Yeovil Town have gone into partnership with an American Sports Construction firm that will provide them with new artificial pitches at the club. As reported last Thursday, they are to receive investment from Blue Sky International, who hold a 24.9 percent stake in League Two side Port Vale.
In a deal that is worth £1.25m, a total of up to £750,000 will be set aside for the production of a new artificial playing surface, whilst a further fund of £500,000 will be allocated to pre-season tours in North America and the Caribbean over the next ten years. This is a similar arrangement to that offered to Port Vale, although on a much smaller scale than the £8 million plan the Valiants agreed, and without any indication of BSI taking on a shareholding at the club.
At present there's no indication as to whether the club have got a firm location for the pitch surface - whilst there is an existing surface that has seen better days adjacent to the Main Stand, the club are also using land at Alvington, for their Centre of Excellence operations. The pitch, when installed, will be used for the first team and Centre of Excellence, as well as being made available to the local community.
As yet there's no timescale laid down for this project. It's also not clear at this stage exactly what BSI get out of the deal - commercial sports companies do not hand over money without getting something in return. In the case of the Valiants, they are taking on partial ownership of the League Two side as part of a share purchase, but in this arrangement, it's not clear yet what they get back as part of their investment.
One note of caution here, is that whilst this will potentially give the Glovers improved training facilities - a succession of managers have struggled with the quality of the top pitches during the winter months - the investment will not, as far as we can see, alter the income available to the playing squad itself.
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