Insight 63 Limited Football Consultant Mark Palmer spoke to BBC Somerset breakfast show presenter Claire Carter on Tuesday 17th October 2017, to discuss his engagement with Yeovil Town Football Club.
Photo © 2019
CC: Your website says that you help improve revenue streams, and restructuring debt amongst other things. So what's your goal with Yeovil?
MP: Well I've been invited by the ownership at Yeovil Town Football Club to really just assess the structure and the way that the business is going. That's both on and off the field, by the way. What I do is I look at all of the elements from the football side, right the way through to the commercial aspects and as you said earlier the revenue streams, and also where the club should fit naturally in the football club pyramid. So it's really a multitude of things that I'll be doing. I look very much at the football side first off, because that is the heartbeat and tick of the club. You need to get a handle on the health of the club, and a quick healthcheck, in terms of how that first team is actually doing and performing.
CC: Interesting that you talk about this football pyramid. Realistically, on initial assessments, how high up do you think Yeovil can get in this pyramid?
MP: Well that's a good question. As we all know, the club has been in the Championship in its recent history. Whether that's its natural level, we'll have to have a look at it as an assessment. But if you do that, then you need to plan, structure and put a proper vision plan in and structure it, and taking it right the way through. It might be League One as a natural level. But I really need to get in there and have a proper look, and give my findings back to the ownership, and I'm sure we'll take the course of actions that are necessary.
CC: It's interesting that over the first part of this season for Yeovil that we've been hearing fans saying that we need more money in the club, because we are not getting the results, so therefore fans aren't turning up for games. So therefore the club can turn around and say that if you don't turn up, we can't get the money to buy better players and improve what's on the pitch. It's a bit of a Catch 22 situation.
MP: It is a Catch 22. Because the club has had its fairly recent success, and where the club has come from, not too long ago in the non-league, and has then gone up a couple of leagues to the Championship, expectation levels are naturally raised. As a football supporter you would feel that once the club has done it, you want to achieve again. But being realistic, we have to look at where the club is now, and then how to get it going back through and forward, and hopefully at least back up another league or so. But the danger is that of over-expanding and just making sure that the club isn't over-egging what its expectations are. That's what I'm here for.
CC: I guess it's about making Yeovil more attractive to future investors?
MP: Possibly. I think that every club needs investment, whether it's Premier League or League Two or Conference. The investment comes to the Premier League through the TV revenue and the lucrative deals that it gets through its sponsorship. But clubs like Yeovil and further down the football pyramid, do have to make themselves viable sometimes for investment and/or businesses to invest in true sponsorship or commercial revenues. I'll be looking at all of those aspects over the coming weeks, and then send back my report to the ownership accordingly.
CC: This is interesting. Have you set a time limit on this?
MP: Not really, but I do think that the sooner we get it done, the better. I'm aware that the club needs to be competitive within the transfer market going forward, and it needs to be competitive in terms of what it's putting out in the brand there. Also, I'm fully aware, as you mentioned earlier, about attracting people back to Huish Park. That's also the facilities and the matchday experience. So all those things will be looked at, obviously within the forthcoming weeks.
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