Yeovil Town supporter Brendon Owen, who is one of the leading fans behind the Yeovil Voice working party, who are seeking to form a Supporters Trust for Yeovil Town fans, spoke to BBC Somerset presenter Matt Faulkner on Tuesday 16th February 2016, after Chairman John Fry had indicated that he would be willing to consider serious offers of investment in the football club.
MF: So what is your reaction to this news that John Fry said?
BO: Well, I can only speak for myself as obviously the Trust hasn't formed yet. So we don't have a mandate to speak on behalf of the supporters. But if you're asking me on a personal basis, then I'm cautiously welcoming this. I see it as perhaps the ice beginning to break on the frozen river. Yeovil Town might be able to move forward from this.
MF: So can you clarify that point, because for people who perhaps don't know the workings of the club, it sounds as though some people are unhappy with John Fry and what he's done. What's your angle on that?
BO: I think that from my research on this that many people are unhappy with the way that the club has been run in the last many years, to be honest. There's been a certain stagnation - not so much on the field, as football teams come and go, and promotions and relegations come and go. But the off-the-field things really - there's been no progress at all since we got into the Football League. It's been very disappointing.
If you take what some would say as a minor point, such as catering, we've just been rated as '2' on the Hygiene ratings which is exactly the same as we were 18 months ago. There's been no progress at all, and on a two-star rating, you wouldn't really want to eat there.
Going back to John Fry's statement today, saying that he would welcome serious investors, as a Trust we would want to be up there at the front of this. We wouldn't want just someone coming in and buying the club in the way that you suggested (before the interview started) with Manchester City. We don't want that. We want our club to be a community club once again, for the people, and run by the people. So as a Supporters Trust, we would want to be right up there in a partnership with whoever would want to consider buying the club. That's the most important thing for us.
MF: So you would actually consider how you are going to work with someone who was looking to buy the club, and see whether the club could help in that area. What sort of percentage would you like to get involved, and at what level?
BO: Well, you could say on one level that we'd like 100 percent control, so that the supporters ran the football club, as they do at Exeter City, where they run it extremely successfully. But in all honesty, we haven't got that sort of money at the present time, because obviously we haven't actually got our Trust up and running and we haven't got the funds coming in yet. But if we had, for example, three serious investors together, they perhaps could include us as a fourth partner. So there we would perhaps have a quarter share of the club. And in doing so, the supporters would then have a very strong voice in how Yeovil Town ran in the future.
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