Yeovil Town Commercial Manager Dave Linney spoke to BBC Somerset presenter Emma Britton on Tuesday 22nd April 2014 - the day after the 1-2 home defeat against Hudderfield Town that effectively consigned them to League One football for the 2014-15 season.
EB: What's your thoughts on yesterday's game, and where it leaves the club?
DL: Well yesterday's game was really disappointing of course. We started really brightly, but the game fizzled out somewhat. We obviously knew that we needed the result and needed the win. So Gary (Johnson) pushed players forward, and we got done by the sucker punch right at the very end, in 97 minutes, so that was disappointing.
EB: Gary was talking afterwards pretty realistically, in that even though you're not officially relegated, we're pretty much there. But he talked about the need for the club to be bigger, to have a bigger stadium, to have a bigger budget and players - how crucial do you think that is as a Commercial Director for a return to the Championship?
DL: Well it is crucial. We need to build upon where we've been this season. We've had a great taste of it, and we love the taste that we've had in the Championship, and we need to build the infrastructure - the stadium needs upgrading and we're hoping to get planning (for the Food Store) and that would be crucial in our quest to become that big a club.
EB: Can we fill a bigger stadium? Steve (a Yeovil fan) has been in touch this morning and he's said "Gary Johnson says we need a bigger ground, but we can't even fill it in the Championship. We'd end up building a 20,000 seater stadium that would be three-quarters empty." He says "improve the facilities here at the current stadium and don't build a new one" - what do you reckon?
DL: Well we need to improve the facilities that we've got, but if we've got ambition then we need ambition. We need the bigger stadium and we need to get out and about. We've got a 40 mile distance to the nearest Football Club that is competing in the Football League and we need to make sure that people who are 20, 25 or 30 miles away from Yeovil will come and support the Glovers rather than going to Bristol, Exeter or Bournemouth.
EB: You tried to do that at the beginning of the season, didn't you, on the back of the Championship success?
DL: Yes we did, and it did work. Our gates have been boosted by the away support this season and we'll obviously miss that in League One, but we need to make sure that the up-and-coming supporters of this world - the 5, 6 or 7 year olds - will come over to Huish Park, and that they'll come and watch the first team. Hopefully they'll come and stay and stick with us.
EB: Is that ambition based on realism or is that idealistic?
DL: A bit of both really. We've got a good community set-up here, and our community is getting out and about the different areas. I think we had a group of kids from Timsbury, which is up on the Mendips (at the Hudderfield game). So we're trying to get out and about and get the message across for the green and whites to come and support us.
EB: Financially what does relegation mean for Yeovil Town?
DL: It's a bit of a blow, of course. There's two main areas where it hits us in our pockets. It's the download from the Football League, in the money for Championship clubs is far in excess of what League One clubs get. And of course as I've mentioned before, the supporter base will drop as the away clubs have been bringing 1,500 to 2,000 supporters here for every home game here, and that will probably drop to around 400 or 500 here, so that's a massive drop.
EB: Where would you rather be Dave? Languishing near the bottom of the Championship, or to be the big fish at the top of League One?
DL: Well, it's a good question. I would never swap this season in a million years. It's been the best season for me - I've been here for 30 years, and it's Yeovil's best season that I've ever known, in playing the teams that we've been playing and playing the calibre of the teams that we've been playing. However, there's something to be said if you're at the top of League One or at the top of any division, you get a big supporter base as well. We'll do our very very best to be in the top half of League One, and even in the top six of League One and hopefully get back to where we've been this season.
EB: So what happens now? It's only the morning after the Huddersfield game, and there's still two games to go in the season, and I know the team will try to play their hearts out for the fans and the fans will support them. But what happens now financially? Do you and the board sit down and start doing some maths ahead of the summer?
DL: Yes we've already been doing that. We've already been having meetings regarding budgets for next year based on League One and Championship status. Obviously the first is the budget that we'll be looking at now, and it will be a budget where we will be looking to try to get back up into the Championship. I don't hide the fact that we want to get back up into the Championship. We're not going down just to be a League One side - we want to be a successful League One side. I'm not saying that we will, but we'll endeavour to drive and get back into the Championship.
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