On Wednesday the 15th of May, at the first Supporters Alliance meeting since the relegation of Yeovil Town FC to the National League, Alliance Chairman Rich Rendell issued a heartfelt statement that was fully endorsed by the Member Groups that were present (Bridport Glovers, Disabled Supporters Association, Glovers Trust, Green & White Supporters Club, and subsequently, the Junior Glovers). The statement was intended to reach the Board to consider a response within a few days of being issued, however this was not possible until Thursday 6th of June, when Rich Rendell was able to deliver the statement in person at a Club Board Meeting. An extended deadline was agreed of 10th of June for a statement that could be shared in response, however with time passing and the response not having been issued, the Alliance Member Groups have agreed to share the content in full as it was presented at the meeting.
The Alliance Member Groups would like to stress that the statement is aimed at the Executive Board of Yeovil Town Football Club as of 15th of May 2019 and in no way, shape or form at prospective purchasers of the Club with whom we are informed discussions remain ongoing. The Alliance Group is made up of dedicated, proactive and good-willed supporters who have donated a great deal of time and effort to provide services to, and support improvements to Yeovil Town Football Club. The Group is fully committed to continuing to do so with the new Board as and when a sale is agreed and the purchase is completed.
The Alliance Group hope that when the first possible opportunity arises, measures are taken by the prospective new owners to share their vision with supporters via this forum. The group has had small measures of success, but could achieve so much more with backing and enthusiasm at Executive level. The Club motto is Achieve by Unity Ė Letís start living and breathing it!
The statement issued by Rich Rendell, YTFC Alliance Group Chairman on Wednesday 15th of May 2019 reads as follows:
"Sad news this week that Alan Skirton has passed away. Alan was a fantastic Club servant and will always be remembered within the Club. Condolences to Alan's family."
"Well, football news. We are now in the National League after 16 unbelievable seasons in the League. As Chairman of the Alliance I would like to say to the Board of YTFC 'We Told You So' but again you refused to listen to the Supporters. I would like to say a few words on the 2018-19 season. No misinterpretation etc."
"How could you sum up the season? Really it started off so good culminating with the win at Newport, downhill from then. Everyone on the Board of Directors, Owner, Chair, all Board Members and Manager have totally let the Supporters down and have to take all the blame."
"You as a Board refused to listen to what we were saying about relegation and the loss of 1500/2000 supporters. Because you knew better and after a string of defeats and an embarrassing defeat against a team two leagues below us (now the same league as us), you decided in your wisdom to extend the contract of the manager. The reason you gave was, 'STABILITY' - what a joke that turned out to be; eight players left the club. We were then in free fall, fans were staying away in the hundreds, even season ticket holders weren't turning up, still you weren't worried about them as you had their money. Away travel was drastically hit. Certain away fixtures we could normally take three or four coaches, we were struggling to get one. Paul Hadlow, (Green & Whites) was doing a fantastic job getting fans to travel and sorting out the money; money that would be going back into the club. At least four away games we had less than 30 on the coach. But still you wouldn't listen to our concerns."
"Then in February we had new hope. The scene was set for our club to be taken over by an American business man, a person who actually thought of the fans and had great sympathy with the crap we have had to put up with on our 'Match Day Experience' or lack of it. After myself and Stuart Burrell (Glovers Trust) had a meeting with Rob Couhig and Mark Palmer it gave us hope for the future no matter which league we were in. A few more fans started to return to Huish Park and we picked up a bit. We actually won a couple of games, could we stay up? Well no because we started losing again against teams around us. There was little fight or passion in the team they were playing without confidence and to most fans without any plan whatsoever."
"Then with six games to go you decided to sack the Manager and give Neale Marmon the impossible task of keeping us in the EFL. Another 1000/1500 started to return to Huish Park. The penultimate game of the season was at Northampton; could we do it? At half time we were two up but disappointment in the second half saw us concede two goals. Other results went against us and we were relegated. Over the many years of supporting Yeovil, I've witnessed many fans in tears after unbelievable victories against teams such as Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, and who could ever forget the victory against Brentford in the play-off final, but never in defeat or relegation. Many little uns and adults were in tears at the final whistle. Alex Fisher, Bevis Mugabi and Nathan Baxter came over and were actually saying sorry to the fans for getting relegated and how they had let the fans down. They were all in tears and visibly shocked. Even Sam Foley came over and was upset for the fans and said sorry."
"Yet on the return journey home there was still hope that the new owners would get us back into the EFL. The last game of the season saw 3,400 fans turn up to cheer on the Town; unbelievable support seeing that we were already relegated. That's 2000 more fans who actually watched the game against Port Vale."
"We all left Huish Park disappointed, yet looking forward to the 2019-20 season with a New Owner and Manager in place, a new owner who cared for the supporters, who wanted to bring the missing fans back to watch our Club. We heard that plans were being drawn up to redevelop the top of the main stand, knock down the Board Room and make it into a Supporters Bar where the fans could actually spend money and help the club and even wear the replica shirts they had purchased from the Club. This was something that the fans have been on about for years but have been given so many promises and pathetic excuses over the years why we can't. The Reality is you never have and never will want us to have those facilities."
"If You the Board had not wasted the money on failed planning permission and put it into the playing staff then we would have had at least another year in the Championship and definitely still be in the EFL and not in the National League like we are now."
"You as a Board don't deserve the fantastic Supporters who support OUR CLUB. I say 'Our Club' because, Owners, Chairman, Board Members, Managers, Players come and go yet Supporters stay although some decide to stay away because of managers/ owners. That is definitely the case with our club and I don't blame them."
"Over the Years we have supported the Owner, Chairman of our club they did a fantastic job of not only getting us into the league but even the Championship but it's time for a change, We can't wait for a new owner, new board members and manager to take our club forward and not backwards as we have been in the last four years. We need Board members that appreciate the fans."
"The fans will return when this happens. Just going back to the Northampton game when Alex, Nathan, Bevis and Sam coming over and apologize to the fans for our relegation. When are the Board going to apologise and take the FULL BLAME for getting US relegated and I don't mean through a club memo. I won't hold my breath."
The Yeovil Town FC Supporters Alliance Group (Bridport Glovers, Disabled Supporters Association, Glovers Trust, Green & White Supporters Club, Junior Glovers)
[Statement via the Supporters Alliance Group, and endorsed by the above groups.]
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