Yeovil Town have issued a formal statement confirming yesterday's events concerning New Orleans businessman Rob Couhig and Caretaker Manager Neale Marmon. On both counts, the rumourmill has been proven correct, with Couhig's interest in purchasing the club being ended after current owner Norman Hayward and Couhig were unable to reach commercial agreement on the deal.
In addition, Caretaker Manager Neale Marmon, who had been earmarked to become Couhig's Sporting Director, has also left the club, with reports that he will be returning to Germany. The club's statement reads as follows:
"Yeovil Town FC can confirm that it has not been possible to agree mutually acceptable terms and conditions with Feliciana EFL Limited and Mr. Robert Couhig, so the proposed sale of the Club to them will not go ahead. The Club will continue to seek potential investors whilst concentrating on planning to bounce back from relegation. As a consequence, Interim Manager Neale Marmon will depart Huish Park with immediate effect and the Club would like to wish Neale all the best for the future. The Club will now continue the search for a new First Team Manager in order to allow for a successful summer of player retention and recruitment."
The club's statement provokes a number of unanswered questions. In the club's February 19th statement, they claimed that "an agreement [had] been reached between the club's current ownership and Feliciana EFL Limited". Today's statement tells fans that "it has not been possible to agree" terms between the two parties. These two statements would appear to conflict in terms of whether agreement had been reached on February 19th, or not.
The second unanswered question is how the club will handle the issue of the end of season Released and Retained lists. First Team Coach Paul Terry remains as the only senior member of the management team who can field any outstanding issues in that area. The club have not named him as a Caretaker Manager at this stage. However, that list of players needs to be published by Saturday 18th May - 14 days after the club's final competitive fixture of the 2018-19 season - otherwise all out of contract players, including those aged Under-24 years old, are deemed by default to be 'released' and are free to talk to other clubs. Even if offers are put in place, it is hard to see those players putting pen to paper without any active ownership or management team in place. The club need to explain how that gap will be resolved.
The third unanswered question is whether the club remains up for sale and open to external bidders. During BBC Somerset, match coverage on Saturday, reporter Chris Spittles stated that owner Norman Hayward had not been at the club during 2019, which would point to an ownership vacuum at Huish Park. How will this be addressed both in the short-term and in the medium/long-term?
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