03/01/2012 : WWOYTB : WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Appendix B : Additional Comments Made
3 January 2012 : WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Appendix B : Additional Comments Made
The following shows the list of public comments made by supporters when answering the survey. Not all supporters left comments; some preferred just to answer the multiple choice questions. The responses below and their numerical indexing are used in the main body of the survey report to add detail to the multiple-choice questions.

Response 1: There is a shocking relationship between the club and its supporters and for that reason I hope WWOYTB succeeds but I have a lack of faith that the three wise men at the top of the Yeovil Town tree will listen at all. They seem so far removed from the grass roots supporters, that they probably don't even know the mood amongst many of the fans. The whole attitude of the club seems to be to try to provide excuses why things can't be done instead of setting out to improve things. Also too many club employees indulge in amateur politics, openly bad-mouthing supporters. There needs to be a more professional attitude within the club to the way they treat supporters. Some know how to do it. The ticket office is excellent and there are other good people dotted around the club. But there are far too many bad apples in the barrel.
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Response 2: A decent supporters bar please!!!! Marketing and promoting the club needs improving especially in the media.
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Response 3: Same problems have been going on for years ... catering for an example, club don't seem bothered to listen to supporters and change when there is an obvious issue. This will continue to alienate fans. Official Glover on Twitter does a good job of keeping us informed, an obvious asset to the club, but needs better support from within the club.
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Response 4: Used to get to the ground just after 2pm to enjoy the experience and atmosphere. My daughter used to enjoy getting autographs and photos with players but this doesn't happen anymore. Now get to the ground at 14:50. Catering is very poor and very expensive.
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Response 5: Football competes with other leisure activities for my time. At present the Huish Park 'experience' does absolutely nothing to tempt me away from other activities, be they free ones, similarly priced ones or even, on occasion, more expensive ones. It takes very little effort or imagination to improve the customer experience for your business and see immediate returns for your bottom line. The club has cut budgets the extent that has damaged the experience so much that it is cutting off revenue streams. How difficult is it, on seeing queues for tea bars to set up mobile catering units? How hard to get in fresh ale from the thriving local brewery and turn a profit? I felt more positive about the club when it was relegated from the Conference. Perhaps because once you taste something good you find it difficult to settle for the mediocre again. That's human nature perhaps. It's a real shame though that the club couldn't / wouldn't sustain the level we had reached. The club needs real leadership and direction. It needs transparency in its goals. It needs goals. It is currently rudderless and sinking.
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Response 6: As a provider of entertainment for the public (including catering) why oh why do you seem to show no concern about the current trend of things?.On a couple of occasions I have had reason to be disgusted by the level of catering. I am not on my own on this issue as I know many people who have had reason to complain, so why does it seem that nothing has been done to alter this? So please show me that things are going to change then maybe I will again be a regular at the club as I have been for most of the previous 45+years until this year. Finally when are we ordinary supporters going to get a proper Supporters Club and do away with the temporary Marquee?
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Response 7: 1. I want to know what Norman Hayward's future intentions are? 2. If He doesn't speak to the fans and share his intentions with us I feel he and John Fry should step aside and give some one else a chance to move this club forward on and off the field.
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Response 8: As supporters we need clarification of land split/sale of club land/blue sky. What guarantees do we have that this is not a danger to medium/long term future of club When will NH /JF be stepping down/retiring? Why is incompetence and inefficiency throughout the club accepted? How can such blatantly incompetent people such as Starnes/Hopper/Robinson be continue to be employed by club. Why do the club not want outside investment? When will club/fan liaison meetings be re-established? Why is it that the board who have lost over 50% of customer base in last 4/5 years not invite new board members to re-invigorate the club?
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Response 9: I do think that some supporters are unrealistic about the finances at Yeovil. Small club, small catchment area, geographically poorly placed (no fault, just the way it is)all adds up to low revenue. It might take a root and branch change to how the club finances itself outside of crowd revenue. This will need the cooperation of local businesses and in the present economic environment that will be no easy feat. There should be a need for some form of supporters share holding scheme but my impression of these is that they are difficult to administer and once again the current, and near future, economic climate will make it difficult to persuade people to part with their hard earned cash. One of the key areas for improvement and for any of the above to work is transparency from the Board regarding finances. There is a lack of trust between the fans and the Board and that must be addressed at the earliest opportunity.
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Response 10: The club need to recognise why attendances are so low. For me, it is impossible to support a club that has no loyalty from its players. Our players played for a different club last year and will play for another club next year. I can barely name you YTFC's first XI team these days; a few years ago I could tell you the middle names of every squad player! I donít trust the board, their motives and I really don't mind if we get relegated. I miss conference football and I absolutely loved following YTFC all over the non league country.
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Response 11: I don't feel that, off the field of play, the club have moved forward (with the exception of the club shop) since our time in the Conference. There's no doubt in my mind that the club's hierarchy missed the 'window of opportunity' around 2005 - 2007 to invest in the club's infrastructure when crowds were good & there was a massive 'feel good' factor around the club.
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Response 12: Lack of transport links to the ground, mainly from the train stations. This has to be one of the biggest factors that puts me off from making visits to the ground, as I no longer live in Yeovil and have to take the train. The walk or expensive taxi really puts me off. Setting up links with local transport authorities/companies would possibly be a good idea not only for home fans, but away fans as well.
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Response 13: Why has the club not investigated why the attendance at home games and season ticket sales have dropped so alarmingly! A survey or e-mail to the stay-aways might give them an insight into what's going wrong and what the club might do to bring them back! If the club doesn't understand what the fans want how can they effectively take this club forward - it's not how a successful business is run! Do they care or are they just incompetent?
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Response 14: The catering really does need an overhaul. I work for a fast food company and know about various things that should and should not be done in this area. And microwaving pies that "arn't quite ready yet" isn't one of them. It's unacceptable as well to simply just run out of stock. Also the lack of a basic till would be helpful to the staff rather than having to work things out in their head and would move the queues a lot quicker.
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Response 15: I feel it is difficult to comment on the structure of the company and retail park plan due to the lack of communication from the club and where it fits within the overall corporate plan of the club. Though certain areas of the club 'off field' seem ok and certain personnel from my experience seem good, for example I thought the ticket office manager was first class when I had an issue once. There are clearly areas that need a major overhaul, communications, catering and marketing in particular; I wouldn't insult some Conference clubs by describing them as non league standard. I feel we could learn a lot from Somerset CCC, they appointed a very go-ahead, dynamic Chief Executive a few years back in Richard Gould, this spread through the whole club, off the field they have excellent catering, imaginative marketing and seem to have a long term plan. Success starts at the top and that's where we need the change.
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Response 16: More needs to be done to get the fans to games. Cheap tickets deals. More information on what is going on at the club- uncertainty with what is going on at the club leads to fan unrest! Most fans would back the club/board/owners/management if we knew what was going on with the club!
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Response 17: Please do away with the ludicrous match day surcharge. Given the location of the ground and that tickets are only available from the ground anybody living anywhere other than Abbey Manor has little or no opportunity to pre purchase tickets. Also given that telephone orders and debit card purchases carry an "administration fee" it makes it pointless pre purchasing tickets in any case. It just drives up the cost of tickets which already offer pretty poor value for money. The catering at present is a joke. All too often the tea bars are running out of products and the choice of food offered is poor with no vegetarian option whatsoever. The food itself is barely edible, often luke warm and vastly overpriced. The poor staff serving are on a hiding to nothing with their customer service as it's hardly their fault they aren't being given enough stock to satisfy demand. Pre match / half time entertainment = non existent and the monotone stadium announcer needs to learn how to build an atmosphere to get the fans behind the team from the first whistle to the last.
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Response 18: Personally I feel the board (John Fry, Martin Starnes etc) do a fantastic job. For them to get us to this level (League 1) and maintain it, and if I am not wrong, I think out of all the teams currently in League 1, we have now been there the longest (i.e no promotion or relegation), I think for a club the size of Yeovil and where we have come from, this is very creditable and not only this but to obtain a profit of any sort is almost a miracle compared to any other football club. I am someone who would much prefer the security of knowing my club is not in financial problems, unlike the majority of other clubs in the football league. Secondly, I donít know what the boards ideas are, but considering where we were for around 100 years (non-league), I am under the impression that it is an idea of, now lets sustain this position and develop off field for a couple of seasons in order to improve the club, which I think has been shown by the recent investment in the potential retail park and artificial pitches. Yes I do agree that at times it feels like we hear nothing from the board, but on the other hand, do we really hear anything less than any other football club. Also when business deals such as investments for the retail park, and artificial pitch etc, do you really think this is going to be broadcast before confirmation. No and lets be honest, hints were dropped by them explaining the reasoning behind splitting the club with a separate holdings company, in order to attract external investment. If you ask me, they have succeeded in this as shown in the past years activities. As far as complaints regarding improving the beer tent, facilities etc. Yes I do agree it would be lovely to have all of this done. But personally, I would much prefer to see that revenue spent on the pitch and lets be honest, with only profits of around £10k, £20k etc a year. There hasn't been much left to spend on areas like this. Fingers crossed the extra revenue which can be generated from the retail park, artificial pitches will help in the long term increase revenue in order to invest in these areas in the future. I think one of the main areas of concern for me are the fans. I get a feeling the large majority at the moment forget that we were non-league for around 100 years and that we are still very much a baby, adapting to a completely new environment and competing against a number of clubs who have been at this level and higher, for a number of decades longer than we have. And letís be honest, I think this year we have one of the best squads we have ever had at present. But any team would struggle if they had the selection of players we have had out on long term injury such as Paul Huntington, Gavin Williams, Andy Williams, Jon Obika, Steve MacLean, Dominic Blizzard, Kerrea Gilbert etc. Hope this helps.
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Response 19: Why are we messing around with new artificial pitches? If the club is going to move forward, money needs to be invested on players and match day experience etc!
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Response 20: One issue not mentioned on here is the parking. Whilst not as difficult to get out due to smaller crowds the parking area is still awful,(wet, muddy and chaotic).
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Response 21: When they do Kids for a Quid make it a family day. Have entertainment a few charity stalls make it like the fun day we had a couple of seasons ago. Let home supporters have part of the bar upstairs & let away supporters have the tent. Let certain shops in town sell tickets & have more advertisements about forthcoming games in the town. More variety in the tea bars pizzas/sandwiches/sweets at reasonable prices not £2.50 for a bag of minstrels that you can get for £1.89 in Morrisons.Vending machines by the tea bars. Monthly meetings with a supporters group where everything is reported back to the supporters & not like when Official Glover was on GR2 saying that things are going ahead but I can't say anything yet. Things have to be done up front with no secrets. Skivo to meet with supporters telling us how things are transfer money wise etc without having to pay to 'meet the manager' Hold raffles each home game to win signed football or other club merchandise when you purchase a season ticket have a draw for signed shirt/meet the players/ etc. Have different items in club shop like slippers, pyjamas, etc.
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Response 22: [Empty Response]
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Response 23: We may be in League One (at present), but the club as a whole is still being ran as though it is non-league. Club is too "cliquey" i.e.: the VIPs tend to be looked after more than the ordinary supporter.
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Response 24: Make your supporters feel they are the strength of the club not a nuisance, strive to give them the best service and treat them fair. Acknowledge that mistakes have been made and become open-minded about finding new ways ahead. Encourage your supporters to establish an independent group and communicate with it and embrace it as a way to a future of inclusion and growth for the club. Open your eyes, or your legacy will be that you turned a club that grew strong over decades through community pride into a weak and divided one because you kid yourselves that you put the club first.
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Response 25: I feel the club is restricted financially which stops it moving forward fast enough to attract enough supporters to keep enough money to be able to buy players as opposed to loan players which don't give the means to build a stable team which could take us forwards steadily up the league. We lost too many good players last year, presumably through lack of cash to give them the incentive to stay. It would appear Skivo's hands are tied which makes it hard for him. My biggest fear is that we will eventually not survive this league and that would be a tragedy for the club because too many supporters would drift away in this poor financial climate. I have been a loyal supporter for over sixty years and will continue no matter what. I would like to see a benefactor come in and invest in players and not new artificial pitches and trips to the States pre season as nice as this is that should be an added extra when the club is financially stable.
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Response 26: Employ professional, well qualified and experienced staff who are actually capable of improving our off field operations. Invest in quality resource to recoup massive benefits. Radically overhaul the management structure and day to day operational model that our club operates.
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Response 27: Supporters pay for the experience that a club provides to them, whether it is on the field or off the field. Over the last few years as Yeovil have progressed the feeling of the club appears to have changed from a pride of "look how well we have done to get here". Small things - quick wins are required to start to get the supporters back. Letís start with improvements to ground facilities like catering at sensible prices, items in stock, quicker service etc and then look at other things like why are there only 2 cubicles for the women in their toilet. We should be encouraging people to attend and spend money which in turn aids the club.
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Response 28: The club must lose so much money every home game by people going to other places to eat/drink. If we had a proper supporters bar/club, it could be used for other events and social gatherings, not just on match days.
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Response 29: Unless the club engage better with supporters there is very little point anybody making any comment.
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Response 30: Remember that the future of the club depends of keeping existing fans enthusiastic about the club and convincing others that they should become enthusiastic supporters.
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Response 31: I bought 7 season tickets over the last few years for myself, my children and my foster children, but this year I have cut down to 4 and I am unlikely to bother at all next year, as I feel that the club is not interested in me and my family, and certainly not bothered about encouraging the fans of the future. As a season ticket holder, I have my reserved seat, and would be more than happy for the club to try and fill the vast rows of empty seats with free seats to groups of children from local clubs, schools, and for this to stretch away from Yeovil to towns further away, because these "free" children today, are those who come back next week with their dad, buy a full price ticket, and possibly spend money in the snack bar, visit the club shop, tell their friends, etc, etc. Now we are down to sub 3000 home fans, we have to build a new fan base for the future.
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Response 32: A need exists for honesty. Even shareholders of the club were not given a meeting to discuss the change in structure - even though it was described as a huge decision. That says everything. Club officials need to learn to say nothing or be specific when communicating.
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Response 33: If you look at the impact of a supporters trust, similar to the likes of Arsenal, it has proven to help the fans feel like they are a part of the club. Their shares are influential in any resale of the club and their opinions are taken on board by directors as they work together.
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Response 34: How about going around town on match days offering tickets at a reduced price to attract more bums on seats? Having a better relationship with local schools will improve attendance and the fan base.
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Response 35: Surely there must be a need for a supporters club that would create a "belonging" among fans where they could meet in comfortable surroundings. This needs to be within a permanent structure and NOT under canvas. It can't be rocket science to improve the catering which is decidedly poor at present. I do not expect 5* service but quality pies and drinks would do for starters and how about some proper Bovril for us old uns eh?? And while on the subject, whoever is responsible for the catering needs to pay attention to stock levels!! All too often we get "Sorry we've run out of that" NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Goodness knows what any new supporter thinks of our facilities let alone the away fans!!! How about the occasional 1/2 price for adults and "Kids for a quid" matches? Shouldn't be too difficult to compensate season ticket holders. Who knows, if the club get the catering sorted out on these games we may get new supporters for future games.(Particularly if they see or hear about a thriving supporters club) The club after all is competing in the entertainment business.
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Response 36: The covenants restrict what can be done at YTFC but how can you spend 30 grand on a tent? I am sure that would have been money better spent on MacDonald. We have the worst catering that I have ever been to in 30 years of going to football. Constantly no milk for tea and coffee and running out of stuff 20 minutes before kick off. Then in the October heatwave they run out of water before the game then start restocking 20 minutes into the second half. Whoever you are who organises the catering get another career, What can we do probably nothing. I questioned Starnes on catering last season and he thought it was good so clueless is the best word to describe him. With Fry it is his way or the highway from seeing him speak in public at The Bridport Glovers Christmas dinner. Crowds are down nearly 50 percent since 2005 not because of recession because the club insists on charging more for a seat on match day. Get rid of this now. Do more in schools get kids going give them free tickets they will spend money on the crap food and drink. Half time there is no entertainment have penalty shoot outs for the school kids. ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!'!!!
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Response 37: The club needs to understand that a constructive and positive relationship between itself and it's fans would be fruitful for all parties involved. I think the creation of 'WWOYTB' shows that fans are seriously worried about 'their' club and what the future holds for Yeovil Town. We must all remember that everyone involved with Yeovil, from Terry Skiverton, to myself, all want the club to succeed and excel as much as possible. We are supporters! This group doesn't want to worsen relationships between Yeovil Town FC and it's fanbase, but those high up at YTFC need to realise action needs to be took. A League One side on the pitch, ran like a non-league side off of it.
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Response 38: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR FANS
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Response 39: Get the club to put out a mission statement so we can see where the owner expects Yeovil to go.
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Response 40: A complete overhaul of the existing catering and bar facilities should be given a very high priority with a long term project finally get rid of the tent. Our PR and media manager should not have posters of another team on open display in his office. This sends out a very poor image of our club to visiting media and opposition supporters.
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Response 41: As a fan of over 20 years who now lives overseas I always look forward to my visits home and to see as many games at HP as possible. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am saddened to see/hear how despondent fans are at the moment. I have two points I believe ring true amongst YTFC fans. 1. Passion and enthusiasm plays a huge part in how well the club are doing. I would dearly love to see greater enthusiasm from the top down, not just things that will happen in future but this week. I listen to the interviews Terry conducts and it mostly sounds like we give too much respect to the opposition and it is translating on to the pitch. Seriously, when I hear 'delighted to get a 0-0 at Stevenage' that worries me. When Gary Johnson was at YTFC he enthused the positives and whipped the fans into an expectant, we will win attitude. Sadly, we donít have his entrepreneurial attitude anymore. Come on Terry - dare to get a little adventurous. Get the fans interested and expectant that whatever the outcome your boys will go 'ell fer leather to win! 2. It says so much that in recent years we have rarely got beyond the 1st round of major cup competitions. In the past that was our bread and butter - we were the best at beating the big guns. Yet since venturing into L1 the cup games seem to play a minor part in the current YTFC expectations. Mr. Fry and Skiverton, please take a look at some of those great cup runs [Terry, you played in some great cup adventures], remember the past, treat the cup games as must wins as that is what used to bring good money to the club, draw in the floating fans and give YTFC as a whole something to dream about when the 3rd round draw is made and we are in the hat. Good luck against the Bulls next week - beating them many years ago lead to the most important cup run of all, a great show against Arsenal and it went some way to saving the club we fans still call our own. We do want our club back, a proud club and a club that dared to do more than dream of winning.
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Response 42: A complete clear out of the current structure and introduction of successful people from Industry and football is the only blend that would work. Radical thought and transformation required. Time for sentiment to be cast aside.
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Response 43: the lack of investment on and off the field concerns me
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Response 44: On the pitch Terry Skiverton does his best to show the passion and commitment from the club and the majority of the players also. Although we are at the bottom of the league Iím sure we can survive in league one. Although financially we have to be honest and at present we are going to be a team that in reality is just looking for league one survival. Off the field the new projects and communications that are presented to the media seem to be short of the mark and when the board / directors are asked (sensible) questions they go hiding. This naturally leaves supporters sceptical and also leads them to speculate on what is really going on. This will damage the club. The directors need to be more open and transparent where they can, at present this is non-existent. Facilities at our club are very very poor. The prices are unacceptable and in fairness I would rather miss 3 home games and for the price i would travel to an away match. Invariably the away match would offer a better matchday experience. At Rochdale and Stevenage the experience is far better and these are clubs that I would put into our category off the field. The fans seem more attached to the club and at the games you can see why. They are by far more welcoming. Our stewards / staff seem to operate in a similar manner to the "old school" nightclub bouncers. Although I have always found the ticket office friendly. The proof of the pudding is the amount of "bums on seats" for every home game. The statistics do not lie. In other context terms the cost a taking a family to a match is the same as a day out at Legoland. Make up your own mind from this sentence and that may point to one major fact why the crowds are so low. There is a other activities that may offer better value for money out there and that people will do especially in this current economic climate
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Response 45: The Manager needs a good player budget and the 3G surface to play on a HP. The supporters need a dedicated supporters club for home & away fans and decent catering/drink facilities in the ground for all fans. In this way, income generation should in theory help to provide the 2 essential ingredients for the Manager to produce a great side playing entertaining football. The old adage of 'get everything right on the field and everything off the field will take care of itself!'
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Response 46: Merchandising - if the club invested in quality merchandise I'd buy a lot. I bought the tie clip and cuff link set once - first time I went to use a cuff link the badge fell off. Cheap rubbish. ISA - needs to be truly independent and not too cosy with the chairman, etc. Land ownership - wish we had a Chelsea Pitch Owners type structure. Ticket prices - generally decent, except for the match day surcharge (it's not an early bird discount when you are exiled - buying a single ticket over the phone/through the website usually works out 50p cheaper; not exactly a convincer so mind made up on the day). BSI - concerned over both what they get from this deal and the quality of the product on offer. Internet research reveals that the BSI owners company has installed pitched that are so poor the can be "ripped by hand" and had no drainage during the first year's use.
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Response 47: I feel that there is no longer a connection between players and fans, driven by the high turnover of players and loan signings. This means the kids (our next generation of supporters) no longer idolize players in the way they use to. If a child pushes their parents on a Saturday afternoon to take them to football to watch their favourite player - there are a couple of tickets sold, if they don't care they will find some other form of entertainment like the cinema. I feel there has been very poor communication with the fan base, which has resulted in a real loss of connection between the fans and the club, and added a level of distrust of things that appear to happen behind closed doors. As a marketing professional, I am personally amazed by the very poor marketing efforts from the club. So much of the clubs future is based on cash turnover, and non existing or poorly executed marketing will have a very negative impact on revenue generation. The club needs to move away from using external factors for poor performance, and focus on innovative marketing ideas and engagement to get people back to matches. Catering is another area that has become a joke at the club, and adds to the decline in the match day experience. Cold food, out of date food, running out of food and very high prices - simply not good enough. Many lower league clubs are doing a far better job than YTFC - time to bench mark what they do and learn and introduce improvements.
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Response 48: Ticket prices - why the surcharge? We are not selling out the stadium, and this is just putting off fans who may not decide until the day that they will come along. It also may put off potential fans who can't get to the ticket office in the week as they are working. I fail to see the benefit. As an exile it discourages me from coming knowing that rather than paying just over £15 for a ticket, I am paying the best part of £20. Now I know that in reality it is just two extra pounds, but its not how it looks when you are stumping up the cash at the ticket office. Could make a big difference scrapping it in getting some of the less hardcore fans back to the ground if they know that if they decide Friday night down the pub/Saturday morning that they fancy going along they won't have to pay extra for the pleasure. More ticket promotions - attendances are dropping like a stone. If we (maybe every two months) make a game half price/third of the price to get in, people may start coming back. At the end of the day if we get 600 people come back and we get £6,000 revenue for those missing 600, it is better than if those 600 didn't attend. It should at least be trialled for a couple of games to see what difference it makes on the attendance. Now I know that there will be season ticket holders who may not like that idea, and if so maybe offer club shop discount vouchers to season ticket holders on that day. £5/£10 off something over £20 in value say. Again the chances are that the item wouldn't have been purchased at all at the full price, but with the offer of money off we may shift some extra merchandise? Attracting different audiences - Something I found away at Colchester was the idea of a 'band for the game'. Presumably they have this every home game (and if not they should) where a local band play before the game, and then play at half time over the speakers. Pretty simple idea, but if we had a different band playing (inside/or outside if the weather is ok)every week in a different genre we could potentially attract some people that may not usually go to the football if they come along to see their friends/family or band they are a fan of play. We probably wouldn't have to pay much to host the event, so again if it doesn't work in attracting many more people from around the town/Somerset then itís not a big loss. But if you have a highly rated local band in whatever genre from elsewhere in Somerset playing, it could help trying to attract extra people from the catchment area. None of these ideas are ground breaking, but they are just a few thoughts I have had recently.
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Response 49: I have been a season ticket holder for 20+ years but no longer feel a part of the club. You are losing thousands of "customers" but refuse to engage with them. My family could be the next to walk away and not renew our 4 season tickets.
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Response 50: gate pricing could be looked at as with many other supporters i have not had a rise in my pay for nearly three years - which in effect means a pay cut due to inflation- so this makes it expensive when i and my daughter wish to attend matches even when they do kids for a quid you are looking at the best part of £30.00 min by the time you get drinks/sweets and food. Also for the families some sort of half time entertainment involving the crowd may generate a bit of interest.
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Response 51: I think the club under the present stewardship is only going one way. Unless there is a significant change to engage and value supporters and bring in the necessary changes I can see the gates dropping even further and an inevitable return to the Conference will follow.
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Response 52: My general feeling is that the fans of YTFC are no longer at the heart of the club. There has been an erosion of this relationship, and the idea of 'achieve by unity'. It seems to have changed from us all working together, to the club making choices without engaging with the fan base...then expecting us to like what they have done. There also only seems to be engagement when the clubs needs something specific from the fans (like support for the new stand & retail park). Part of being a supporter of a club is not just based on pride of the achievement on the field, but what is achieved off of it as well. I seriously hope that the current board listen to WWOYTB and these surveys and act to engage more. This should have been their job, not that of the supporters.
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Response 53: What I really base my judgement on is what goes on, on the pitch. I have felt that I havenít been able to build any sort of relationship/ familiarity with the players over the past few seasons which has affected my desire to go. There has been little transparency as to why we have players on such short deals like 1 month. Off the pitch things would however add to the clubs finance and may help this situation of attracting players for longer. I may even consider engaging more in the match day experience if there were better opportunities to have a drink and something to eat. Finally £2 surcharge puts me off going at times, it doesn't sound a lot but I don't if Iím 50/50 whether to go on the day its more often than not 'no' due to that.
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Response 54: As a supporter since 1972 I have come to feel more and more disenfranchised from the club since the withdrawal of Jon Goddard-Watts. This has got so bad in the last 2 years, with no representation of any supporters group being considered by the Board, that I have ceased attending home games and cut down on away games attended too. The Board must be made to realise that their current actions which are outside Lord Malwhinney's governance recommendations leave every supporter that I know seriously alarmed at the immediate and long term future for the club. Also of importance, but less critical, is the appalling match day experience, the poor facilities, the worst catering facilities and offering I have ever encountered and the abysmal marketing and communications of the club. If anyone wanted to write an article on how not to market a football club YTFC would be a perfect case study (and I write this as someone who has spent almost 40 years at a high level in Sales & Marketing roles)
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Response 55: I seem very damning in my views is a shame I love the club and on the whole have been made most welcome. Just that the whole match day experience is very poor. The traffic jams after the matches are very bad was a lot better when had set traffic routes. Club seems to lack the desire to communicate with the fans. The food has been bad for over 3 years now and no solution done. The TENT has seen better days draw results very rarely put up on website
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Response 56: I think the club (that includes management, owners etc) need to get back in touch with supporters. I admit I have only been supporting this club since late 1998 when i moved to the area, even so I enjoyed the days in the conference before we got promoted. 1st thing that needs addressing (outside of the playing staff) is the obvious need for a proper social club. The team I supported before my move here was Falmouth Town FC, and they managed to have their own, as did many in the South Western League, and that in level 10 of English football. I honestly think it is becoming an embarrassment now using that tent. Just seems a no brainer to me to increase revenue for the team! Obviously we have done well to get to where we are, but all I can see right now is us slipping back down to non league. Nothing wrong with non league football, but I donít think that is where Yeovil belong.
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Response 57: As a supporter from the beginning of the last Conference season and season ticket holder ever since I probably represent many of the new supporters, most of whom now seem to have abandoned the club. I have had many amazing experiences - Nottingham Forest away second leg playoff semi final, Wembley, Swansea away when they went up and we stayed up and the park and ride coaches were clapped out of the stadium. I am a realist and generally enjoy the football we play unless we regress to hoofing it aimlessly up the park, and accept that we can't always win leagues especially on the income from the crowds - we have to balance the books! BUT the reduction in attendances isn't just down to on field performances. What annoys me every home match is 1. The dire catering - expensive, very limited, runs out and slow. I once missed an early second half goal because I was still queuing. I now bring a rucksack with coffee, soup and snacks. Club loses income! 2. The post-match car park dispersal. We paid £2 for proper stewarding and control of traffic flows. What we get is stewards packing us in tightly on arrival - like another 3000 cars are expected, and then when we leave what stewards there are stood around doing nothing. Consequently many people park outside the ground and the club loses more revenue! Are they stupid?
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Response 58: I feel totally disengaged from the Club. I see no clear strategy or direction (or if there is one, I am not aware of it); feel that we operate on a hand to mouth arrangement, year on year; and do not feel as if the club reaches out to its supporters. This is a small local club and yet it feels remote and cliquey. I came to this area 12 years ago and whilst I loved the Gary Johnson era and the quality of the football, I did not think too much about off field activity or felt the need to question its ambitions. I am in the main stand and attend mainly on my own and see hundreds of people clearly associated with the Club - the back room staff seems large for the size of club - and see no way of further engaging with the club. I have really enjoyed watching Yeovil and have a real sense of this being my local club but no thanks to the club itself. Ciderspace has been absolutely brilliant in letting me know news and gossip, information and news some of which I would have expected to hear from the club direct. The Club website is shockingly bad and uninteresting and it would not be difficult for the manager, players of Chairman to send out regular newsletters and enable ways of fans coming together so that we can meet each other. Personally, I don't know many other fans and would welcome this.
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Response 59: I feel the club should be doing more to enhance its reputation and expand beyond Yeovil and the surrounding villages. In theory the club has a catchment area covering most of Somerset, and decent amounts of Dorset and Devon, and we should be doing more to encourage people from these areas to come and support the club. The club should also be doing more to make supporters feel involved. Having regular supporter input into big decisions (such as the artificial pitch and new stand) would help the supporters feel valued by the club. Also asking for supporter ideas for new initiatives and fund raising ideas, and then actually listening to them, might benefit the business as well as club-fan relations.
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Response 60: The football club is competing with others that are much more active and progressive in marketing, media and most aspects of the football industry. Our reputation as backward country folk is not helped by the way the club is operated, more like a corner shop that hasn't moved on in 15-20 years.
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Response 61: Supporters are the life blood of any football team, Supporters facilities are in desperate need of upgrading. The playing surface is very good now bring the rest of the ground up to standard.
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Response 62: *1) An overhaul of the catering set-up is needed. That is obvious to almost anyway who has ever used the service. How a football club with a relatively steady attendance can ever run out of a long lived commodity such as a bottle of coke is beyond me. I would suggest paying for an external review, supervised by a (preferably elected) supportersí representative, on the failings of the current set-up should be done. If necessary, the current management system should be removed. I appreciate that a solution is not going to happen overnight and will not be easy, but in my view it cannot get any worse. The benefits would be: 1) Increased revenue from catering services. 2) Increased attendance due to better facilities. The second point is controversial and will not be true for everybody. Yet I believe positive experiences can spill over into over areas and getting this right could improve HP for everyone. *2) Remove the match day surcharge and provide every ticket holder with a 10 per cent discount in the club shop. *3) Review stewarding policy. In my view over-zealous and power hungry stewards are turning away some of the most committed, and hardly dangerous, hardcore supporters this club desperately needs
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Response 63: Football's beginning to swing back toward the fans in terms of who holds more power simply because money's getting tight for all concerned. We've had the era where corporate sponsors have money to burn and fans can afford the tickets. Don't take the fans for granted; involve them and make them feel wanted, appreciated and part of the club. Regardless of any current perceived efforts to do this many (if not all) fans feel a little detached and despondent.
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Response 64: The board need to realise that this group and the clubs supporters as a whole, are not looking for a bottomless pit of money to be given to the manager but to look to include the fans and the community in the club, improve communication to fans(which to be frank is bad beyond belief!) The club need to listen and react to our views and concerns and something needs to be done to attract fans back before the home fans become outnumbered by the away fans... which is getting worrying close at times!
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Response 65: I no longer feel a part of the Yeovil "family" which drew me to initially support the club in the first place. There is no longer that sense of belonging. The club continually treat the fans with contempt. Change is needed and quickly or, otherwise, the club could eventually fold. No true fan would want to see that but, if things continue as they are, it will happen.
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Response 66: Listen to the fans and act.
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Response 67: Need to fully explain the land split, ongoing ground developments etc. This needs to be done on regularly through websites, radio, TV, newspapers etc & possibly open meetings with supporters.
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Response 68: The club need to be made aware of their past. When we the supporters were able to come into the club e.g. the top bar, the club were making money. Not just over the bar but this allowed organisations like the YTISA to raise money which was used for benefit of the playing staff. Myself as a supporter along with friends want to spend our money at the club not at a local pub,but I am sorry not in that bloody tent.
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Response 69: I think the FA advises against a separation of club and ground. Some questions I have answered terrible but a real answer would be something like "Is there one?" e.g. Q's 13-16 inc I exclude the upstairs catering from my answers as i have had a couple of excellent Christmas lunches with my wife's stroke club. Marketing embraces many things such as PR, media activity, pricing and overall should provide a bridge to an organisations customers. It is not simply a job function but all staff need to have a marketing outlook. One of our best local examples is Screwfix - they would not be successful without a marketing orientation. One problem at the club is it is run by administrators rather than managers with a total focus on the bottom line in an environment where marketers as seen as "spenders" but improved marketing will improve the bottom line. We need a so called virtuous spiral - Improved service in its broadest sense leads to more and happier customers and increased revenues. The poor service that we have is producing the reverse i.e. less customers and reduced revenues.
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Response 70: Ever since the Gary Johnson era, the Chairman and Board of Directors have become totally alienated from the supporters. They give the impression that they could not give a toss about them as long as they keep turning up match after match. Yet at the same time the Board use anyone who voices disquiet as being the scapegoats of the club's problems (remember internet hoodies?) Regrettably they confuse concern for the club with opposition to the Board. In addition I have serious reservations as to Terry Skiverton's ability to manage the club in respect of team selection and tactics, which are all so predictable. I can't help thinking that the club would rather be a big fish in a small sea, ie/ back in non-league football. I have been watching Yeovil for over 33 years, but after watching 4 matches this season, no longer wish to go, and don't intend to. In so many of those matches, it has been quite apparent from the body language of many of the players that they really couldn't care whether they they win or not. They simply don't seem to be committed in many cases. Indeed, such is the scale of disillusionment that every Saturday we have bets on how many we will lose by and how low the home crowd will be, and this is from people who sponsor the club for goals scored !! (and will continue to do so, whatever happens). We do not anticipate having to struggle to settle up at the end of the season!!! I never thought I would ever consider going to watch Dorchester or even (can't believe I'm saying this) Weymouth!!!!!! At least they have passion, entertainment and commitment, something which seems so sadly lacking at Yeovil these days, from the very top to the bottom of the club.
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Response 71: I have supported Yeovil for 28 years, and have slowly seen the club I love decline bit by bit. The relationship that used to be there between the fans and the club is no longer there, the motto of unity at the club is a laugh, the owners of the club are no longer interested in the supporters and it is shown by how we are treated. I will still support my club even if they ended up back in the conference, but they have to turn the club around, and I am not just talking about on the field. The last few games have shown that desire and passion, that was missing before so hopefully can go forward from here.
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Response 72: I currently live in North Somerset 7 miles from Ashton Gate, I do not expect to see any of Yeovil Town F C matches advertised close to where I live. But I my opinion the Marketing Department should advertise in a big way in all the towns and villages in a 20 mile radius of Yeovil. Also they need to get the Club featured on the local TV and Radio stations regularly, BBC Bristol does not have much on about Yeovil Football Club, at all, ITV neither, (That is probably down to poor media promotion from within our Club)It does need looking at. Corporate Meal experience I have taken a few customers to have a meal prior to a game at Huish Park, It was quite good enjoyable, but in my opinion a little over priced compared to the same fare at Swindon and Exeter. Tea Bars are a shambles! and over priced coffee at £1.60 mars bars £0.80p pasties £3.20, thatís if they have not run out of these things which they often do!
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Response 73: As like many fans, a major concern I have is the relationship with the fans and the lack of communication/transparency at the club. Looking back to when we got promoted into the league in 2003 the club off-field activities haven't moved forwards. Same beer tent, catering has gone downhill etc. We used to have some of the best food in the country - award winning pies! The club needs to get fans spending money on these items. They need to look at the sums - if every fan spent an extra £2 on average think of all the extra revenue that brings in! In 2011, football is all about a day out. As well as the week in week out fans, it should be about mums and dads taking their kids cos they've heard about good things, a good way to spend an afternoon together, buying sweets, drinks, programmes (which I have to say is getting better so congrats on that) but itís not. Other clubs have realised this, why hasn't ours?! The food bars should not be selling out of hot food before kick off!! ARH! Whilst these things may not appear to directly impact on the on-field activities, they actually do. Extra revenue will mean we can bring in more players, better players - players of our own and not just on loan
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Response 74: A permanent social/supporters club is an obvious step forward.
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Response 75: The clue is in the word 'club'. I can see why 'YTFC' must be run as a business, and I can see where the business does not always apply best practice. In some cases this will be because there is not the money to improve an area without impacting on things like playing budget, but in some cases a relatively small investment will see an improvement in return. Go visit Kidderminster, and see how catering can bring in some serious cash (assuming it's as good as it was a few years ago). The Social Club is a 'Holy Grail' for some supporters, but in my opinion would be a disaster in waiting for the club. Although I am a season ticket holder of many years standing, I'm also a member of Paulton Rovers, a village club with an excellent social club, but that is slap bang in the middle of the village, go there on a normal weeknight, and there are very few members in attendance, several non football related groups might meet there, but not much money is going over the bar. In an era where pubs are closing down, it would be a real problem to make a profit from an edge of town facility, where most people would have to drive to use the club. The development that has the greatest potential to cause problems for the club is the separation of the businesses and the creation of an independent front to the marketing of the land the forms the facilities. I'm fairly sure that none of the clubs that have adopted this model have managed to make it work. The club has spent a hundred years building itself up, and while time does march onwards, the Land Split raises very real dangers for the future. When I first started coming to Yeovil Town the GWSC was the only real supporters club that I was aware of, and while their organisation of the coach travel service seems to be very good, everything else seemed to be a case of 57 old Fxxt's in tweed jackets! and not a lot has happened since. I joined the independent group for a while, but that promised more than it seemed to deliver, although at least it was active and open. Perhaps the Cary Glovers are the way forwards, with what appears to be an active approach to its members (I may be wrong, but that's the impression I get). As a supporter I would like to feel the welcome of a club the embraces and wants ME, I know that it'll cost me money! But that's fair enough. Good luck
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Response 76: Having supported YTFC for 30 years, i have never felt so disconnected to the club. i feel the club have no respect whatsoever for the average "fan"
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Response 77: Supporters demand for a decent social club to be built for fans to use pre match. The facilities in beer tent are poor and inclement weather such as strong winds result in it being closed on some matchdays. If/when that happens why can't the fans use the VIP bars/lounges. By building a decent social club for the supporters will be a benefit to the club overall as will generate revenue/profits to the club, which can be used towards improving the facilities at club and strengthening the playing squad. The club need to entice crowds back by introducing more promotional offers then market and advertise these effectively. Other factors affecting attendances are ticket prices and the standard of catering. To run out of stock on a match day is a disgrace and is hardly going to entice fans to come back. For these reasons the atmosphere at games these days is poor. Information coming out of the club needs to be more transparent e.g. in terms of money being available to manager. Its not right to tell the fans one thing then come out the next week and say something different. The fans need to feel closer to the club.
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Response 78: Why do we turn away the away fans from the beer tent when you potentially have at times 1500 away fans who would spend money for the club being narrow minded or could there not be a mobile stand at the away end to cater for them generating extra match revenue. Also why cant the supporters purchase identical training wear like the players as other clubs within league one seem to be more proactive in this area like Exeter who even sell there kit in sport shops in the town. Why won't the club offer more than 12 month contracts look at the players who left at the end of last season to be offered longer deals surely this is why we suffer poor performance for the last two seasons.
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Response 79: So many things have been suggested regarding off field activities yet virtually nothing has happened. IMO ticket prices are too high for what is on offer, although in fairness I think many teams in the league charge too much for what is on offer. Can't we do a Hartlepool/Huddersfield and at least try and fill the stadium and get some sort of atmosphere back? This club is thinking far too small town and should be reaching out to a large area covering parts of Somerset, wilts and Dorset. So much potential, so few ideas.
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Response 80: You have come a long way in the past decade but you must now recognise that you are at serious risk of slipping all the way back. With some enthusiasm, modern approaches to the problems and honest engagement with those who pay the wages, the supporters this present stagnation of your football club could be addressed. I say 'your football club' because at present I feel excluded from 'my' club.
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Response 81: The club need to offer better value for money, its depressing to see money for players sold come in but no outgoings to improve anything and the reason supporters don't come is that they feel ripped off. For example catering facilities are poor but expensive and there is nothing done to attract fans. If people see the board making a clear effort rather than just talking then people will see ambition and come back. Skivo deserves a medal on his budget but it can't last forever and would be a shame to lose league one status. Everything is done on the cheap and it shows around the stadium facilities. I have been a supporter since the early nineties and its sad to see bigger crowds for ICIS league games than todayís gates. What is needed is transparency, investment, value for money and a bit of luck on the pitch! Finally where has all the money gone? Not signing Shaun MacDonald was a big mistake and embarrassing considering the small fee for such a good proven player.
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Response 82: Feel the club could promote events better, for instance a lot of people are unaware of the Sunday carvery, evening events at club etc. which are very good and should be promoted. Feel the club should allow all away supporters into beer tent to maximise income, could put on more security for the larger clubs, the majority of whom are very nice people. Skivo doing good job with minimum expenditure and supporters need to get behind him.
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Response 83: There are too many problem areas to list, but at the moment the relationship between the board and fans has gone stale. There is of course the annual grand plan (supporters bar, hotel, 20000 seated stadium etc etc) but for now we have to make do with a tent and a roof, not bad in 21 years! A clean wouldnít go a miss either! With all the empty shops in town couldn't the club acquire one, so if you are in town and fancy buying some merchandise or a match ticket you could, without driving across half of Yeovil! Surely at a discounted rate after all that the club has done for the town. Other League One clubs have them; I feel we are still a non league club off the pitch. I could go on and on, good luck in your quest, you have my support
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Response 84: No, given up on that some years ago. Waste of breath and time. Until there is regime change the club is going to meander on directionless, living from hand-to-mouth, penny-wise and pound-foolish. Taken around three/four years to come up with any 'investment', and then what are we told to applaud: a deal with some iffy Yank outfit a cat would laugh at. Ten years of sponsored tours of the US/Caribbean? - PMSL. Yeah right: this company will be resurrected under a different trading name in closer to ten months than ten years. Yeovil profitably touring across the Atlantic? We are about as much a potential attraction States-side as a Black Gay Pride Dance Troup touring Alabama. Sheer moonshine.
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Response 85: We are now a League 1 Professional club, we should start behaving like one. The Board show lack of Ambition by installing an Ex Player as Manager with No proven track record, albeit he was a good central defender for the club. His assistant ,still playing and Darren Way as technical coach are signs of nepotism and sentiment which don't carry in the professional game. The supporters, of which I am one (50yrs) are treated with no dignity or respect by players most of who are just journeymen and after their loan spells will move on to whoever else will pay their wages. Facilities are poor for the supporter and to be quite honest Fans are treated better away than they are at Huish Park. Some of the people in high positions at the club do not have the interests of the Club or Supporter at heart and are taking a very good wage for very little input with the Fans & Community.
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Response 86: We need a decent social club NOW! The tent is just embarrassing, it was ok as a temporary measure but for the club not to have a proper bar and place for fans to meet before and after the game is just negligence on behalf of the club's owners. This would be a valuable asset to the club, providing extra income, if run professionally (Unlike the present operation, in my humble opinion)
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Response 87: A dialogue between club and fans is desperately missing. The club should not underestimate the impacts upon supporter affiliation of the continued, widespread use of loan players.
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Response 88: I think the main problem with YTFC at the moment is the lack of communication, but the "dealings" of late are extremely worrying. A lack of transparency, and again, communication, had made many fans wary of the future. YTFC need to be more transparent, they need to improve their marketing strategies and funding avenues but not through dodgy dealings that no one has a clue whats going on!!
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Response 89: For me this is not about Skivo whom I support, nor John Fry who has brought us this far with a more or less balanced budget. It is about a sense of direction which against good governance is separating assets from the football side of the club committing I assume to PFI/Southern CRoss/Rent Back type arrangements which are a hostage to fortune especially to any future directors who may be less scrupulous than present. It is a great sadness that there appear to be so many disaffected fans. I continue to attend but no longer use the club's catering facilities. The whole match day experience is now rather flat (perhaps because of the team's performance) but could do with some oomph somehow.
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Response 90: My issues surround 2 things. Ticket prices and the lack of a social bar. I cannot afford to go every week anymore, which is gutting because i love watching live football. When I do go I will be at the arrow for midday to watch the midday kickoff and enjoy a couple of pints before going to Huish. I would love to be giving my money to help the football club instead of this pub, but thereís no bar?! (i refuse to drink in that tent).
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Response 91: YTFC gives the impression that it runs solely for the benefit of it's owners without regard for, or inclusion of, the views of its supporters. Very willing to take your money but not so willing to provide sufficient funding for a quality squad or for better facilities at the ground. This attitude has inevitably led to reduced gate income for the club. In this situation the position of the club can never improve. It's a pernicious cycle which can only eventually lead in one direction. YTFC Management need the Supporters to give over their hard earned, Supporters will only do this, on a regular basis, if they feel their attendance and their views are valued. YTFC seem to be uniquely blind in this respect.
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Response 92: I don't really have any MAJOR issues with anything at the club, and I believe that the MAJORITY of Yeovil Town supporters don't either. However, if the VOCIFEROUS few wish to do something to IMPROVE the overall experience for EVERYONE, that can only be a good thing. Frankly this is all well overdue. Discontentment has been brewing in certain quarters for a long time. It has been difficult to watch some people with strong opinions voice their DISSATISFACTION time after time and then do NOTHING. You can RELY on me to help and support in ANY way that I can. I'd also like to add that I have seen some INCREDIBLY negative comments written about YTFC employees and the board etc. People are welcome to their opinions of course, but I think it would be PRUDENT to start the process with the ambition of COOPERATION rather than outright WAR. Change at Yeovil Town Football Club will take a long time and you (we) will have to be PATIENT. Softly softly, catchy monkey. On the other hand, if the club refuses to RECOGNISE you or digs their heels in and proves OBSTRUCTIVE (as some predict) some form of protest will be REQUIRED. It is all a question of TIMING.
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Response 93: Overall the club has lost sight of what it needs to do to maintain a relationship with the fans. We are occasionally informed of "an announcement" which very rarely materialises. The people behind the scenes should visit other clubs to see how fans are treated. Simple things such as: 1. Players visiting schools/clubs etc would go a long way to improving things. If this already happens then they need to improve their publicity machine. 2. Improving the catering, running out of, or out of date stock is not acceptable. 3. Some form of meeting between the club and the fans. I'm still waiting for last seasonís "Meet the Manager" The club seems to be in a downward spiral with lots of contributing factors, again something as simple as too short term contracts and too many loan players that fans can't identify with. This leads to loss of revenue both at the turnstile and in the shop, who wants to spend money on getting a players name on the back of a shirt. The above is not an exhaustive list but I don't have the time to list everything
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Response 94: Be honest, if you were a curious fan visiting HP for the first time how would you rate the drafty tent, the hit and miss catering and lack of match atmosphere? Would you want to return on a regular basis? Letís try and recreate the buzz around the ground when GJ was the master showman instead of the neglect we are witnessing which is gradually eating the heart of our once great little club.
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Response 95: Questions: Why isnít a club like Yeovil Town run by professionals whose experience and expertise will ensure its success? What action is being undertaken to improve income and in particular rectify the many business incompetencies being displayed off the field, (i.e. merchandise, catering, public relations etc.)? What contingency plans and negotiations have you made if the development plans to transform the training pitches into retail land never come to fruition? The fans who are the lifeblood of this club deserve to be told the whole truth, so why donít you. How many more Public Relation fiascos, embarrassments, contradictions and blatant disregards for the supporters needs do you believe the fans will accept? If for every fan the club finds which believe the club is open and transparent , I paid £50 and for every fan I found who believes the club isnít, open and transparent, the club paid me £10, who do you think will be the richer?
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Response 96: The fact that the ticket office is not open on away Saturdays, does seem somewhat Mickey Mouse!
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Response 97: I think of lately the club has been rather slow in giving information to the supporters. Most of those I speak to are probably more interested in the players and what is going on with the team rather than other matters. More 'Meet the Manager' sessions and such like would be supported. The club also needs to keep supporters aware of how the new stand/retail park development and, as things start to happen, the new pitches development are progressing. At present this is a matter of almost total silence. If the club stop giving information supporters begin to lose interest in the club very quickly. Without doubt the totally inadequate catering and social provision at the club creates a very poor impression of Yeovil Town Football Club for home and away supporters alike.
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Response 98: The club appears to do little to attract supporters. Kids for a quid is fine, but will only attract children brought by existing supporters. I feel that there are many opportunities to attract new fans and I feel sure that a very effective way is to persuade school attendees to come and have a look. I know that a club in Bristol was, a few years ago, very active in this sphere, and offered free tickets to school children and dads/mums, routing the initiative through schools Kid pressure ensured that dads/mums took it up. We have a lot of empty seat at HP, so it wouldn't affect revenue and there are any number of schools in our catchment area through which this initiative could be routed. It would cost little, but the results, given perhaps improved performances by the team, could be very rewarding.
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Response 99: These are very difficult times for any commercial entity, dependent as the club is upon commitment from sponsors, and fans to fork out significant sums of money when the belt is offering very little slack. This is inevitably made all the harder when on the field performance dips. I've always found the club incredibly open in communication, and hope it stays that way. Inevitably some supporters will be slightly frustrated (or even very frustrated!) when they don't know all they want to know. However, the Board shouldn't be obliged to explain everything they're doing or have in mind, given that they've sunk their hard earned cash into the club. Very few investors in football clubs do so with expectation of getting a return. Fans ought to be somewhat more grateful, in my opinion, that their club can survive due to the patronage of people who have acquired wealth in other ways. That's not to say that there might not be ways in which ticket pricing could make attendance more affordable and therefore crowds to be lifted. I just don't know enough myself about the economics of such a proposition. What inevitably blights a smaller club like ours is the disproportionate wealth accumulated at the top of the game, both from TV rights, and more. If only there was a more equitable sharing, we might all feel better about the prospects for YTFC. In a way this is a microcosm of the national economy, with what appears to be an excessive wealth being garnered by a very small proportion of the population. Perhaps we should consider having an "occupied Chelsea/Manchester City" et al movement?!
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Response 100: The link between the supporters and board of YTFC has continued to erode since the play off final. Something needs to be done by all parties to re-establish this link. I used to feel a part of the Yeovil Town family however this is now not the case, this needs to be rectified in the soonest if YTFC is to survive the next decade.
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Response 101: I believe, perhaps naively, that the people who run/own our club have the best interests of our club at heart. There's a number of rumours, some with more substance than others, that go around about who's to blame etc. But all I've got to go on is what John Fry and co tell us in their infrequent statements and press releases regarding their aims for the club. I don't support the idea that we need new ownership because of a personal apprehension towards new owners' intentions. If they're a fan or from the local area and have more relevant skills/experience than the current lot then great, but I think that's quite unrealistic. If they're not, I don't trust they would have our best 'long-term' interests in at heart. I realise there's a certain lack of ambition on the pitch though. The club needs to be more competitive on the field and the fans deserve more for their money on match day. But it would be highly irresponsible for a club our size, and with competitiveness of our league, to spend money we don't have to achieve temporary success and risk administration 5-10 years down the line. I really do think the chairman is trying hard to address that we need more money for the playing squad and better facilities for supporters. He's not coming up with ideas for stadium/facility improvements for fun or just to keep us quiet, these plans do cost money. Now we have this American investment backs that up! The problems are the infrequencies of these plans and how they seem to slip off the radar without another mention. I think the idea for a new Copse Road stand and Retail Park is fantastic. A new stand with great community facilities, a real supporters bar and greater income stream for the club. But again these 'covenants' and other contractual problems are making it a struggle. It's these kind of things that have lead to the mistrust in them from supporters though. They say one thing and then never mention it again. I put this down to a lack of PR from up to. It's not Starnes responsibility to talk about future plans for the club, its Fry's. He wasn't good with the press in the non-league, and he isn't good now! Tell him to get trained and start talking to us more, or employ some one that will!! There are also several questions about co-owner Norman Hayward who has barely said a word and is rumoured to not even like football - why's he a co-owner, what's he get out of it? These are key things that need to be addressed before the fans trust the board again. Essentially though, there needs to be a constant stream of information between supporters and the running of the club. In fact go one better; the supporters need to be more involved in club decisions, directly involved in some cases. I remember a couple of years back we got a choice of what design to choose for the new home shirt. One simple involvement that hasn't really been repeated. The club seem to try with these little initiatives but desperately need to be more proactive. Just like we are on the pitch, the intent and idea is there to do well, but there's simply not enough execution to do better than we are. Get us supporters on board by communicating clearly and more frequently and try to involve us more, then we can start achieving by unity!
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Response 102: The progress of the club has stagnated to the degree that it is in danger of self destructing. As with all businesses if you do not listen to your customers then somebody else will and take your trade. Having read the news that GJ is now without a club perhaps this is an opportunity to: 1) get a director of football and help Skivo progress managerially. 2) get a proven communicator. 3) get a known motivator who may well galvanise the clubs supporters and also entice back some of the lost thousands. How THE OWNERS? Should offer GJ an opportunity to buy into the club.
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Response 103: The club really does need to undertake a root and branch analysis of all the processes and activities that underpin the clubs infrastructure. I have followed Yeovil since the late 1970s and in the past I have easily forgiven shortfalls because the club limped along financially. Trouble is that undertaking a warts and all review will make some people feel very uncomfortable as they have to confront the truth of what really is happening.
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Response 104: Since moving to the area I have been a fairly solid supporter of the club. However, that support has waned rather rapidly over the last three or four years to the extent that I have attended very few matches this season. There are a number of reasons for this but the main ones are: 1) Lack of transparency and communication from the club. 2) The continual struggle that the team and supporters have endured over a number of seasons. There have been numerous comments concerning the transparency and communication and I can't really expand on any except to say I have never encountered a more secretive group of people than those who run YTFC, and this is from someone who works in an industry where security and secrets are a necessity. Not something that one would expect from the 'sports and entertainment' industry. From my perspective I can not understand why the 'reason díÍtre' of the club - the football, is not supported whole heartedly by the owners, board and directors. I say this because if it was then the playing squad would not be decimated at the end of each season and the same scenario would not be played out time and again each year. There appears to be no great effort in encouraging players to stay with the emphasis being placed on allowing them to go to better things. What about the club? What about encouraging players to stay and support a vision for future success and prosperity for the club? Is it because there is no such vision. And more to the point the contracts given do not allow the club to subsequently profit from players moving on; how many have gone over the last few seasons with without the club benefitting in any way? Perhaps if there was more communication I would have answers to these questions, but no it all goes hand in hand and because of this eternal circle I see no future for the club with the present visionless individuals at the helm. And so, consequently, this is another supporter that has all but turned his back on YTFC.
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Response 105: Transparency please on wages, signing on/transfer fees, Russell Slade - what happened, zero transparency there. We are a small league football, did exceptionally well to win promotion to the football league then into league 1. We have never filled Huish - unless Liverpool/Arsenal are drawn in the FA cup. Derby games with the Bristol clubs do not fill the ground. Why try and expand it ? It is a disgrace that the Away stand has never had a roof. Why am I charged more if I decide to go to a game without buying a ticket in advance - never just turn up now, refuse on principle to pay more. Why do I have to queue, can't I pay cash at the turnstile? No half time kick about, get a few kids to score against Jolly! Anything! Football is expensive, any fool knows that. Very few make money, if you want to make a profit don't try and make it from football. Sell the club and ground. Make it a community club with local players, not constant loan players. Clichť I know, but I want to watch people playing for the shirt, not just cash or because no one else wants them.
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Response 106: Please take away the ticket surcharge on match days - due to work / sports commitments it can be hard to know until the last minute whether i can attend a game. Knowing it will cost £2 more than just a few hours previous on a Friday is very frustrating and off putting. I perceive £18 on match day as the best part of £20, but £16 as just over £15. It makes a difference and has stopped me parting with 'the best part of £20' on numerous occasions in recent years. I get the feeling that everything is so secretive with the club - i know not everything can be revealed but i feel 'only the privileged' get to know and not only does that dampen my enthusiasm for YTFC, it concerns me why the supporters aren't informed. Can we please go back to voting on the new shirt designs, we, the fans, buy these shirts (or should do!) and it would be nice to have more input. Can the club look at using The Alec Stock lounge for fans on matchdays, not just VP's. What a lovely lounge that could be used by many more 'fans' on matchdays pre match, like a few years ago when crowds were up. On the playing front, can Skivo make his subs earlier & not leave them so late, very frustrating!!
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Response 107: I buy a season ticket every season but the only money i spend at the club on matchdays is 1 beer at half time, before the game I will spend £20 or so on beer and food before the game at a pub in town, Iíd prefer to do that to the profit of the football club
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Response 108: From my significant business experience the worst form of communication is NO communication because uninformed interested parties will always come up with their own opinions/stories which will normally be worse than the reality. The early days of this current management team (and like many others I am not sure I know who really owns MY CLUB) were not good in terms of communication. There were many examples of badly thought out, badly timed and paranoid outpourings but that has been replaced with no communication or vague platitudes that seem to assume all supporters are ignorant or negative or both. Unfortunately (maybe significantly) this has coincided with a period during which the team has been struggling on the field and when full support from the fans is needed.
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Response 109: I understand the financial pressure that the club faces but the simple truth is that you do not deliver value for money on a matchday anymore. -Improve customer service, more staff on busy days or better management of the current resources. -Improve catering standards, inside the ground at least! -Lower ticket prices (or massively improve the quality of, well, everything), improve either and you will encourage the missing thousands back!
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Response 110: The issue with lack of communication is that people tend to fill in the gaps themselves. Therefore by keeping people informed as to the reasons behind various initiatives will prevent rumour overtaking fact
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Response 111: As long as Fry is in charge we will be playing non league football from 2013-2014 onwards
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Response 112: We are suffering from the malaise that comes after a club makes huge progress, as we did in the Gary Johnson era. To an extent we are also in a 'catch 22' situation. Our consitently low league position does not encourage a big attendance, but without a bigger turnout we'll never get the funds needed to create a settled permanent squad. And related to this as Terry has to almost start from scratch each season it always takes a while for the team / squad to gel. So we struggle. We need more investment in youth to produce quality players for the first team, and then we can benefit from sell-on clauses when they inevitably move up to higher divisions. We need more investment in the players full stop, so the squad can be put on a more permanent footing and kept together over the summer. We are in a fantastic league, arguably punching above our weight. We need to celebrate that success more. I think the off-pitch facilities must take second place to what happens on it
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Response 113: Is there a 5 year or 10 year strategic plan, or even a vision, on the boardroom table? If the board doesn't have one it will never know in which direction to go, or whether it has been successful or not.
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Response 114: I thought Devon Fan's 30 suggestions around 2 years ago were a good starting point, but they were ignored by the board. Problem is, no-one is listening.
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Response 115: Encourage more family tickets. Include the home (if we get any!!)1st and 2nd rounds of all cups in the season ticket at no additional cost. Would encourage better crowds at these games. Investment from outside, i.e. for the retail park and new stand, is positive as the only other income is from gate money (once said we need 6,000/game to be successful) and local companies (who understandably do not have spare cash). Transfer money seems to have dried up in the lower leagues. A few years ago we annually sold a player for £250,000 but this is unlikely today. Supporters need to bear that in mind when we are not winnning every game!! Care needs to be taken or we could be playing Plymouth in some minor south west league in a few years time.
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Response 116: 4. We should not be building a retail outlet on ground near to the club. Traffic congestion is terrible as it is on matchdays and we will lose facilities 5. Why are we getting involved in third parties, what is there motive is it clear? Nothing is free! 6. My biggest fear for the club is that we are a pro club being run as a village team and i donít mean that entirely in a negative I respect that we dont go out and spend above our means that is positive. We lack ambition and we donít seem to seek investment in our club so that we can grow. Also sometimes we need to gamble in the first part of a season back the manager, back the team to be successful 8. Donít believe there should be a premium on buying tickets on match day, peoples plans change so they may be able to make games when they thought they wouldnít. 10. Food need to be fresher and local we have large caters in the town support them and they will support us. Mortimers can supply baked goods Palmers can run the chips, stands etc 11. We desperately need a bar/club for fans. It can then be hired out and used for other money making schemes by the club and generate income 13. Marketing ideas are very poor attendance need addressing they need to be inventive; the stadium needs to be filled. Look what other clubs are doing kids free with adults, season tickets for competitive prices, fill seats encourage a new generation of supporters so many clubs out there are thinking outside of the box to get bums on seats....except for us. 16. Merchandising is ok but again we need to look at producing quality goods
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Response 117: I feel if the proposed plans come to fruition it can only do the club good. However, between utilising these plans to keep the club healthy there needs to be a bridge until this happens. I think the board should seriously take a step back and look at who is prepared to put some of their money into the club, even if it means going into the red (it doesnít have to be millions!) in order for the club to stay competitive for the next few years. We are slowly becoming an embarrassment which on occasion makes me feel embarrassed to admit being a YTFC fan. We need someone at the top to run this business (thatís what it is at the end of the day) with courage and determination. That means not always going with cheapest option. You have to pay for quality and results. There are some serious concerns from outside the club and I feel absolutely disgusted that the Western Gazette is not taking these views on-board and printing them. They are there to provide a public service and unless we no longer live in a democracy they HAVE to print the views from both sides. I for one have boycotted this local paper which I have religiously bought for years until they stop bowing and scraping to YTFC and print an article on what is really going on.
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Response 118: The club has downgraded supporter facilities over the years. The VP bar should be given to supporters and the VP's the tent. Huge revenue is being lost with regards to catering and the bar. Supporters feel unwanted and undervalued. Many raised large sums to save the club (me included) but the needs of few are catered for at the expense of the average supporter. Crowds could be returned to circa 5500 with correct supporter relations and marketing. We canít "Achieve By Unity" if there is none and there hasnít been for a considerable time!
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Response 119: I think the club is lost on its local youth policy and developing players for a given purpose. The funding it gets centrally is vast and the money should be used in a more focussed way. For example is it valid to almost destroy local competitive youth football by contracting the best players and release them into a no manís land when they are 16? With respect to communications we all survive through Ciderspace. Without Ciderspace out there, communications would be much more of an issue. Would have liked a question on commercial and marketing innovation as this will be so important going forward. Would have liked a question on the integrity of the club along the lines of do you believe what you are being told?
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Response 120: I'm appreciative about what the Club as a whole is doing. The manager & staff works extremely hard with a tight budget and deserves all the support he can get. Certain aspects of the Club's offer to fans - such as the ticketing I think is great and the staff are a real asset. Other aspects such as catering are poor and show a lack of imagination. It is all a little unclear as to the commercial development of the club - I'd favour a community/fan owned club (as at Exeter). If there was sufficient interest for that to happen then I think in the long term that would give us stability. I always get worried when land deals are being discussed because the history elsewhere is of asset stripping.
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Response 121: All said above for the moment!

OTHER PAGES IN THE SURVEY REPORT:
Sections: 1-3: Introduction And Background ; 4: Overall Off The Field Performance ; 5: Ratings On Commercial Attributes ; 6: Ratings Of Matchday Experience ; 7: Feelings About The Direction Of The Club ; 8: Transparency Of Information From The Club ; 9: Relationship Between Supporters And Club ; 10-11: Other Issues For Discussion ; 12: Conclusions And Next Steps.

Appendix: A: Statistical Survey Results ; B: Additional Comments Made.


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Comments On This Article
R Blackmore said ...

I applaud you in your hard work and compiling of all the response's in this recent survey. Dosent make good reading for the club but things can only get better with all the positive comments made. Look forward to the clubs response hope its not to late.
03/01/2012 20:31:41

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Other Entries In The WWOYTB Section.
Date Title Author Link
09/01/2012 Update Bulletin No.2 WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Appendix B : Additional Comments Made WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Appendix A : Statistical Survey Results WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Conclusions And Next Steps WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Other Issues For Discussion WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Relationship Between Supporters And Club WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Transparency Of Information From The Club WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Feelings About The Direction Of The Club WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Ratings Of Matchday Experience WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Ratings On Commercial Attributes WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Overall Off The Field Performance WWOYTB Link
03/01/2012 WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Introduction And Background WWOYTB Link
22/12/2011 Update Bulletin No.1 WWOYTB Link
08/12/2011 Food Store Exhibition Feedback WWOYTB Link
17/11/2011 Food Store Exhibition WWOYTB Link
03/11/2011 Supporters Survey No.1 WWOYTB Link
31/10/2011 We Want Our Yeovil Town Back! - An Introduction WWOYTB Link
Other Entries By WWOYTB.
DateTitleAuthorLink
1/9/2012Update Bulletin No.2WWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Appendix B : Additional Comments MadeWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Appendix A : Statistical Survey ResultsWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Conclusions And Next StepsWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Other Issues For DiscussionWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Relationship Between Supporters And ClubWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Transparency Of Information From The ClubWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Feelings About The Direction Of The ClubWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Ratings Of Matchday ExperienceWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Ratings On Commercial AttributesWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Overall Off The Field PerformanceWWOYTBLink
1/3/2012WWOYTB Survey No.1 Report : Introduction And BackgroundWWOYTBLink
12/22/2011Update Bulletin No.1WWOYTBLink
12/8/2011Food Store Exhibition FeedbackWWOYTBLink
11/17/2011Food Store ExhibitionWWOYTBLink
11/3/2011Supporters Survey No.1WWOYTBLink
10/31/2011We Want Our Yeovil Town Back! - An IntroductionWWOYTBLink
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