Ciderspace News Page : Priestnall Expecting Current Huish Park Board To Resign On Deal Completion
6 July 2019 : Priestnall Expecting Current Huish Park Board To Resign On Deal Completion
Yeovil Town prospective co-owner Scott Priestnall has said today that he expects the current Board of Directors to all resign, once the takeover at Huish Park is completed. The man who is the public face of a two-person group aiming to buy the club from current owner Norman Hayward and his front man John Fry, has said that he expects them to all step down, although states that it is too early to say whether any of them might be co-opted onto any future Board under the new ownership.

Priestnall is aiming to buy the club alongside Errol Pope, who so far hasn't put himself in the spotlight concerning the deal. At present, they have not divulged the way that they plan the club to be run from an Executive point of view, or a Boardroom point of view, leading to the question of whether current Chairman John Fry might be staying on under the new regime, or whether others might survive a cull. At present though, Priestnall says that he hasn't discussed anything in detail with the existing Board members, and expects his future ways of working to be more channelled through himself as a single managing executive, rather than via a committee style structure:

"On completion, the existing Board are resigning. I can't say at this moment in time whether I'll choose any of the current directors to be involved in the new Board, because I haven't met them all, or had proper chats with them. It will certainly be my board, my decisions. The Board isn't going to work the same way that the Board works now. This is going to be a bit more old-fashioned in that it will be my decisions. It won't be a Board decision."

The main man has also given a similar verdict to the Western Gazette, with Priestnall suggesting that he couldn't see John Fry wanting to be involved in the sort of set-up that he had envisaged, but stated he had not had any talks with him over his future:

"Will John be involved? I'm not sure that John wants to be involved to be honest with you. He's had some negative press over a period of time and I haven't had the conversation with him. I certainly haven't offered him a position at this stage, and I'm not sure that he would want to be involved in the kind of board that I want to have moving forward."

Priestnall has also told the paper that upon the completion of the deal, debts secured on the Huish Park land under owner Norman Hayward's name will be removed. Currently Hayward has lodged two legal charges against the Yeovil Town Holdings Limited company from March 2011, and the original Yeovil Football and Athletic Club Limited company from October 2016, that gave him added security in the event of the club failing to repay his loans, much in the same way that a mortgage on a house works. The latter also included a change to the Land Registry, preventing the club from selling or developing the Huish Park land without Hayward's permission, even if he was no longer a Director or Owner of the football club.

With that in mind, there's been significant concern that Hayward could still act as a 'backseat driver', even after selling the club. However, Priestnall has told the Gazette that "part of the deal is that those legal charges will be removed". It should be possible to confirm this during the weeks following takeover completion, as both the Companies House records and the Land Registry should be changed to reflect the satisfaction of the charge.

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