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Thurs 31st May 2001
2-Up/2-Down Getting Closer

The long-awaited extra promotion/relegation place between the Conference and Division 3 should at last become a reality after the FA today threw its weight behind the proposal, and, according to reports, suggested that it was prepared to help financially over the question of 'parachute payments' for the 2nd relegated club; the issue that has halted most progress on 2-up/2-down up until now.

The 72 Football League chairmen will vote on the proposal at the League's AGM on June 7th-9th. 50% of Division 1 chairmen and the same proportion of the League chairmen have to approve the measure for it to come about; but with the League's board already backing the move in principal and now the FA coming out in support as well, it can surely now only be a matter of time before the extra promotion/relegation place is a reality. Whether that will be next season however, remains to be seen. We live in hope!

The FA's statement reads:

"The FA Board has confirmed its support for an increase in the number of promotion and relegation places between the Football Conference and the Football League.

"The FA is fully behind the Football Conference's proposal to the Football League and will work to ensure that no League team is disadvantaged.

"In addition, the FA will support the Conference in its efforts to help its clubs compete in the League."

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Thurs 31st May 2001
Fry Goes For 'Young Career Manager'

The Sky Sports Website were promising that there would be an appointment at Huish Park today to replace the First Team manager's post vacated when Colin Addison quit the post almost a month ago. Whereas it's clear that Sky Sports have got that bit wrong, they claim that Chairman John Fry has told them the two shortlisted candidates are "both young career managers with League experience."

This profile seems a world away from some of the early tips for the job, as Tony Pulis and Graham Barrow are hardly what could be bracketed as "young". However, it would more comfortably fit one of the other leading candidates, namely Steve Claridge. Supporters have also suggested that West Ham defender and Salisbury resident Stuart Pearce, Burton Albion's Nigel Clough and former Glover David Norton would also fit that new profile.

Meanwhile the Western Gazette lay claims that the latest delay in the announcement is down to one or both of the candidates rejecting the board's playing budget as unworkable for a club aiming for promotion. However, they quote Chairman John Fry as saying that "There is room for manoeuvre and that is something we (the board) will be discussing when we meet." The board were due to thrash this one out yesterday (Wednesday) and Ciderspace understands that an announcement may not happen until after the weekend and the Conference AGM. The Gazette is even more non-committal quoting the Chairman as saying that the decision could be "three weeks or it could be three days".

Ciderspace hopes that one of the first things the new manager will do is to dissuade goalkeeper Tony Pennock and star striker Warren Patmore from holding any more talks with Rushden. Rushden manager Brian Talbot has now publicly admitted what was already on the rumourmill - namely that Tony Pennock is Talbot's latest target.

The good news is that Talbot seems not to be confident about either, saying "Patmore is still on holiday and he will ring me if he's interested in coming here. I have spoken to a couple of keepers and Pennock is one of them. To be honest everything is on hold at the moment." The hope has to be that at least one of the two players has put things "on hold" to wait for talks with the new manager. But with the new man probably now not coming in until next week, time is rapidly running out.

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Sun 27th May 2001
More Guess Who Is Leaving

Plenty of speculation as to which other players might be leaving Huish Park under a banner "YEOVIL EXODUS" in today's The Non-League Paper. Southend, Brentford and Wycombe Wanderers are all reported to be interested in Nick Crittenden, who it is claimed is keen to return to League football. Anthony Tonkin has attracted the attentions of Bournemouth and Reading according to the paper. Tony Pennock is wanted by Mark Wright at Oxford (and elsewhere there have already been indications that Rushden & Diamonds are interested in him). And their tale on the Warren Patmore situation is that, apart from the talks it is common knowledge he has had with Brian Talbot and Paul Fairclough, David Webb is also chasing the big striker. Tom White and Ben Smith are included on the unsettled list, with the paper suggesting that their patience is wearing thin on stalled contract talks.

Captain Terry Skiverton's transfer request is featured. Skiverton repeats the line he has been quoted on elsewhere:
It's going to be a tall order to sort it all out whoever comes in. The team spirit has been everything here, and now, because the players don't know what's happening, it's all breaking up.
On his own future Terry says:
I'm 25 and I've got to look after myself. If things go wrong at Yeovil next season they'll be looking for a whipping boy and it might be too late for me. I'm ambitious and I want to get back into the League. Now is the right time. I'm not greedy and I won't be asking for a fortune, but I haven't made any money so far so I think perhaps it's my turn now. I've done my bit for the club and I hope they'll be fair with me in return.
Skiverton has been told he'll have to wait for the new manager to be appointed before his transfer request is dealt with - something that amazingly was not the case with Paul Steele who was allowed by the board to transfer to Woking last week.

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Sun 27th May 2001
More Guess the Manager

Colin Mafham, the man who brought you the non-story about Harry Redknapp in The Non-League Paper, is a bit more circumspect this week. He claims that Yeovil Town hope to announce the name of our new manager on Tuesday, and have him in situ at Huish Park by next weekend. Mafham says that an official approach has been made to the prospective appointee's current club and it is expected that the club in question will allow him to enter discusions with Yeovil. No names are mentioned. Chairman John Fry says the new man will be expected "to take this club by the scruff of the neck".

Elsewhere it can be inferred that nomadic Jimmy Quinn put in an application for the post. Dagenham & Redbridge are interested in securing his services as a player-coach, but Garry Hill has been told by the veteran striker that he can't make any decisions until the managerial position at Yeovil is settled.

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Sat 26th May 2001
Somerset Premier Cup Draw

First round:

Backwell United v Paulton Rovers
Bitton v Wellington
Brislington v Frome Town
Bristol City v Bristol Manor Farm
Keynsham Town v Chard
Odd Down v Mangotsfield
Taunton Town v Bishop Sutton
Yeovil Town v Minehead

Second round:

Bitton or Wellington v Keynsham or Chard
Bridgwater Town v Weston
Brislington or Frome v Odd Down or Mangotsfield
Bristol City or Manor Farm v Bath City
Taunton or Bishop Sutton v Backwell or Paulton
Team Bath v Shepton Mallet
Welton Rovers v Clevedon Town
Yeovil Town or Minehead v Street

Dates of ties to be arranged.

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Fri 25th May 2001
Fry says......... much the same as before

The Chairman of Yeovil Town Football Club, John Fry, has responded to recent criticisms in the press with the following statement:

During the last twelve months the Board of Directors of Yeovil Town Football Club have established a squad of players of quality and value, financed and established a full time professional football resource capable of winning the Nationwide Conference League, developed a policy of producing young players to high standards, which has received national recognition, produced a winning team on and off the field, which achieved our highest position ever after 100 years of non-league football and constructed and financed a covered stand for our terraced fans.

Fry continued that he was well aware of the problem of keeping the playing squad happy whilst the club remained without a manager.

"I can understand a few of the players being restless. But we've come out of a hell hole with our finances over the last five years. We've got to be careful that we don't leave ourselves with liabilities relating to players who the new manager might not want. We will sit down with the new manager and give him details of all of the players, their wages and their contracts. After that it is up to him as to what he does with those players and what he does with their contracts. He will have a Director of Football who we will ask him to work hand-in-glove with, so that the football management and the board level management can work together as a team."

Fry would not be drawn into an exact date when the new man would be unveiled, but did confirm that he would almost certainly be brought in on a two or three year contract.

"I'm conscious of the fact that we need stability. We want someone who will be prepared to put a few noses out of joint both on and off the field. We want someone who can withstand a bit of pressure and will command a bit of respect. We want someone who can be part of a winning team here at Huish Park and take us forward."

Trouble is there seems to be something of a gap between the sentiments being expressed from Huish Park, and what then actually happens!

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Fri 25th May 2001
Risbridger: More May Follow Me To Roots Hall

Former Yeovil midfielder Gareth Risbridger, who joined Southend United yesterday, has been talking about his move and the reasons why he left Huish Park.

Quoted on the Planet Football website, Risbridger said, "This is a great move for me and to be honest it has come as a massive relief. Things have been a bit up in the air for me at Yeovil. The manager, Colin Addison, left the club at the end of the season and my future had been left unresolved."

"Everything was very uncertain, but as soon as I knew David Webb was interested in me I couldn't wait to come to Southend. I worked with him at Yeovil and he gave me my chance there last year. Now I'm looking forward to playing under him again and establishing myself with Southend."

Risbridger went on to warn, "The lads at Yeovil think a lot of the manager and it wouldn't surprise me if more of them wanted to play for Southend next season."

Are you listening John Fry?

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Thurs 24th May 2001
Risbridger Joins Webb At Southend

According to a news item in the Official Southend Utd Website, promising midfielder Gareth Risbridger has joined former manager Dave Webb at Southend. The out-of-contract 20-year-old has signed a 1-year deal with the Essex club.

A youth team graduate, Risbridger was on the verge of forcing a regular berth in the first team squad, having made 5 appearances this season. He impressed many reserve-team watchers with his competitive style and appeared to be a real prospect for the future. Last summer he was rewarded by Yeovil's then manager for good pre-season displays with a 1-year contract, which has now expired - but David Webb always has known a good player when he sees one and has now re-signed him. Good luck to Gareth at Southend, he is another player that should not have been allowed to slip through our fingers so easily.

Meanwhile, club captain Terry Skiverton has once again expressed his dissatisfaction at the current situation at Huish Park. Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Skivvo is quoted as saying: "Iíve put in a transfer request because I want to see if there is any interest in me. I might not get any offers, but I think itís something Iíve got to do. The club say that they want to push for the title again next season, but it looks like Warren Patmore has gone already and Tony Pennock is also looking elsewhere. We should be holding on to those players."

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Thurs 24th May 2001
Fry Calls For 'Loyalty'!

Local Press Review

Today's Western Gazette claims that the shortlist of candidates for the vacant manager's role at Huish Park is down to three - and says that the Yeovil board are negotiating to release their favoured candidate from his current contract, though it could be as long as a fortnight before the final decision is made.

The Gazette names 2 people it considers are in the frame - former Leicester striker and briefly Portsmouth boss Steve Claridge; and a possible surprise return for former Yeovil boss Dave Webb; the third man is left for readers to guess themselves.

Chairman John Fry tells the paper: "We are talking to someone who is on a contract and we are also interested in two people who are out of contract. There are details which need to be sorted out but we are hoping to make an announcement as soon as we are able to. However, we do not see any reason to rush into it. If everything was in place we could appoint a manager this week - but I would say nothing will happen for a couple of weeks."

On the back of Paul Steele's sale to Woking and increasing unrest amongst the squad over the events of the last fortnight, the chairman has called for 'loyalty' from the playing staff to the club. The Gazette quotes Fry as saying: "You are either loyal to the club or you are not. I put the club before myself and I hope that the players will do the same. I would love to be able to put their minds at rest but there is no reason in signing or letting a player go when a new manager could come in and say ĎWhat did you do that for?í."

Loyalty, is of course, a two-way thing. What 'loyalty' did the club show Marcus Jones and Bradley Peters for example, never mind Colin Addison? How 'loyal' have the club been to the likes of Warren Patmore and Tony Pennock? There's something very odd about the chairman of a professional football club appealing to his players to show loyalty - it shows a man completely out of touch with the realities of working with professional footballers. How on earth can Fry seriously expect players to show any loyalty when his own track record for losing managers is so poor, and when senior players such as Patmore and Pennock are treated in such a cavalier fashion by the club?

Fry goes on to demonstrate how 'loyal' he is by saying: "There is no point in talking with Warren [Patmore]. He knows what he wants and he knows where he is going to go - and we are not going to get drawn into an auction with him. He (Patmore) has gone on holiday and by the time he gets back (at the start of next month) we will have a manager. It will be the managerís decision to keep Warren or not.Tony [Pennock]ís situation is different because we are talking with him. However, it will ultimately be up to the new manager whether he wants to keep him or not."

So much for loyalty! As for it being the manager's decision, we didn't notice a manager deciding to sell Paul Steele yesterday - that was down to the board.

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Thurs 24th May 2001
Paul Steele Sold To Woking

According to the club's official website, 22-year-old central defender Paul Steele has been sold to Conference rivals Woking for 'a small fee'.

Paul joined Yeovil from Chippenham in 1998 and played a total of 36 times for The Glovers. He seemed to be on the verge of becoming a First Team regular this season, but injury meant he lost his place to Tom White and he reverted to a role of occasional first-teamer/substitute to his obvious frustration. Woking have guaranteed Paul first-team football, which is an obvious factor in his decision to leave. Ciderspace wishes Paul the very best of luck at Yeovil Reserves Woking!

The transfer once again raises questions about the board's role at Huish Park. Yet again they are making decisions on player's futures which should be left to the new manager, as soon as he is appointed. In this week's Western Gazette chairman John Fry says: "There is no reason in signing or letting a player go when a new manager could come in and say, 'what did you do that for?'" Couldn't have put it better ourselves John, so tell us: What did you do that for?

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Tues 22nd May 2001
Skivvo Transfer Request Confirmed

The turmoil at Yeovil Town following the best season in the club's history continues: Today's Clarion newspaper confirms rumours from last week that club captain Terry Skiverton has submitted a transfer request.

The paper quotes Skivvo as saying: "Iím 25 years old now and I would like to see if any league club's think Iím good enough to do a job for them. Iíve asked the club to circulate my name but they have told me they want me to stay to lead Yeovil into the third division next season. The trouble is that if Yeovil fail again then that will be another year gone by. Iím also not that happy with my contract, after all Iím the club skipper and an England international but I donít feel my contract reflects this."

According to the Clarion the club has asked Skiverton to await the appointment of a new manager before making any firm decisions, but he is by no means the only player to be unsettled by events at the club since the end of the season. Out-of-contract defensive partner Tom White has also being making his unhappiness plain, telling the Clarion, "Itís all very frustrating. I had an arrangement with Colin Addison last January when he assured me a new contract would be forthcoming. At the time though we were involved in a lot of high profile games and the manager naturally asked me to hang on to the end of the season. That was fair enough with me but now itís time to sort the contract and now the board wonít do anything until the new manager is appointed."

"I just donít need this hassle. My daughter has just undergone a six hour major operation and I have enough to worry about there without having my future uncertain as well. Iíve been up to Yeovil for appointments with both Mr. Fry and Mr. Hayward and only managed about seven minutes with them both. Iíve had to tell my agent to put my name around. Itís all so uncertain. Donít get me wrong I want to stay at Yeovil but I really need a three-year contract."

Meanwhile rumours concerning prospective managers continue to grow. Ex-Portsmouth boss and current Millwall striker Steve Claridge is the latest to be mentioned, today's Sporting Life website claiming that Claridge "is heading a list of candidates for the vacant manager's job at non-league Yeovil." Chester City boss Graham Barrow is another name who has featured regularly on the Ciderspace Forum, and conspiracy theorists like this writer are still convinced that Tony Pulis is the likely man, though the club continue to insist that no decision has been made. Whoever the new man is, the sooner the decision is made and he takes over, the better. The club, and in particular the players, are crying out for some stability and leadership - they're getting neither at the moment.

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Sun 20th May 2001
The Usual Suspects

Fresh from last week's 'exclusive' suggesting that Harry Redknapp was top of John Fry's shopping list for a new manager, this week's Non-League Paper claims that John Fry has "failed to tempt" Redknapp to Huish Park. An interesting back-track for a paper whose article was described by Fry in the media this week as "absolute rubbish". At Ciderspace we wonder what Fry will make of the claims that the deal for the successful man could be worth "up to £200,000" over a two year deal.

So who do they have their money on now? Well there's no surprises to be found here. They claim that the front-runners are ex-Portsmouth duo Steve Claridge and Guy Whittingham. If there were any truth in this, it would be deeply ironic, given that one of Colin Addison's last efforts as a manager was to bring both to Huish Park as players. However, it can't be ignored that this may be the very reason why the N-LP have plucked these names out as their hot favourites.

No surprises then that former Cardiff and Walsall chief Kenny Hibbitt and former Torquay and Plymouth boss Kevin Hodges are also linked with the job, as is Gresley Rovers manager John McGinlay. This is to be expected given that this trio are linked with the Yeovil job every time it comes up, and funnily enough, they never get it!

A sixth name to be added is assistant manager Steve Thompson, which shows how little attention the N-LP have paid to Fry's job specification. On the Official Yeovil Town Web Site Fry says "The job specification is for a manager not a coach. By that I mean someone who is capable of managing the whole footballing programme and not just the Conference resources. We want him to manage the availabilty and development of players as well as the financial and man-management side of things."

All of that points to a man who has been in the game for a bit at managerial level, and is more of a 'business manager' than a 'tracksuit manager'. Based on Fry's comments that would tend to eliminate Whittingham, McGinlay, Claridge and Thompson as being too wet behind the managerial ears. That just leaves the pair of Hibbitt and Hodges, and given that both were linked with the job when Colin Addison was appointed, it is probably safe to assume that both will have their applications (if indeed they have applied) dealt with in the same way as they were last October.

Can we have another set of names please, Non-League Paper? We seem to have run out!

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Thurs 17th May 2001
Players Are Revolting!

Local Press Review

Today's Western Gazette focuses on Yeovil's search for a new manager, the paper reporting chairman John Fry's comments from earlier in the week, where he suggested that a new man could be in place by early next week, providing a candidate of sufficient quality applied. The Gazette does not itself speculate about possible candidates, contenting itself with repeating Fry's assertion that ex-West Ham boss Harry Redknapp is not in the frame.

The paper tries to throw a little more light on the Pennock/Patmore contract situation. According to the paper the deals offered to the players were one-year part-time contracts, not the full-time deals previously assumed. Fry told the Gazette: "Offers have been made to the players [Patmore and Pennock] and we have heard nothing from them since then. If they wish to negotiate through newspapers and not with us then that is their decision. If these players want to negotiate with other clubs then they are entitled to, as we are entitled to talk with other out-of-contract players."

This is a truly astonishing comment from the chairman. It is a fact that NO face-to-face negotiations have taken place with Patmore, but that is due to the club in this case preferring to use the postal service when offering a contract, rather than sitting down with the player to discuss terms. There has been a face-to-face discussion with Pennock, but with the board not budging from it's original derisory offer to either player of 1-year part-time deals, then it's no wonder that both players are now certain to leave the club, even though Ciderspace understands that both players would still - even now - rather stay at Huish Park given even a little movement from the board. The 'negotiating through newspapers' comment is particularly ironic, given Mr Fry's genius at using the press to show the club in the worst possible light, and given that the club have made no effort whatsoever to negotiate with either player following their rejection of the original offers. Ciderspace understands that Tony Pennock will be joining up with Mark Wright at Oxford United, while Rushden are favourites for Warren Patmore's signature; though Stevenage, Woking and Southend are also interested.

More not-so-glorious contradictions appear in Fry's next quote from the Gazette: "It annoys me when people say ĎWhy did you not make this player a better offer?í. They should be praising the board for running the club, that is our job, not to make players this offer or make players that offer - that is for the manager to decide." Very true Mr Fry, so why then did you not allow Colin Addison to tie up Patmore and Pennock on longer-term deals when he was manager at the club, as he wished to? Why have the board made the decision to release Marcus Jones and Bradley Peters without a new manager seeing them?

Just when you thought things can't get any worse - they can. The Clarion reports that the original contract offer made to Ben Smith towards the end of the season and verbally agreed by the player and club has now been withdrawn, leaving another player unhappy and in limbo. Ben says to The Clarion: "I want to stay at Yeovil, Iíve thoroughly enjoyed my time here but this is not a good time to be hanging about waiting for a decision. This is the time when players are signed and if the new manager doesnít want me I want the chance to sign for another good club. Itís not very satisfactory at all". You can say that again Ben.

And there's more! The Clarion also mentions club captain Terry Skiverton's unease over the events of the last 2 weeks, saying that the defender has been in discussions with chairman John Fry. The rumours amongst supporters are saying that Skivvo has put in a transfer request, though this has not been confirmed, either by the club or in the press. Meanwhile, fellow defender Tom White has this morning also been talking about his dissatisfaction with the contract offer made to him. Speaking on local radio White confirmed that he would not sign the contract as it stands and that dismay amongst the entire playing squad over events at the club since the end of the season was widespread.

It is now esential that a new manager is appointed as quickly as possible. The board have handled contract negotiations with the players (what negotiations?!) appallingly, almost as badly as they dealt with the Colin Addison situation . Yet again they are interfering with playing matters despite promising not to. They may collectively be successful businessmen, but they are amateurish and insensitive when it comes to dealing with their employees, the players and the staff. Appoint the new man quickly, make funds available to him to offer decent contracts and then stay in the background, do not interfere and let the manager manage. If we do not see another quote from John Fry in the newspapers again this year, then that will be just fine by us!

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Tues 15th May 2001
Wazza In Talks With Stevenage and Rushden

Out-of-contract striker Warren Patmore, who rejected Yeovil's (derisory) offer of a 1-year deal, has been talking to both Stevenage Borough and newly promoted Rushden And Diamonds, according to Stevenage's Official Website.

Boro' chairman Phil Wallace is quoted as saying: "Warren's out of contract but obviously looking for a good package. We got on really well but we know Rushden have made him a tremendous offer so we're not too optimistic about signing him. The combination of a full time position, league football and wages to die for is pretty hard to turn down!"

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Tues 15th May 2001
2-Up/2-Down Back On The Agenda

The Fair Play for the National Game campaign is having an effect! Barely a week after fans of all Conference clubs united to start a campaign for increased promotion places between the Conference and Division 3, the Football League has responded by restoring the issue to the agenda of its AGM on June 9th. The Press Association reports:

NEW MOVES ON THIRD DIVISION RELEGATION
By Martyn Ziegler, PA Chief Sports Reporter

The prospect of two clubs dropping out of the Third Division each season moved a step closer today, with an official proposal being submitted by the Football League.

The 72 chairmen of no-Premiership clubs will now be asked to vote on the issue at the League's annual general meeting, which is taking place from June 7-9. The League want two Conference sides to be promoted each season to freshen up the Third Division. League officials also want the Football Association to help fund the change.

The League's board have already backed the move in principle, and it is now up to their members to vote on the proposal. It needs the backing of 50% of the league chairmen, and of 50% of the First Division chairmen.

Football League chief executive David Burns has warned, however, that money will be needed to see through the change. He said: "There is a substantial financial gap that needs to be bridged.

"The Football League has assisted the Conference in producing proposals that identify potential sources of revenue for closing this gap and the League remains committed to assisting the Conference, who in turn have acknowledged that the Football League has no financial resources of its own that it can apply.

"My view remains unaltered that this is a change that is in the best interests of English football and I am, therefore, equally clear that the FA should use its significant resources to support the game at grass-roots level, in the Conference, by funding this change."

The FA, who will be asked to pay the parachute payment for the extra relegated club - around £175,000 a year - did not wish to comment.

Some chairmen of Third Division clubs are sure to oppose the move, but support for a change to the numbers of clubs promoted and relegated has come from as high a level as Sports Minister Kate Hoey.

©Press Association

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Tues 15th May 2001
Non-League Restructuring - No Changes Yet

Changes in the national pyramid structure from the Conference down are still a possibility after a meeting between the FA, Football Conference, The Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues yesterday - but it seems nothing will change in a hurry and it looks like a case of "as you were" for next season.

The press release issued after the meeting reads:

"The FA today held a consultation meeting with the management of the Football Conference, The Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues to discuss the future of the FA National League System.

"In advance of today's meeting, each league had presented their proposals to restructure the system, and these views were incorporated into The FA National League System Committee consultation presentation.

"All parties recognised that restructuring is necessary in order to meet the needs of football at this level, There has been unanimous support for the principles underpinning the review process: that clubs should have the opportunity to progress on merit and that the system must be clear and consistent.

"The meeting was the latest step in a long consultation process, involving clubs and leagues. before further work is undertaken, the FA Board and FA Council will need to approve the direction being proposed. Clubs and leagues will then be given a full role in the process.

"The timing for any changes to the FA National League System will depend upon the results of the consultation."

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Tues 15th May 2001
Redknapp Not For Yeovil Shock!

John Fry has moved to dampen speculation that former West Ham boss Harry Redknapp could be taking over as manager at Yeovil Town. Sunday's Non-League Paper started the ball rolling by claiming that Yeovil had targetted Redknapp (see news story below); and yesterday's Sun newspaper also featured the story in its sports pages, as well as linking ex-Gillingham, Portsmouth and Bristol City manager Tony Pulis to the job.

However, chairman John Fry has denied even talking to either man, saying on the club's official website, "That's just paper talk. I had a reporter talking to me about Neil Coates' testimonial against West Ham, and we got talking about Harry Redknapp. Next thing I know, I'm apparently after him for the job! All I can say is that I have not talked to Harry Redknapp or Tony Pulis about the position."

Today's Western Daily Press emphasises the point still further, Fry telling the paper: "There is no truth in the [Redknapp] story whatsoever, it is absolute rubbish."

According to the article Yeovil will not be trying to tempt any manager currently at another club. After being asked whether Cheltenham boss Steve Cotteril figured in his plans, Fry said: "Steve is someone we very much admire and he has done a great job at Cheltenham. We know all about him because he is an ex-Bournemouth player, but he is under contract to Cheltenham and we won't go chasing the managers of other clubs." Premiership and Football League chairmen can breathe a little more easily today, it seems.

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Sun 13th May 2001
Fry On Managers

And he's had a few! John Fry spoke to John Lukins in this week's The Non-League Paper on his time at Yeovil Town, and the managers that have come and gone in those six years. Fry's opinion of Colin Addison was already on the wane before the dramatic end of season events. "When we interviewed Colin Addison we were obviously going to be in the running for promotion and we told him he was expected to deliver. At one stage we were seven points up with two games in hand. So what went wrong?"

When it came to a crucial board meeting that Fry wanted Colin to attend he says: " He [Addison] was up at Hereford for his wife's birthday and said he wouldn't be coming in. We have gone down this road because it is in the best interests of the club. Colin knew when we took him on that second place wasn't going to be good enough. We wanted the championship. He did his best. I have plenty of praise for the players and we had the club's best ever season. But it wasn't good enough. In the first 21 games of the season we dropped nine points. In the last 21 we dropped 38. Over a season that would have been relegation form. The buck has to stop somewhere, and the three main supporters organisations here agree we have done the right thing."

Of Grahan Roberts Fry said that the infamous fax sent to Newcastle ahead of their F.A. Cup tie with Stevenage Borough was not the reason for his departure. Colin Lippiatt's tenure ended when he wouldn't go full-time according to Fry. And David Webb had a simple instuction: "We told him 'Here's a budget. You've got six months to turn us into a full-time outfit'. He did a brilliant job. When the six months were up he accepted an excellent offer from Southend although we were keen to keep him here."

"I'm just a guy who is driven by one burning ambition - to get Yeovil into the Nationwide League. And I expect everyone around me to share that ambition." The three exective board members, John Fry, Norman Hayward and John Goddard-Watts own over 75% of the shares in the club. "We are all over 60 but we are all driven on by this hunger for success. It is annoying when you think that at one stage we were so far ahead that Rushden were almost throwing in the towel. But Max Griggs told me: 'It took us three years - just stick at it. You'll get there.' That is exactly what we intend to do."

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Sun 13th May 2001
Club Advertises For New Manager

The closing date for applications for the post of manager at Yeovil Town is Friday, 18th of May.
The following text has been placed in the press:

YEOVIL TOWN F.C. LTD. Invites applications for the full time post of FOOTBALL MANAGER. To work closely with an ambitious Board of Directors to help achieve our mission of Nationwide League Football with a squad of full time professional players. Candidates with suitable credentials should send C.V.'s marked 'Strictly Private and Confidential' for the attention of: The Chairman, Yeovil Town F.C., Huish Park Stadium, Lufton Way, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8YF
or if you require a strictly private chat, call Frank Leworthy on (01935) 423662 extension 205 mobile (07885) 273091

John Fry said that he and his fellow directors will be sifting through some "high calibre" applications that had already arrived, and expected more before Friday's deadline. "We are sticking with the biggest budget in the club's history and we want to make sure we get the right man," said the chairman. "We want someone in the mould of David Webb, a man who will work with the board. This is one of the biggest Non-League clubs in Europe and we're looking for someone with special managerial skills, not just a coach. It is important we get the right man this time. We have the time and we will take it."

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Sun 13th May 2001
Big Names Leaving

Everyone has been aware that several big names have looked like they were on their way out of Huish Park since the disasterous handling of Colin Addison's departure from the club. Warren Patmore was clearly upset with the arrival of a one-year contract in the post, and has been in contact with a number of other clubs since the last day of the season. Chairman John Fry says he has subsequently been in contact with Yeovil's leading striker for the last six years. "We have made Warren an offer which we think is right at the moment. The player says he was offered a three-year contract by Colin Addison, but I know nothing about that. Warren has been a tremendous servant and he's a big part of Yeovil, but sometimes people have to move on." Ciderspace is aware that Colin Addison was getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of movement from the board on contract negotiations in the last months of the season, but doubts that he would have been involved in more than preliminary discussions with players on what he would have liked to happen. Whatever has been lost in the translations at least he seems to have been working at keeping the big man. Not an accusation we can throw at the chairman it seems!

When asked about the future of another player out of contract, goalkeeper Tony Pennock, Fry said the club hoped to discuss terms, suggesting that the initial one-year contract offered might be open to further negotiation, but that if rumours that Mark Wright, the new manager at Oxford United, was interested were true Pennock would go with Yeovil's best wishes.

As expected at the time of any new manager's arrival the backroom staff are not immune to change, and Fry hinted that assistant manager Steve Thompson could also find himself leaving the club.

There is some good news. Captain Terry Skiverton appears to have pledged his immediate future to Yeovil Town. "Colin Addison was a top man and one of the best managers I have worked for. But that's football and you just have to get on with it. I have a year left and I am more than happy. The chairman has always been fair and straight with me. He has spoken to me and told me he wants me to stay, so that's what I expect to do."

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Sun 13th May 2001
Banquo's Ghost

Yeovil Town have so many ex-managers knocking about that it's unsurprising when at least one returns to haunt us. Always controversial Graham Roberts upset chairman John Fry a couple of months ago with comments in the press about his running of the club during Robbo's tenure as manager. Fry felt that Roberts had crossed the non-disclosure line agreed when Robbo was dismissed from Huish Park following the Newcastle Fax Affair.

Roberts, who has parted company with Boreham Wood over money after just three months, having taken them to the Ryman First Division championship, had another go this week, attacking Fry's treatment of latest managerial casualty Colin Addison, and saying the chairman was only happy with a yes-man in the hot seat. Fry's response has been: "I will not have my club, myself, and my family abused. Roberts will be getting a letter from our solicitors."

Ciderspace's response is: leave it alone John, and concentrate on important things like getting the right new manager in quickly. The club has had more than enough bad publicity in the last couple of weeks!

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Sun 13th May 2001
Redknapp for Yeovil?

"Harry's Our Boy" screams the front page story in today's The Non-League Paper. In an article notable mainly for the almost total absence of any hard quotes regular Non-league journalist Colin Mafham claims that Yeovil Town has approached Harry Redknapp, recently departed from Premiership club West Ham, to take over at Huish Park.

The piece alleges that the suggestion came from Yeovil chairman John Fry. Redknapp lives locally in Poole, and has connections with Yeovil Town director Norman Hayward though Bournemouth football club. The only actual quote provided comes from Fry: "Harry's our perfect manager. And we wouldn't have any worries about him relocating!".

The story ends with speculation that the names of Tony Pulis, "controversial former boss of Bristol City and Portsmouth" as it terms him, and Paul Bodin, who resigned from Bath City last Tuesday, are also in the frame.

Ciderspace feels this is all likely to be a reporter and newspaper whistling in the dark - we shall doubtless find out fairly soon.

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Wed 9th May 2001
Wazza - I'm Off!

Today's Western Daily Press has confirmed that out-of-contract striker Warren Patmore has decided to leave Yeovil Town and is currently negotiating with 4 other clubs.

According to the paper Patmore wanted at minimum a 2-year deal to stay at Huish Park and was prepared to move to Somerset from his Hertfordshire home, but in the event was only offered a 1-year contract by Yeovil - and on last seasons terms.

Warren is quoted as saying, "Iíve had a great time at Yeovil and was ready to stay, But theyíve closed the door for me by only offering me a one year deal. I didnít want to do as much travelling next season and was prepared to move down with my wife. But I canít do that for one year, I need the security of a two or three year contract to make that sort of commitment. Iíll be sad to leave but I havenít been left with much choice and Iíve had meetings with four other clubs already this week."

The paper claims that newly-promoted Rushden & Diamonds are favourites to sign Patmore, and Max's Millionaires are also said to be chasing out-of-contract keeper Tony Pennock, who similarly to Patmore has only been offered a 1-year deal by Yeovil.

The article goes on to say that Marcus Jones and Bradley Peters have been released by Yeovil and that Ben Smith and Tom White have been offered new deals, contradicting an interview given by chairman John Fry to the club's official site yesterday, in which he said no player would be released until a new manager had been appointed.

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Wed 9th May 2001
It's Pulis! Er, No It Isn't!

This morning, the Official Nationwide Conference Website published two news articles, one contradicting the other.

The first article, entitled Yeovil to name Pulis as new boss, claimed that former Portsmouth and Gillingham boss Tony Pulis was to be the new manager at Huish Park following former boss Colin Addison's resignation, after the club's chairman John Fry had allegedly put the veteran boss in an untenable position. The article went on to report chairman John Fry's comments that had former boss Dave Webb, who left for Southend during mid-season, still been in charge of The Glovers, they would have gained promotion to the third division; and gave brief details of Pulis' managerial record to date.

The article was removed from the Official Nationwide Conference Website by mid-morning and replaced with a contradictory article, entitled Yeovil chief denies rumours, which claimed that Yeovil Town chairman John Fry had denied that Tony Pulis or any other person had been approached for the vacant manager's job at Huish Park and that the job was to be advertised, with the board welcoming applications. The full article can be seen here.

That clears that one up then. However, the following lines appear in today's Daily Express sports pages:

Yeovil target Pulis

Former Gillingham and Portsmouth manager Tony Pulis is in line to replace Colin Addison at Yeovil.

Addison quit last weekend after criticism from chairman John Fry even though the club came second in the Conference.

No smoke without fire?

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Mon 7th May 2001
England Semi-Pro Squad Announced

The England Semi-Professional squad that will play against the Highland League on Tuesday 15th May, kick-off 7.30pm, has been announced. The players will face a long journey up to Inverness for the final Semi-Professional International of the season.

Two Yeovil Town players have been invited to travel with the squad, however, Glovers fans should not pack their tartan rug just yet. Warren Patmore has already declined the offer due to a groin strain, whilst Terry Skiverton's own selection must be in doubt given his non-selection against Scarborough yesterday - also caused by a groin strain.

The full squad is Wayne Brown (Chester City), Kevin McIntyre (Doncaster), Tim Ryan (Doncaster), Jason Goodliffe (Hayes), Scott Cooksey (Hereford), Gary Patterson (Kingstonian), Geoff Pitcher (Kingstonian), Stuart Drummond (Morecambe), Tarkan Mustapha (Rushden), Justin Jackson (Rushden), Paul Underwood (Rushden), Steve Brodie (Scarborough), Scott Guyett (Southport), Nick Roddis (Woking), Warren Patmore (Yeovil Town), Terry Skiverton (Yeovil Town)

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Mon 7th May 2001
40K Plods Out The Door

The actions of a tiny minority of cretinous thugs who only appear at a few glamour games a season, yet claim undying loyalty to our club, are set to cost Yeovil Town £ 40,000 next season. At the crunch home league match versus Hereford United they attacked a number of visiting fans and their cars, and beat up our own groundsman , Ron Pippard, who was acting as a steward, putting him in hospital.

As a result the club has been ordered to police every home game next season, at an expected cost of £ 40,000. Individuals previously banned by the club are suspected of orchestrating the violence. Chairman John Fry said: "These people are scum. They're not fans and we don't want them. I persuaded people to put thousands of pounds into the club and then this scum come in and destroy it all............ Our steward is put into hospital after going outside the ground to retrieve a ball. It makes you sick. The directors have done everything only to have a rent-a-mob turn on them. It makes you wonder if it is all worthwhile." Ticket prices are expected to increase by more than they otherwise would have to cover the extra policing costs.

So well done boys. You've further tarnished the reputation of our club; bravely attacked some opposition supporters minding their own business at a evening out watching a game of football; hospitalised a man who has worked for our club above and beyond the call of duty this season to get matches on in the wettest winter on record; and cost Yeovil Town the price of an additional quality player. A good evening's fun, eh? It's not just the chairman who doesn't want you. From everyone who really supports Yeovil Town F.C.: F*** OFF!

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Sun 6th May 2001
Two Up Off The Agenda

The League decided last week not to include the proposal for an additional promotion place up from the Conference on the agenda for discussion at its A.G.M. on June 9th. The League's directors issued a statement supporting this typical and only to be expected self-serving and protectionist position, claiming that the Conference had failed to present "a serious financial proposal". By "serious financial proposal" the League means clubs who drop into the Conference getting outrageous sums of money for years as a reward for being cr*p!

John Moules, Conference chief executive, said that the battle would carry on. He claimed an unspecified League club would propose a resolution at the A.G.M. demanding an extra promotion place: "One League club, supported by several others, will support our campaign in Chester. Two up will definitely be on the agenda." Forgive the cynicism of a long-in-the-tooth Yeovil Town fan John, but we have some bitter experience of League clubs and their promised support and votes. So one up - one down next year folks; that's how we see it at Ciderspace.

The Conference's own A.G.M. will be held on Saturday June 2nd. The meeting will welcome the four new members, Barnet, Farnborough Town, Margate and Stalybridge Celtic, and ratify any rule changes for next season.

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Sun 6th May 2001
Two More Players Released

Ciderspace has been informed by sources it considers reliable that, as well as Marcus Jones not having his contract renewed, two other players were released yesterday. The two in question are Bradley Peters, who made twelve appearances in the first team this season, and Gareth Risbridger who made five. Ciderspace wishes them well for the future.

Players will always be let go at the end of any season at any club. However we are concerned that this decision appears to have been made by the Yeovil Town Board of Directors as, we understand, has all the offering of contracts in the last few days, without reference to the manager (before he left) or the assistant manager. To put it bluntly a situation where a board believes it has the know-how and professional understanding to decide who stays and who goes on the playing staff rather than its managerial team - past, current or future - is a recipe for disaster. There is a history of the board directly interfering in team matters in recent seasons - they should butt out.

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Sun 6th May 2001
It Could Only Happen Here

It was party-time at Huish Park yesterday, as fans, players, management and board all united together to celebrate the club's most succesful season in the modern era and to look forward to a renewed assault on the Conference championship next season..... Er, well, maybe that's not quite how it happened....

In the game itself, Yeovil lost 1-0 to Scarborough in a fairly typical end-of-season encounter where neither club had much to play for. Colin Addison had told the players of his decision to resign before the game - probably this too had its effect on a lacklustre performance. The ytfc.net match report is here.

After the match, it emerged that those players out-of-contract at the end of the season had all, regardless of age, status and seniority at the club, been offered one-year full-time deals on virtually the same terms and conditions as this season - in effect, thanks to the effects of inflation, a very small wage cut. All except Marcus Jones that is, whose deal evidently will not be renewed.

Leading scorer Warren Patmore has unsurprisingly turned down his offer and is now expected to leave the club. A derisory 1-year offer to the club's leading scorer for 5 out of the last 6 seasons is, in Ciderspace's view, completely incomprehensible. The board must have a superb replacement lined up for the big man, or must be prepared to spend more than £100,000 on a new player, because that's it will cost to replace a player of Wazza's pedigree and proven goalscoring ability.

Tony Pennock's situation is less clear. The popular goalkeeper was said to be unhappy with his offer, but is more reluctant to leave the club. He had already turned down a lucrative offer from League of Wales club Barry at the start of the season, so it's perhaps more likely that he will decide to stay, though don't quote us on that.

As for the rest, time will tell what they decide to do, though reports coming out of Huish Park last night suggested that the squad was in a virtual state of 'mutiny' over the board's treatment of Colin Addison. Ciderspace deplores the way Addo was let down by the club, but as much as we sympathise with the players and Addo over the whole sorry situation, no one man is bigger than the club - from a fans point of view it is to be hoped that now there can be flexibilty on both sides and the board and players involved can reach a mutually acceptable accomodation and that the club appoints a new manager quickly. The situation must be stabilised as soon as possible.

John Fry's handling of the situation leaves many question marks over his leadership at the club. This is not the first time that unguarded comments from the chairman have caused a crisis at Huish Park. Fry's ability to shoot from the lip is becoming a serious liability when what is needed at the top is a calm, reflective and authoritative manner. No one would deny that John Fry has performed wonders for Yeovil Town in his time as chairman - all Yeovil fans should be grateful for the way he turned the club around from virtual bankruptcy - but at the same time he and he alone is responsible for the utter shambles at the club at the moment. Mr Fry should consider his position very carefully over the bank holiday.

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Sat 5th May 2001
Addo Resignation : What Colin Said

At a Press Conference held this afternoon, Yeovil Town Manager announced his own resignation. Here is the transcript of his speech in full. Colin read from a prepared statement, and did not answer any questions following the statement. The full transcript of that statement reads as follows:

Saturday 05 May 2001

COLIN ADDISON STATEMENT

My players are already fully aware of the contents of the statement I am about to read to you.

Following our game against Hereford United on Tuesday night, I have read in total disbelief, the statements and comments from Chairman, John Fry.

To say I was shocked by the allegations and criticisms levelled against me, is an understatement. These comments were not only inaccurate, but hugely insulting, considering we have just achieved this football club's highest ever league position; enjoyed a brilliant, money-spinning cup-run and benefited from high-profile coverage on Sky Television.

Unbelievably, Mr Fry has chosen not to refer to, let alone congratulate us on, these achievements and I find it staggering that anyone could deny us that our achievements this season have been massive. The Board of Directors clearly do not feel the same way.

Therefore, after much thought and discussion with my family - and as a direct result of these disgraceful comments - I have been left with absolutely no alternative than to regretfully resign from my position from Yeovil Town Football Club, with immediate effect.

As I've said many times, being a 'Somerset Boy', I was delighted by the opportunity to manage Yeovil Town and fulfil my own desire to reward the club with Football League status. I have willingly given my all - without the security of a contract - and was prepared to do continue on that basis throughout next season. That's how much this club means to me.

We've got obvious talent in this young side, wonderful camaraderie and a brilliant spirit within the dressing room .....
The players and I have already committed to achieving 'our dream' of promotion next season - and based on the majority of our performances this season, who would bet against us?

We've missed out this time - by the smallest of margins - but we gave it everything and deserve to be proud of ourselves and of our achievements ......
At this moment in time, however, the squad feel angry and let down by the Chairman's comments. His words, although aimed at me, are equally as insulting to them.

My grateful thanks go to all my staff, and to you, the media, for your support, which is greatly appreciated ......

To our outstanding supporters - who, without question, have proved themselves to be the best in the Conference - and have given the team and I superb backing throughout the season.

Finally, my eternal thanks to my assistant and close friend, Steve Thompson ... and of course, to my players - who have consistently shown their resilience; strength of character and overwhelming desire to be winners. I wish them every success; no-one deserves it more than they do.

This has been a week of enormous upset ... my greatest sadness is that I cannot continue to build on the great progress we have made ... I have been forced into an untenable position after the most undignified and indiscreet words from my Chairman, who, to all intents and purposes - and for the first time in my career - has called into question my professionalism, my capability and my integrity.

To read Ciderspace's appreciation of Colin Addison's career at Yeovil head here

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Sat 5th May 2001
Addo Resigns

In a dramatic and tense press conference following the final game of the season Colin Addison has resigned as manager of Yeovil Town.

Addison, reading from a prepared statement, detailed his reasons for leaving the club - the transcript of that statement will be available on this website shortly. More details soon.

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Wed 2nd May 2001
More Speculation Over Addo's Future

Speculation is increasing tonight over the future of Yeovil manager Colin Addison. Despite the club finishing in its highest ever league position of 2nd, knocking two League clubs out of the FA Cup and reaching the 3rd round of that competition, appearing live on Sky TV twice, as well as succesfully completing the Westland Stand and consequently setting a new record attendance at Huish Park; it seems that the club's board do not regard this season to be a succesful one for Yeovil Town and met with Addison today to discuss his future.

The Western Gazette quotes chairman John Fry as saying: "The manager has been invited to a board meeting to discuss his future with this club. We will be talking about the policies for next season because that is where I am looking. It makes me angry when I read in the papers that people have been planning holidays and pints of beer when they should be working for the good of this football club."

"The directors have invested the biggest budget this club has ever seen. But this did not go wrong on Tuesday night - it went wrong when David Webb walked out of this organisation."

"Colin came here and was given all the tools to complete the job. At one point we were seven points clear with games in hand - and there can be no excuses for failure. If you do not do your job you are asked to walk the plank."

"You either improve or you remain second best for the rest of your life - and I have no intention of doing that. There is a feeling of complete disappointment and sadness in what has taken place. The supporters and the players can hold their heads up high and say we have had a magnificent season - but we have not won anything."

As for Fry's own future at the club, given - as the Gazette points out - that he told shareholders at the clubís annual meeting in 1998 that if Yeovil hadn't reached the League in three years he would quit, the chairman tells the paper, "My directors have complete confidence in my ability to lead this club and I have no intention to leave. You will not find someone who is willing to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day for no pay like I do."

Meanwhile, on the official Nationwide Conference site the Chairman is quoted as saying: "We have given this guy [Addison] every possible support. We have won nothing and it is no good being second best."

"If it means changes so be it, football is ruthless. Rushden have got the prize and good luck to them. For us, the rebuilding starts now."

Harsh words from the chairman. and in the opinion of Ciderspace, worrying ones. Surely the last thing we need to do now is to bring in a new manager and start "re-building" with all the disruption that implies? We have missed out on promotion by a whisker - surely all that is required is a little fine-tuning and, most importantly, keeping the current squad and management together.

John Fry is also quoted on BBC South West Ceefax this evening, saying of the club's financial position: "We have to decide whether to stay full-time as this is our first summer trying to sustain that status. We have to look at our finances and be prudent in our spending." Hmmm, now let's see, Ciderspace can do its sums: Vague talk of financial worries, added to "time for re-building" quotes, multiplied by criticism of the manager by the chairman, all equals one ex-manager minus several sold players. It all adds up - just hope the sum is wrong!

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Wed 2nd May 2001
Addison's Head On The Block?

Reports reaching Ciderspace have suggested that Colin Addison will be sacked as Yeovil Town manager today. Chairman John Fry has been on Radio Bristol this morning and the message being given out to the listeners seemed plain and simple.

Ciderspace has no exact quote but understands that the rough gist of Fry's comments were along the lines of 'Colin Addison has been given the tools to do the job and he has failed. We have given him everything he asked for.'

Fry is also reported to have cited the end of September as the turning point of the season when David Webb left the club for Southend. Fry also said that there would be a press release from the club this afternoon, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what the contents are going to be, given the rough gist of Fry's message to Radio Bristol listeners. If true, Colin Addison's successor would represent the club's fifth manager in under two seasons.

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Wed 2nd May 2001
Bulls hit Glovers Out Of Title Race

Yeovil Town lost their penultimate game of the season versus old enemies Hereford last night. Nick Crittenden put The Glovers into the lead on 12 minutes, but Robin Elmes equalised 2 minutes later. John Snape but the visitors in front after the break, with Dave Piper making it 2-2 with a diving header on 58 minutes. It was all Yeovil from then on, but Hereford keeper Scott Cooksey denied Yeovil with save after save until, in injury time, Ian Rodgerson broke Yeovil hearts by scoring the winner. 3-2 to Hereford, the ytfc.net match report can be found here.

The result leaves Yeovil 3 points behind Ru$hden and having played the same number of games. However Ru$hden's goal difference being so far superior means that the title race is in effect over and that it is the Northamptonshire club who will be playing in Division Three next season. Congratulations to them and their supporters, there can be no doubt that over the entire season they deserved the title - the league table doesn't lie.

As for Yeovil, we should be proud of what has been achieved this season. Second in the league and reaching the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, knocking Colchester and Blackpool out on the way, is a magnificent achievement and represents real progress on last season. Let us hope we can consolidate on that progress next season and go one better in the league. Congratulations to Colin Addison and the team on a wonderful season - you've done us proud!

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For current news direct from the club go to the official site news page.

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This Page Written By Martin Baker/Jon Morgan/Hugh Gleave
©Ciderspace 1999-2001
Last Updated 3rd May 2001


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