Yeovil Town Football Club is once again going up for sale.
The historic West Country Club, Yeovil Town, is again up for sale as current owner Martin Hellier prepares to offload the club he only purchased at the start of the season.
Hellier appears to have found the football industry not to his taste, whilst affecting his mental health, although many club supporters feel he has brought it upon himself.
However, after spending over a million pounds in his first season and placing the club at the top of the National League South, the burden of running a football business appears to be taking its toll, Hellier telling a group of supporters after the loss at Maidstone, he was talking to interested parties, and after seeing the season out, he’s hopefully away.
Furthermore, he confirmed in a text message to his latest victim of abuse he was hoping to sell, attempting to lay the blame elsewhere.
But the question many fans are asking is why, what and how?
It appears Hellier took on more than he bargained for, especially financially, with his latest set of accounts at Companies House revealing all his businesses combined saw a whopping drop in turnover of 50%, from 14 million to 7 million, generating a far lower profit of approx £600,000.
On top of that, Hellier hasn’t endured himself very well to the fan base, with many supporters being banned from Huish Park for sharing an opinion. Whilst parading around the pitch and club, telling anyone prepared to listen it’s ‘his’ club.
Some fans feel he got all carried away and power-hungry, and his ego was too big to be a football club owner. Which, on the face of the surface, looks correct. At present, he finds himself under allegations of threatening to kill whilst worse for wear for alcohol abuse, whilst having had more fan confrontations than any other Chairman in the club’s history.
Away from Hellier, who clearly doesn’t have the funding to take the club forward as his turnover crashes, resulting from the sex chat business he operates, changing drastically in technology as the ‘middlemen’ are no longer required, the question really is what next for Yeovil Town?
Whilst it’s a small club at the top of the National League South, a league mainly dominated by part-time clubs, whilst Yeovil Town remains full-time in an attempt to gain promotion, the club is saddled in historic debt.
It’s sold its land and ground to the council and has to pay a rent of approximately £50,000 per quarter; the £2.8 million received was used by the previous owner to pay off his loans, debts, and personal gains.
To buy back the land and stadium, it’s a business that must make a 2.8 million pound profit in the next couple of years, or the council will continue to own it all for good. Then there’s a loan, secured on the club, to the tune of 1.6 million to the Sports Council that will need repaying at some stage, and now Hellier’s investment into the club is likely to be in the Company as loans.
From a business perspective, it’s not viable; why would one wish to pay thousands of pounds to take on millions of debt? – it’s an equation even the layman can understand.
The truth is Yeovil Town Football Club missed the golden opportunity, something the fans had no control over.
Hellier paid way over the odds in his desire to own the club that he now wishes to offload, as his own businesses are vastly affected financially; former owner Scott Preistnall took the highest offer for personal gain, whilst Hellier’s offer blocked the deal offered by Damien Singh of Canva, estimated to be worth 100 million, but that now is a deal dead in the water, with Singh and others plying their investment into Cardiff City Ladies.
Whilst the top of the National Leauge South may be a winning feeling for fans right now, unless there’s either a Yeovil fan out there with lots of disposable cash or a lottery winner who doesn’t want his winnings in the bank, the future doesn’t look bright at all for the non-league club, despite being top of the table.
Is it time for the club’s fans to form a professional trust like Exeter City to take the reigns, as no owner in recent history has appeared to do a decent job.?