Yeovil Town director Stephen Allinson spoke to BBC Bristol Sports Editor Geoff Twentyman on Thursday 7th October 2010 as part of the build-up to the away trip at Rochdale. The interview starts with Stephen recalling the club's first ever Football League game at Spotland in August 2003.
SA: It was balmy heat, as I remember, and a really hot day in August. It was 108 years worth of history, with (first team manager) Gary (Johnson) playing the press as only Gary can. It created huge national interest actually. I remember the goals, as it was Kevin Gall and Kirk Jackson - am I right?
GT: Not quite! Kevin Gall got two and Lee Johnson got the other!
SA: Yes, Kevin got two didn't he, and I remember him jumping into Gary Johnson's arms when he scored. To be fair to Rochdale, they were lovely to us as well. That was nice as we've kept up a bit of a relationship with them.
GT: How proud did you feel that day?
SA: Yes, incredibly proud actually. I was first involved when we first went down to the ICIS (Isthmian League, in 1995) so I've seen the highs and lows and so it was hard to realise. But yes, very proud for the Yeovil fans, because we're still a small town in football terms, but with big hearts. There were many thousands who made their way up there, which was marvellous.
GT: And in terms of where they are now and where they've been since, people have different expectations. This is their sixth season in League One. Where do you feel the club could be, and should be?
SA: Yes, that's a very good question and we debate that in the board quite a bit. In League One, everybody says that to stay in League One is an achievement. We have never been actually threatened with relegation in the last couple of years. So we're doing well in League One. The Championship is a leap. The year that we got to Wembley was fantastic, wasn't it? But it would have been a leap. I'd like to see us established this year, as I think Terry (Skiverton) would, as a nice mid-table League One side. Another cup run would be nice for once! But who knows? Having said that, who was it that we played in the Wembley final? Blackpool, so there you go.
GT: That's the great thing about football. You look at Blackpool, and also at Scunthorpe. They don't get big big crowds yet they're up there in the Championship.
SA: Yes, absolutely. I met Nigel Adkins when he was at Scunthorpe last year and he said that he saw Yeovil and Scunthorpe as very much alike clubs. They're both good solid football clubs, who run it properly, so why not? Money doesn't always buy success.
GT: How is the club financially?
SA: Solvent. We're balancing our books, which is nice. Terry is very good. He understands that we're not a mega-club in terms of that. But at the end of the day, this club is going to be around a lot longer than I am, or than Terry or John Fry is and that's the important thing.
GT: Is there any belief that you need to invest more money to improve the playing squad? Where's the temptation, or the risk factor here?
SA: Yes, of course there is. We've had some really good quality loans, and there's no doubt about that. But you can't always build a football club through loans. So yes, we'd love to invest, but at the end of the day I think it's about getting the youngsters, getting more Craig Alcocks through and developing those. We've got Luke Ayling with us. If we can find those and then bring them through, that's the great Crewe Alexandra model. That's the way, as I don't believe in buying in instant success.
GT: What can you tell us about the Holding Company that is being set up and being talked about in the public domain?
SA: Sure, it's been set up. It's a model that is being used by a number of other football clubs. We want to invest in this whole infrastructure. Many major retailers or operators these days will not want to invest in a football club, but they will invest in the grounds that support the football club. The good news is that we are committed as a board - and I've gone on the record, and John (Fry) has as well - to say that this will not affect the football. In fact what it will do is to empower us, because if more money comes in off the field, then it will be ploughed in, because we're fans as well on the board and that's the important thing.
GT: Ten years ago you were a Conference club. Where will you be in 10 years time?
SA: League One, or above.
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