believe that the intervening period has been invaluable and hopefully pivotal to the future of YTFC. Without the delay, the proposed deal between owners of Huish Park and SSDC would have been rushed through by January 2021, long before any reasonable scrutiny could have been conducted. The delay has also given others the chance to reflect on the scheme and for the cultivation of a belief that a better route can be found to secure the long-term security of our club.

The provisional plans shared with us by the SSDC may bring a limited short term financial boost, however there is no legal framework to guarantee that YTFC benefits from the scheme over the longer term. We believe that under this proposal the future of YTFC is in jeopardy.

We also note the public war of words between SSDC and Marcus Fysh MP regarding the decisions that have been made regarding the Yeovil Refresh scheme and scrutiny on decision-making and finances involved with it. Surely we do not need our football club to get caught up in similar political criticism.

We acknowledge that from Wednesday 26th, the owners are free to continue with the proposal from SSDC or to affect a sale to whomsoever they choose. The Glovers Trust Board’s stance remains unaltered with regard to the SSDC proposal in that we retain major concerns. This proposal was championed as ‘the only option’ but this has been proved to have been only one of the options available. The Glovers Trust Board hold serious reservations as to whether the monetary figures involved add up. Will a tenant YTFC ever be in a financial position to own Huish Park again? 

We will continue to object to the SSDC proposal as strongly as possible and in pursuit of this aim we have sent letters to the lead Councillor, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Executive Officer elect.  A copy of this letter is attached to this statement.

We will strive to work with those who seek a strong and vibrant future for YTFC based on community values and involvement.

If you’d like to become a member of the Glovers Trust and have your voice as a Yeovil Town fan heard as part of a democratic process, head to Glovers-Trust.co.uk.


Dear Glovers Trust members,

We were surprised and disappointed to read many aspects of the statement from Scott Priestnall on Wednesday. As 11 lifelong supporters of YTFC, our sole intention is to ensure the right decisions are being made in the long-term interests of the football club and its fans. We have no desire to enter a public feud with the club ownership, however we must express our sadness and hurt at suggestions that we have an agenda to breed negativity and create a divide between the club and its supporters.

As a Trust, we have previously, and will continue to hold those in power at Yeovil Town Football Club to account and probe the decisions they make. Decisions such as this have significant consequences for current and future generations of Glovers supporters. We make no apology for that.

After significant discussion, we are now able to share our findings regarding the sale of Huish Park to South Somerset District Council (SSDC), and clarify our plan moving forward, including our intention to provide our members with a vote on what should happen next.

After activating the Asset of Community Value held on the Huish Park site, we have spent the last few weeks compiling information. In this document, you will be able to read our findings and the question we will put to our members regarding the next step the Glovers Trust takes.

We urge all members to review this document before deciding how to vote. If you have questions, we will be happy to answer these. Please email communications@glovers-trust.co.uk.

Thank for your time, and we look forward to your vote.

Members should note they will have received an email with instructions on how to vote. Voting closes on 15th March.

The Glovers Trust Board

 

At a meeting on New Year’s Day, the Board of the Glovers Trust have decided to activate the Asset of Community Value (ACV) that the Trust holds on the Huish Park site.

The Board recognises that the proposed sale of Huish Park and the surrounding land to South Somerset District Council (SSDC) is a pivotal moment in the history of Yeovil Town Football Club. With the ACV, the Board has the ability to enable a pause on the deal with SSDC, and consider putting together its own bid.

As it stands, the board doesn’t feel there is enough information available to make an informed decision. It has triggered the moratorium period to gather more information and further consult with the membership. Following this, a vote will be put to members to decide on whether to remove the ACV, allowing a sale to proceed, or for it to remain in place.   

Please read the Q&A here which should answer any questions you may have. If you have any further questions which aren’t on the Q&A please contact communications@glovers-trust.co.uk.

If you’d like to become a member of the Glovers Trust and have your voice as a Yeovil Town fan heard as part of a democratic process, head to Glovers-Trust.co.uk.

Dear valued Member,

The Glovers Trust board have been vigorously debating the next steps that we as a Trust take.

With that in mind, we have made the decision by a majority of eight to four, with no abstentions, not to put the final decision on the Asset of Community Value (ACV) to a members’ vote.

This is for the following reasons:

  • Since the South Somerset District Council (SSDC) meeting of 3rd December 2020 when they unanimously agreed to the proposal to purchase Huish Park and surrounding land the clock has been ticking down fast to the deadline for activating the ACV on 7th January 2021. The current (and previous) board have spent many hours in meetings  with Scott Priestnall, SSDC and an insolvency lawyer, sourcing and collating as much information as we possibly could in the limited time that was available. We have concluded that this is a complex situation with several possible outcomes, none of which are easily understood and none of which are straight forward black or white.
  • We have sought answers to many questions, some have been answered fully, others not. There is much in the proposal that remains confidential and would not be known until as and when contracts of sale were signed and exchanged and the matter became registered with the Land Registry and in turn became public knowledge. We have striven to learn as much as possible with a desire to advise you on each and every scenario but due to the very limited amount of time left to explain this complex issue to you and to give everyone the time and space to digest the information and form a balanced view before returning a vote, we do not think this can be done.
  • We are aware that this is an emotive issue. What could be more important to fans than the future of their Club. While Yeovil Town FC struggle on the pitch, there is an increasing strain on the relationship between fans, the manager and the ownership. The Board would be dismayed if, rather than making an informed decision regarding the implementation of the ACV, some members saw this as a way of protesting against the current on-pitch situation, thereby potentially taking the Club in a direction that may not necessarily be in its best interests.
  • Our active adult membership as of 28/12/2020 is 220. Although membership has increased by 19 since the board election, the turnout for those elections was 78. We value our members opinions greatly, which is why during the election we asked members to contact us directly with their concerns, questions and views on this subject. We must report that few did.  Were a vote from members be deemed to be the deciding factor in activating or not activating the ACV and it transpired that only a small percentage of our member base actually voted and should this vote be split almost evenly, the Board would be bound to apply the result of possibly a handful of people who may or may not have had any detailed knowledge of the issues. We do not feel this would be accurate of the overall feeling or fair on the fan base of Yeovil Town FC.
  • We believe that the members in the recent election chose their elected representatives from the candidates on the basis that they believed that those selected would fairly represent the views of the Trust members as a whole.  We ask you to accept that the twelve Board members, with as much knowledge as we have been able to assemble, should be the ones to decide to activate or not activate the ACV.

We appreciate that some members will be aggrieved by our decision. We are an independent, democratic organisation who have been elected by our members to uphold the Trust constitution to work faithfully on behalf of all members and by making this decision we believe we are doing just that. We would stress however that this decision does not set a precedent for the future and issues that may merit a member’s vote will be evaluated as they arise.

The Trust Board will meet shortly to discuss the action to be taken with regard to the ACV and whatever the outcome we shall communicate our reasons to you.

Thank you for your consideration.

Brendon Owen
Interim Chair, Glovers Trust Board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The board of the Glovers Trust has requested a meeting with Yeovil Town FC owner Scott Priestnall to take place on Wednesday 23rd December after feedback from members and the fan base.

During the Election voting process members were asked for their views on the proposed sale of Huish Park to South Somerset District Council. 78 respondents gave the following responses:

  • 2.6% strongly support
  • 15.4% felt positive
  • 30.8% needed more information
  • 37.2% had concerns
  • 14.1% strongly opposed

As a result of our valued members responses and other polls conducted on social media, the board have set out several questions regarding the sale.

Read the letter here.

The Glovers Trust has donated £150 to the Christians Against Poverty / St John’s Church fundraiser as organised by Mark Kelly of the Green Army Facebook page.

The donation will assist in the less fortunate having the worry of how they will finance food at Christmas for their children and it will supply them with fresh, healthy produce.

Yeovil Town fans have raised over £500 for the cause via the Green Army.

Brendon Owen, Interim Chairman of the Glovers Trust said: “It’s so important to support people in our community who are in need, especially at this time of year. I’m grateful to Mark for bringing this cause to our attention and the board were unanimous in their support making a donation.”


If you’d like to become a member of the Glovers Trust and have your voice as a Yeovil Town fan heard as part of a democratic process, head to Glovers-Trust.co.uk.


The Glovers Trust are pleased to announce the results of the 2020 election process.

The 12 board members for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • Brendon Owen
  • Adam Skinner
  • Ian Perkins
  • Ross McKendrick
  • John Oakes
  • Mike Vallis
  • Terri Burt
  • Barrie David
  • Vernon Edmunds
  • Roger Pipe
  • Mark Spalding
  • Steve Seaby

The new board will meet with the outgoing members of the previous board in the coming days to help inform what steps the Trust have taken so far with regards to the sale of Huish Park to SSDC.

We’d like to thank our members who applied and those who voted.

If you’d like to become a member of the Glovers Trust and have your voice as a Yeovil Town fan heard as part of a democratic process, head to Glovers-Trust.co.uk.