On Thursday, long-standing Director Andy Rossiter resigned his position from the Yeovil Town Board of Directors. Andy had an association with the club dating back to March 1995 when he first stood as a Director of the club, coming in when the Glovers were at their lowest ebb, and on the edge of being relegated down to the Isthmian League. He stood as a Board member that began to turn the club's fortunes around at the time of Graham Roberts' management spell.
Andy took a break from his formal Boardroom duties during the 2000s, due to his relocation to Spain, but still kept strong ties with the club as a supporter, and a club sponsor. He returned to England and then returned to the club's Board in 2010, becoming Chairman of Yeovil Town Academy when it was relaunched in the summer of 2015 under the League's new EPPP structure. He continued in that role until early 2018.
He now steps down from the Board for a second time, although will be maintaining his sponsorship of the away terrace for the 2018-19 season, as the Radio Cabs Away Stand. Andy has provided his full views on his decision to step down from the Yeovil Town Board, including explaining his role in a Consortium that had been set up last season, and his current opinion on the direction that both the club and the Academy are taking.
Andy's thoughts on his resignation are as shown below:
"It is with regret, and a lot of sadness and gut-wrenching heartache, that on Thursday I resigned as a Director of my beloved YTFC. It is well over 20 years ago that John Fry with my help, and twelve other board members started out on a journey to get YTFC out of debt and in to the Football League. We achieved both and just over 15 years ago our promotion to the Football League was achieved. I was the last remaining Director along with John Fry from that group.
"I have many reasons for deciding to resign, the first being that I recently spent a lot of time getting a consortium of local business and wealthy YTFC fans together. I was encouraged to do this by people at the club, along with Mark Palmer. The group was almost complete and had funds to complete the purchase of YTFC and finance it for the years ahead. My belief is Manchester United came to town and the rest is history; any sale was never going to happen after that. After a few further meetings, I realised a purchase was going nowhere. I have signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the club, so I am not able to talk about the details of our offer for another 10 months.
"In the main I have enjoyed my time in office at YTFC. The club has some very hard working full and part-time staff members throughout the club. I have always found most of them helpful, whilst I also did several roles at the club. A big thank you goes out to them; many of whom I now consider friends.
"What a fantastic journey it has been - Championship Football as a high point; I felt we never looked out of place there either. We have since had a very poor last three or four seasons by our standards. Over a thousand fans stopped coming last season, I believe mainly down to the lack of results, style of football and our league position. Last season we had just 4 away wins and only 8 wins at home; this may not help encourage the fans back to support this coming season. I do not believe our Manager has the experience or skills set to get us promoted; I will be overjoyed if he does.
"The second reason is that I have stopped believing in the clubs Owner’s (Norman Hayward) vision. I personally and strongly feel it is time for a change of ownership.
"Further to this I do not agree with the John Fry’s views on a few things including how the Academy should be run. After all the blood sweat and tears to establish the Academy I was asked to stand aside because I did not agree with our manager's views on general football matters. I am very disappointed to now see how the club is dismantling the Academy and has treated some staff members off it. These are the very people who got the Academy through it's audit successfully this year just a few months ago. Now they find their positions have become untenable or they have not had their contracts renewed. These same people who recruited and got three scholars to a standard where they have trained with the first team and were good enough, with two getting squad numbers this season.
"I strongly believe the Academy should be focused on coaching and developing all ages to provide income from the club-developed players that could be sold to other clubs, or contracted to our first team squad, with Exeter City FC a good example of this.
"The Academy should be able to provide a more local and stable first team base of players that will have been coached to YTFC standards, along with the clubs philosophy.
"In my opinion, the Academy and all football related business should be controlled by a professional Director of Football, as someone who takes charge of both the Academy and First Team matters including recruitment. Steve Perryman is a good example of this, who has recently retired at Exeter City.
"I will continue to come to matches as a fan first and foremost, but I am now free to give my own views on the team's efforts, and free to question the tactics of the manager. In the long term, I would be happy to return to the Board of Directors, if the right set of circumstances were in place; I would never say never.
"I have always been a fan of the football club, and regardless of what the future holds, I will always want it to succeed. I believe the club needs to plan an uplift and a change in direction in order to restore both a higher position in the football pyramid and the how supporters feel about their football club. I will always fight for what I believe is best for this football club's future."
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